Serial winners Royal Tigers had a real hunger for success

The early years of the Beacon Sunday League were well remembered for one club who dominated big time on the trophy front for a two year period in the mid-eighties, writes Dave McLean.

Beacon Youth
Beacon Youth

Free scoring Royal Tigers ran riot in terms of finding the net, hitting a century of league goals in two successive title winning seasons.

So impressive were the Tigers they created a Beacon record by winning four trophies in one campaign, not just once but two years running!

The Tigers joined the popular afternoon league for the start of the 1986/87 and made an immediate impression, lifting the crown by three points from Dormston FC. Third place Coseley Youth Club also bagged a century of goals that term.

But the 1986/87 season was far from over for Royal Tigers as they reached the final of no fewer than three league cup competitions and proceeded to pull off a knockout treble to add to their title triumph.

Tigers chalked up a cup double over third place Coseley Youth Club (there was only one Beacon division in those days) before completing a dream hat-trick of knockout successes against Wednesfield 86 in the Sawyer Memorial Cup final.

If that was not enough Royal Tigers rampaged again the following season, hitting a century of league goals once more, on the way to retaining the division one crown, along with the same three pieces knockout cup silverware. Inflicting most of the damage was prolific goal scorer Colin Markland.

Although matching their first championship success with just one defeat in 22 league games on the road to glory, Royal Tigers finished a clear eight points ahead of runners-up Tudor Athletic.

On the cup front the celebrations were repeated as they hit Dormston 6-0 in the Lester Cup, and 5-1 in the Sawyer Cup, while holding on to the Beacon Cup with a 4-1 success against Tudor.

Battle 87, pictured in the 1995-96 season, tasted Beacon Cup success in 1997

Wednesfiield 86 emerged winners of the Clinton Perry Cup in 1988 with a narrow 1-0 win over Punjab Sports and the former would go on to end Royal Tigers hopes of a hat trick of successive titles the following season.

Our black and white picture goes back to the early days of the Beacon Sunday league, at the beginning of the eighties, when a representative side took on several under-19 league teams in a Midland knockout competition and friendlies.

The squad was managed by Dudley based schoolteacher Phil Cadman, who ran a team from the now Sir Graham Claughton school in the Beacon league around the same time.

They were runaway division one champions in 1980, from runners up Windsor FC and third place St Chads. In their second term, Claughton had to settle for the runners-up trophy behind unbeaten winners Wobaston.

Battle 87 (pictured 1995-96) were long standing members of the Beacon league, mainly in the nineties, and with a best league placing of fourth in division two in that season, they enjoyed their biggest day at the end of the 1996-97 term.

The team, from the former Battle of Britain pub on the Penn Road, Wolverhampton and managed by ex-league press officer Russ Evers (back row, extreme left), reached the final of the final Beacon Cup and pulled off a dramatic penalty shoot out success over fellow division one rivals and champions Dell Sports.

In a thrilling affair, the finalists were level 2-2 after extra time, before Battle 87 held their nerve to take the glory 3-2 on penalties.

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