A HISTORIAN is making a plea to Bolton families to help him discover what happened to the pupils who made up a 1930s school football team.

Paul Dyson, who works as an archivist for Canon Slade School, was inspired to go in search of the team after reading about the death of Sir Gordon Booth in The Bolton News.

Sir Gordon attended Bolton Church Institute from 1932 and became the captain of the football team in his second year, playing for the squad in 1937/38.

Mr Dyson, aged 69, has volunteered his time to look after the school archives since he retired as head of sixth form at the school in 2005. He hopes to paint a picture of each of the pupil’s lives with help of their friends and family.

Mr Dyson, of Tudor Avenue, Heaton, said: “The men will all be in their 90s now, so I imagine that many of them will no longer be with us, but I just hope readers will be able to help piece together the story with me.

“I have looked after the archives at the school pretty much since I retired, so when I heard about Sir Gordon in The Bolton News this prompted me to go bring out the football photos.

"Then, of course, I started thinking about what happened to the rest of the lads.

“Gordon was a pupil during the 1930s. He played for the team for a year then captained it in the second.

“At the end of his captaincy season the sports master described him in the school magazine as an ‘excellent captain, whose unfailing keenness and outstanding play were an inspiration to the rest of the team’.

“Obviously, he went on to have a very successful career and I would really like to find out what happened to the others.

“I know that one, Harold Fergusson, lives in the South of England, and another, William Boyes, who joined the RAF after school, lost his life in a plane crash before the war. But the rest remain a mystery.”

If anyone has any information about any of the members of the team, contact Mr Dyson by on 01204 333343 or go to bolton-church-institute.org.uk/ contact.html.