Keep calm and muddle through
Abbey United carried on throughout the Second World War, as Andrew Bennett's comprehensive record shows.
While Abbey United were losing at Histon on May Day 1939, Adolf Hitler was making a speech in which he claimed: ‘I am a lover of peace.’ Britain declared war on Germany on 3 September 1939, and the Government decreed: ‘Sports gatherings and all gatherings for purposes of entertainment and amusement, whether outdoor or indoor which involve large numbers congregating together, are prohibited until further notice.’
That stance soon softened, and an ad hoc series of leagues and cups developed, regionalised due to petrol rationing. The turnover of players was rapid as men joined up and moved around with their units, and many famous names appeared as guests for clubs and services teams: Dixie Dean and Alex James were just two of the stars who appeared on Abbey United’s humble turf during the war years.
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