WORLD Cup hopeful Ray Wilson was preparing for a trip to Chile and Derek Stokes was getting ready to visit Gibraltar as the rest of the Town team headed to Cambridge – en route to Czechoslovakia.
The Leeds Road club had been invited on a two-week end-of-season tour by the Czech Football Association, with the itinerary including a match against the national team, who were themselves preparing for the World Cup.
Having closed their Second Division schedule with a disappointing 3-0 home defeat by Rotherham, Eddie Boot’s team, who were seventh in the final standings, made the short trip to Bradford for a West Riding Cup semi-final clash with Park Avenue.
With Wilson and Stokes turning out for Town before linking up with the England and RAF squads respectively, Avenue were 1-0 winners with a goal from ex-Derby man John Hannigan sealing a final showdown with Halifax.
Town took 16 players on tour along with manager Boot, trainer Roy Goodall and two board members, Bernard Newman and James Chadwick, breaking the journey to Heathrow to play a friendly against Cambridge City.
The Southern League outfit were among 26 non-league clubs who hoped to step up to Division IV in place of Accrington Stanley, who had gone out of business before the end of the season (Doncaster, Chester and Hartlepool were applying for re-election).
Their rivals included the likes of former league clubs Gateshead and New Brighton as well as Hereford, Morecambe, Oxford, Scarborough, Wigan Athletic and Yeovil, so they were keen to put on a show against Town.
With former Blackpool players Sammy Salt and Alf Craig and ex-Everton, Luton and Eire man George Cummins in their line-up, Cambridge made Town work for their 3-2 win.
The hosts took a 14th-minute lead when Salt drilled home powerfully from 30 yards.
But Town remained calm and responded with three goals – all by Les Massie – in the first 20 minutes of the second half.
The first two were headers from crosses by Chris Balderstone and Len White, then Massie chested home from an inch-perfect centre by tricky winger Mike O’Grady.
But Cummins ensured the visitors had to stay on their toes by netting a 76th-minute penalty after a foul on Craig by John Coddington.