Bromley & Kentish Times - Friday November 11th 1960


MEMBERS of the U.S. Navy, stationed in London, are helping the underdog side in a minor English sport revolution. And if the influence of the revolution's leader, 13-year-old David Jones, of Plaistow Grove, Bromley, is felt, English rugby could be joined by American football.

It all started when David's father, Mr. Heywood Jones, purchased a short-wave radio with evenings of musical relaxation in mind for the family. Once his son David discovered that the U.S. Armed Forces Network in Germany broadcast recorded American football games, the wireless was put to far different use. David would not miss a game.

He wrote to the U.S. Navy's London headquarters recently telling of his passion for football, and asking if someone could send him some magazines about it. He not only received the magazines, but was invited to visit the headquarters to watch football movies. As he watched them, Petty Officers Stan Lucas, captain of the Navy rugby team in London, and Larry Farmer stood by to tell him the finer points and explain rules.

Then, much to his amazement, David was presented with a helmet, set of shoulder pads and a football, all of which had been donated by a local Air Force base.

Lucas and Farmer took David, with equipment on, to Grosvenor Square, and ran him through several plays. His father, who comes from a family of avid rugby enthusiasts, stood by scratching his head, perplexed.

When asked if he might try organising a team, David said he didn't think so becuase equipment was too expensive. He said he plays rugby at school - scrum half-back, a near equivalent to the American football quarter-back position.

It is a safe bet that the people of Bromley may soon be scratching their heads, too, when David introduces "sandlot football" to the youngsters in one of the parks.