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The reality of living and growing up in Middlesbrough in the 1930s was somewhat different – and a little brighter – than their stark assessments. But what was undoubtedly true was that in those days the range of career options open to young working-class men like Revie and Clough were severely limited. There used to be a saying in the North-East, almost certainly invented around then, that if you whistled down a pit, up would pop a fast bowler. In the footballing world, substitute bowler for centre-half or centre-forward and the same aphorism would apply.

M. There was no point in me waiting around moodily at home. m. I stayed in the school yard, kicking my ball against the school wall. In the dull, grey mornings of winter, flicking that ball against the wall helped to pass the time.  . I didn’t miss my mother so much. At home in Bell Street, Revie had no shortage of willing boys – and girls – to help him practise his skills. George Tinsley, at No. 44, provided the first decent football for the youngsters to kick about. ’ Kathleen Stevens at No. 36 remembers: ‘He was up to mischief, like most boys were, and spent a lot of time kicking a football around at the front of the house.

At the end of Ayresome Street, you’ll quickly cross a pedestrian bridge over the busy Newport Street, a feeder road for the A66 Middlesbrough bypass, before rejoining Ayresome Green Lane. You’ll see Archibald Primary School on your left, where the young Revie was a pupil, and then it’s just a few yards before you turn right into Bell Street. Although hemmed in by those two busy roads at the back and front, Bell Street these days has the appearance of being a tranquil little cul-de-sac. Unlike Clough’s house in Valley Road, there’s no plaque on the wall at No.

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