Members of Northampton Town’s only top-flight squad looking forward to 50-year reunion event

An unusual squad photo taken at the County Ground as the club prepared for Division One.

An unusual squad photo taken at the County Ground as the club prepared for Division One.

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A member of the fabled Northampton Town First Division squad says he is keen to meet with his former teammates at an event next month.

John Mackin, now aged 72, was in his early 20s when he played for the Cobblers during the club’s one and only season in the top flight of English football.

A reunion event to mark the 50th anniversary will take place next month and the Scottish former defender, who lives in Corby, is relishing the prospect.

He said: “I’m looking forward to it, I really am.

“It must be 10 years since we were together in one place and I can’t wait to start talking about the old times.

“We had some great matches and pretty good parties that season.”

Despite the club’s relegation in 1965/66, Mr Mackin has many good memories of that season.

He scored on his senior debut against Aston Villa with free kick from 40 yards that the stand-in goalkeeper missed in an April blizzard.

Only 10,000 people were at Villa Park that day, but Mr Mackin was to play in front of almost 29,000 away to Tottenham Hotspur in the valiant run-in to the season’s end.

Several home matches at the County Ground saw well over 23,000 spectators cheer the Cobblers on.

Mr Mackin said: “It was a great time for the town, we’d just come up four divisions in five seasons.

“Someone said that the real miracle of 1966 wasn’t England winning the World Cup but Cobblers playing in the First Division.”

The fans’ event to mark the anniversary will take place at the Park Inn in Northampton on April 9.

Players who have confirmed attendance are Roger Barron, Billy Best, Bobby Brown, Graham Carr, Vic Cockcroft, Theo Foley, Jim Hall, Garry Knibb, John Kurilla, Barry Lines, John Linnell, John Mackin, Ray Price, Tommy Robson and Harry Walden

The players will be presented to the audience at about 8.15pm and will afterwards mingle with supporters.

Tickets, priced £15, can be bought via: roger.averill1@btinternet.com or John Atkinson on rkrdhse@yahoo.co.uk