Charles Alfred “Charlie” Crickmore was born in Hull during World War Two, joined the Tigers’ ranks as an amateur junior in 1957 and signed his first professional contract in August 1959. A month later the slimly-built winger was handed his debut by manager Bob Brocklebank, though his first four starts for City coincided with a downturn in the club’s form. It wasn’t until the last month of the 1959/60 season when relegation to Division Three was looking inevitable that Crickmore was introduced and he scored his first City goal in the last game of the season against Ipswich.
After starting the opening game of the 1960/61 season alongside several other youngsters including debutant Chris Chilton, the ensuing 4-0 defeat precipitated a change of plan for manager Brocklebank and Charlie did not return to a regular first tea place until mid-February 1961. He started the last 17 matches of the season and finally established himself as a first team regular for his home town club. He scored four goals in the 1960/61 season against Watford, Swindon and Torquay, the latter adding to the goal he had previously scored against the Gulls in an isolated start in December 1960.
Starting the 1961/62 season as a first team fixture, Crickmore started 28 consecutive matches and contributed eight goals to a City team now managed by Cliff Britton, six of which came in the first nine games. While this form clearly impressed Britton, it also drew the attention of Britain to Crickmore’s developing skills. However a Boxing Day injury against Crystal Palace put that interest on pause and by the 1962 Charlie had recovered his fitness and was placed on the transfer list.
In June 1962 Crickmore joined Division Three side Bournemouth for a £3,000 fee and he quickly established himself on the Cherries’ left wing. A injury in November 1962 denied him nearly five months of football but he returned in late March 1963 and scored a brace against Coventry. He was a regular first teamer at Bournemouth for the next three years and had made 142 appearanaces and scored 19 goals for the Dean Court side when he joined Third Division side Gillingham in June 1966. Crickmore found his best form with the Gills, in his first season he scored 10 goals in 45 appearances then added another 7 goals in 18 starts at the start of the 1967/68 season. In November 1967 he joined Second Division club Rotherham United for a generous £20,000 fee but after only two months, eight appearances and one goal he moved again to Second Division rivals Norwich City, the Millers recouping only £15,000 of their outlay.
Charlie served Norwich for just over two years and scored 10 goals in his 64 appearances. In March 1970 he dropped down the league ladder and joined Notts County. In the 1970/71 season Crickmore was an ever-present and scored 12 goals in 51 appearances as the Magpies lifted the Division Four title. This winners’ medal proved a fitting tribute to Crickmore’s career, a broken leg at the start of the 1971/72 season forcing him to hang up his boots in the 1972 close season. His 13 year career saw him make 399 senior appearances and score 74 goals.
Charlie returned to East Yorkshire when he retired from football, settling in Thorngumbald and spending many years working for the Fire Service. He dabbled in local Rugby League for West Hull and was also a football referee for several years – many a Hull Sunday League team performed with uncharacteristic reverence when they learned a former Hull City professional was reffing them that week. On leaving the fire service after 23 years he inspected caravans and taught HGV drivers before spending his later days in a care home in Hessle, which is where he died in October 2018.
Date/Place of Birth: 11 February 1942, Hull
Hull City First Game: 12 September 1959, Bristol City A (Division Two), 17 years, 213 days old
Hull City Final Game: 26 December 1961, Crystal Palace H (Division Three), 19 years, 318 days old
Hull City (1957-1962), Bournemouth (1962-1966), Gillingham (1966-1967), Rotherham United (1967-1968), Norwich City (1968-1970), Notts County (1970-1972)
Hull City Record
Career: 58 apps, 14 goalsCharlie Crickmore