Recalling the Bulwell brothers who played for Nottingham Forest, Norwich and Marseille

Mick and Phil Jennings take a walk down memory lane when their ancestors, Bill and Sam Jennings were top flight footballers.

Mick and Phil Jennings take a walk down memory lane when their ancestors, Bill and Sam Jennings were top flight footballers.

0
Have your say

Phil Jennings is on a mission to find the final pieces of a great family sporting jigsaw.

His great-uncles Bill and Sam Jennings represented teams such as Marseille, Nottingham Forest and Norwich City during the mid-1900s.

Now, Phil wants to tell their story in the hopes of producing a book on the brothers.

The pair grew up in the mining background of Bulwell, just outside Nottingham.

Phil’s fascination with the brothers stems from their exploits as footballers - after coming from humble roots.

Phil said: “It all started when I was building a family tree.

“Me and my dad looked through all the stats in their games and we have since then been building it together.

“I hope, in a way, it can bring them back to life.

“They grew up in a mining industry.

“There was no cars at that time so they must have travelled on horse and cart I imagine.”

Sam, a prolific centre-forward, and Bill, a no-nonsense centre-half, played together at Norwich City.

Their career paths varied with Sam, eight years Bill’s junior, going on to play for Marseille, Brighton and Nottingham Forest.

He eventually went into management, bossing Irish side Glentoran and then Rochdale.

Bill opted for a move south, to Luton, before heading to Canada to finish his career.

Phil said: “I got in touch with all the clubs they played for and contacted their respective historians.

“It’s took years to do but I do it because I’m interested in football.

“It was a no-brainer not to have done it.

“Sam’s scoring record is prolific.

“I know they played at Norwich before Bill moved on to Merthyr Town in Wales, before becoming captain at Luton.

“He then moved to a club in Winnipeg, Canada.”

Sam died relatively young, aged 45, while Bill passed away at the age of 62.

Phil is now searching for more information and images on the pair, in the hope of one day constructing a book on the two.

He added: “It has been absolutely fantastic but never-ending as you can imagine.

“I’m always getting information, all the time.”