Canvey Police Had Winning Ways

Canvey News and Benfleet Recorder 1971

Canvey Police 7, Benfleet Police 3

Smiling faces as Canvey Police get the cup

Canvey police demonstrated their winning ways on Monday when they heavily defeated their Benfleet opponents in a well-fought match.

Playing at Park Lane, Can­vey took an early lead which was soon equalled by the visi­tors. Undaunted Canvey went into the lead again only for Benfleet to equalise before half-time.

But, after the change of ends it was all Canvey and they notched a further five with only one reply.

Canvey played an open, storming type of soccer which Benfleet did well to contain for the first period.

In the second half Canvey’s tactics were seen to their full advantage and the visitors were able to do very little against them.

Benfleet Police in a goal-mouth line-up

Schemer-in-Chief was Neil Seymour for the Island and he confidently ran up a tally of five. Canvey’s captain, Alan Rusbridge, who played a leading part in some of the goals, netted one. The other, an own goal, was due to Benfleet’s love of passing back to their keeper. I could see this coming unstuck a mile off — and it did.

Not a punch-up, just the preliminarie to the ball being cleared off the Benfleet line

Both keepers played ex­tremely well and were often called on to bring off ex­cellent saves. Although both teams can have little opportunity of playing together on the pitch they blended extemely well.

The visiting side looked the heavier of the two but this proved not to be an advantage against a speedier opposition whose deft footwork delighted the spectators, among whom was the assistant Chief Con­stable of Essex.

Neil Seymour (left) scores

The match had resulted after a challenge issued by Chief In­spector Bruce Irwin and a trophy had been given by Keith Willis of Canvey Stamp Centre.

It is hoped to make the game an annual event.

There is also a possibility of two police cricket teams meeting.

Comments about this page

  • Hi
    In the first picture is my grandfather Norman William Embley. Or as he was know PC Bill Embley 271. He was stationed on canvey for some time and lived there with my grandmother Maud in the police house. In the first picture he is standing 2nd in from the right at the back.
    The chap holding the cup on the left is PC Gus Rushbridge.
    I have another picture of the team I can share.
    Would love to hear from anyone who knew him or who has photos of him.
    Thanks Will

    By William Williams (23/11/2021)
  • Thanks for the info William. Please upload your photo or email it in to us at

    By Janet Penn (23/11/2021)
  • Hi Will,
    Your Grandad was one of the many coppers of that era who used to come into our baker for a cuppa and something to eat and often when they were riding bikes on cold winter nights the opportunity to get close to the side of an oven and have a quick snooze. What I recall most about Bill was almost as soon as he came in out would come the harmonica and often still wearing his cycling cloak he would do a jig on the tiled floor of the pastry cooks dept! As he was such a big bloke this was certainly a sight to see!
    On one particular occasion when they had the little mini-vans they had just stopped a couple of lads on the corner of Baardwyck Ave Bill was in full harmonica/ dance mode and the lads came up to the pastry cook’s window to buy something to eat. Even bigger laughs!
    Talking about the vans, probably to avenge the mouth-organ playing I was told by one of the younger coppers that when they had Bill on board,(he was I think suffering from a stomach ulcer at the time) and much to his discomfort they’d take him for a nice trip over the awful holes and ruts of 60 acres clinker roads. Graham Stevens.

    By Graham (24/11/2021)
  • In the late 60s my first bungalow was at the bottom of Atherstone Rd amongst the other police houses so quite a few of the faces I recognise but can’t put a name to. However two I am sure of: standing 2nd left is my then good mate Fred Nichols who used to live opposite and kneeling on the right is Tony Belford who later became a Detective Inspector.

    By Graham (24/11/2021)
  • Sorry Tony Belford is on the left!

    By Graham (24/11/2021)
  • When i was stationed at Canvey from 1966 to 1968, Bill Embley and I were on the same shift. I remember we had a Mini Panda and you can imagine Bill trying to get into the driving seat. I think he was over 6 feet tall.

    By Ian James Steele (10/09/2022)

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