Unbeatable Brown Cow Tug ‘o’ War team

The picture below is taken on the steps of The Brown Cow in Ashby in 1966 and features a ‘unbeatable’ tug o war team.

Left to right, from the back, Martin Gillard, Martin Henry, John O'Shea, Shaun Henry, Tommy Butler. Front, Jim Beasley (player coach), Ted Greenslade (landlord), Martin O'Sullivan, Seamus Henry & Paddy Salmon.

Left to right, from the back, Martin Gillard, Martin Henry, John O’Shea, Shaun Henry, Tommy Butler. Front, Jim Beasley (player coach), Ted Greenslade (landlord), Martin O’Sullivan, Seamus Henry & Paddy Salmon.

The eight-strong team are featured with Brown Cow landlord Ted Greenslade who’s standing to the left of Martin O’Sullivan who is holding a cup.

Martin O’Sullivan originated from Ballyduff in County Kerry, Ireland and came to England in the 1950s where he lived for most of his life on Angerstein Road. He worked as a steel erector, wherever his work took him around the country, which included working at the Anchor steelworks. 

A report at the time read, “Eight special customers of the Brown Cow are gaining fame as a tug o war team. The team showed their form over the Whitsun holidays, when they won the Gaelic Sports Trophy at Nottingham in the face of competition from all over the country and went on to retain the Parkinson Cup at Brigg.”

It continued, “News that the champions who are coached by Ashby man, Jim Beasley (front left), were putting in extra training for the coming St John’s Ambulance carnival in Scunthorpe came as such a shock to their less experienced opponents, that it’s understood that the Brown Cow men will be asked to give a demonstration instead.”

“They have issued a challenge to any team, local or otherwise for friendly matches, but judging by their happy expressions as Captain Martin O’Sullivan proudly displays one of their trophies on the picture, there will be few takers.”

The cup being held by the captain is believed to be the Coronation Cup.

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One thought on “Unbeatable Brown Cow Tug ‘o’ War team

  1. I seem to remember the Scunthorpe Police team did you a couple of times at local fairs. They used to train just round the corner at the club.

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