The North Berks Primary Schools’ Football Association was ‘born’ at a meeting held on Thursday 30 September 1964 at Dunmore Junior School, Northcourt Road, Abingdon, by 12 teachers from 9 schools, when they established a Committee (Chaired by the late Eric Brodie, Cumnor Primary School). They agreed to the drawing up of a Constitution, affiliation to the English Schools’ Football Association and the adoption of some competition rules for fixtures despite previously having agreed not to hold a competitive league or a ‘trophy’ competition! Such was the far sightedness of the meeting that ‘overplay’ (not the word used in 1964) was discussed at this inaugural meeting.
At a subsequent General Meeting the Constitution was adopted, the Competition Rules were ratified, it was agreed to hold a six a side tournament early in the summer term, the Association would organise a day when the E.S.F.A. Proficiency Awards could be undertaken, a Teachers’ Course for Coaching and Refereeing would be held in the summer term and a visit would be arranged to Northampton on 20 March 1965 to see the Schoolboys’ International match.
At the first Annual General Meeting the Treasurer presented an audited Income and Expenditure account that showed a balance at the bank of £3-11-7. It was also agreed to hold a knockout cup competition and to establish a ‘district team’ to play fixtures starting in October 1966. Mr Ernie Sutton offered to act as Team Manager.
From such a small seed was the Association formed. At it's most active there were over 65 schools in membership, organising 14 competitions and tournaments (three of them National ones) with designated events for girls and a Representative team that plays on average 24 – 28 matches a season. The Representative team plays in the County League (organised by Berkshire Schools’ FA), two knockout cup competitions (The Witney Cup and The Southern Counties Cup), takes part in the North Tyneside Inter Association Festival of Football and also plays several Friendly fixtures besides taking part in the ESFA Inter Association 7 a side Championship.
July 2019 was decision time. After some many amazing years the number of schools associating had dropped and in this busy worl few wished to be on the committee. Several committee members announced teither their retirement, or a need to step down due to very busy commitments at school. Luckily a new chairperson stepped forward and the 2019/20 season was saved. Time perhaps for a little reorganisation and marketing but hopefully 'Vale of White Horse PSFA are here to stay.
Some of the ‘landmarks’ for the Association:
- Discussion about standardisation of goal sizes and pitch sizes in 1965!
- First year of the knockout cup competition in 1965-66.
- N.B.P.S.F.A. affiliated to the E.S.F.A. in 1966
- Black and white striped shirts used by the first ‘district team’ in 1966, and every team since.
- Ernie Sutton was first Representative Squad Team Manager (1966-70). Subsequent Representative Squad Team Managers have been Alan Burdett (1970-73), Keith Cozens (1973-77), Stuart Ruffe (1977-78), Malcolm Fretter (1978-79), Dave Thompson (1979-80), Dave Stemp (1980-2010) and Jason Collison (2010-12).
- First took part in the Witney Cup in season 1967-68.
- Staff outing to Wembley to watch England v Russiain December 1967.
- The knockout cup competition becomes the ‘Carslaw Cup’ in 1967, named after the trophy donor Mr Pat Carslaw
- The Representative team won the Witney Cup in 1969, 1970 and shared it in 1971
- The Association was re-named Vale of White Horse P.S.F.A. following local government reorganisation in 1974.
- Sally Warren, North Hinksey CE Primary School, becomes the first female Chair of the Association in 1976.
- Jack Seymour becomes the first President of the Association.
- Representative Squad take part in the Jersey Festival in 1977 and 1978.
- The Representative team won the Southern Counties Competition for the first time in 1979.
- Representative Squad make their first tour to North Wales at Easter 1979.
- Representative Squad join the Berkshire County League for season 1980-81.
- Dunmore Junior School, Abingdon, were National runners up in E.S.F.A. Individual Schools’ 6 a side Competition in 1985.
- The Representative side won the County League in 1986-1987 for the first time. They have repeated the feat on two occasions since in season 1992-1993 and 2001-2002.
- The Representative Squad are runners up to High Wycombe in the Southern Counties Cup Final in season 1987-88
- Millbrook Junior School, Grove, were National finalists in the E.S.F.A. Individual Schools’ 6 a side Competition in 1987.
- Jim Finch becomes Hon. President in succession to Jack Seymour in 1989.
- Jack Seymour becomes the first non-teacher to be elected as Vice Chairman of the Association in September 1989.
- In 1996 the Representative side were National runners up (to Sutton) in the E.S.F.A. Inter-Association 7 a side competition at Wembley.
- In 1999 the Representative side were joint National winners (with Carlisle) in the E.S.F.A. Inter-Association 7 a side competition at Wembley.
- Dave Stemp started his 25th year as Team Manager of the Representative Squad in September 2004.
8th May 2010 saw Dave Stemp in charge of his 819th and final Vale match. The game itself was the final of the Southern Counties Cup and the Vale finally got their name on the trophy.
Jason Collison took on the role of Vale Team Manager in September 2010 until the end of the 2011-2 season. In his first year he took the Vale to the Finals of the E.S.F.A. Inter-Association 7-a-side competition.
In September 2016 Malcolm Fretter attended his 50th and final AGM. His first AGM was in September 1966, just two weeks after starting his teaching career. He left the meeting having been elected Hon Secretary. After six years he combined the role of Hon. Secretary with that of Hon. Treasurer, a post he held for 44 years. When he took over as Treasurer the financial situation was not as healthy as it is now, as the Association had only 18 pence in petty cash and one postage stamp. Thanks to Malcolm’s guidance the number of competitions the Vale organise for schools has risen from one 11-a-side and one 6-a-side to include an indoor 5-a-side competition, together with innovations such as competitions for small schools and later smallest schools to encourage participation by children no matter what the size of the school they attended. Competitions for girls followed and more recently football festivals for younger children. Not only did Malcolm maintain the Vale’s inter-school competitions, he also dedicated his Saturday mornings to supporting the District Team. Not only did this involve the attending matches, he also carried out all the administrative work needed to successfully run the team. Truly a Vale Legend.