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Monday, 29 April, 2002, 16:56 GMT 17:56 UK
More than a feeling for Boston
Part-time in Boston, but not a tea-cup in sight
Party-time in Boston - but no tea in sight
test hello test
By John May
BBC Sport Online

Boston's elevation to the Football League is 23 years overdue.

The Lincolnshire club have long been considered a non-league force, and missed out in 1978.

Boston won the Northern Premier League, but their ground was not up to standard and second-placed Wigan were given the berth in the League's bottom rung.

But now Boston is firmly on the football map, and rightly so for a town whose past citizens have put the town's mark all over the globe.

Here is the essential guide to everything you need to know about Boston.

Isn't there a more famous Boston in America?

There IS a Boston in the States, but it is not the original one.

The original Boston is a market town of 60,000 in south-east Lincolnshire.

Jim Smith cut his managerial teeth at Boston United
Jim Smith cut his managerial teeth at Boston

It was a major port during the Middle Ages and once England's fourth most important town.

The main industry of the area is agriculture and its most famous landmark is the Boston Stump, the tower of St Botolph's church, the largest parish church in England.

So the English Boston came first?

It certainly did, and gave its name to the home of the Red Sox.

South-east Lincolnshire area was a hotbed of Puritanism in the 17th century and religious persecution forced them to seek a new life in the recently-founded Massachusetts colony.

An influential group known as The Boston Men set up a new town, and not surprisingly, called it after their old home in England.

Who else has put Boston on the map?

Lots of people, especially Down Under.

George Bass sailed round Tasmania and proved it was an island. The strait between Tasmania and Australia is named after him.

Matthew Flinders - surveyed the Great Barrier Reef, and gave his name to the Flinders Range of mountains in Australia.

Joseph Banks - world-famous botanist who sailed with Captain Cook on the Endeavour, named Botany Bay for the large number of species he found there.

And Sir John Franklin was the notorious governor of the Van Dieman's Land penal colony.

Any other famous Bostonians?

There's Arthur Lucan. Born Arthur Towle, he is better known as music-hall turn Old Mother Riley.

What about football?

Boston has been a stepping stone for a couple of famous managerial figures.

Jim Smith took over as player-manager in 1969.

He served four years as manger, during which time his team never finished outside the top four of the Northern Premier League.

Boston's 51-match unbeaten run in 1969-70 is a British professional record.

The Bald Eagle went on to manager Birmingham City, Newcastle, Portsmouth and Derby County, among others.

Anyone else?

Howard Wilkinson became player-coach on Smith's departure, taking over the managerial reins full-time between 1975-77.

He went on to become manage Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds United before becoming the FA's Technical Director.

What about famous players?

Boston has tended to be a stopping-off point for players in the twilight of their career.

The Red Sox are the favourite team in the other Boston
No Sox please, we're English

Asa Hartford, Kevin Hector, Mel Sterland have all played for Boston.

Football's most famous smoker, former Blackburn striker Simon Garner, was born in Boston, but never played for his home town club.

Who was Ralph Boston?

He was an American long-jumper, gold medallist at the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome.

And the Boston Crab?

A wrestling hold, much favoured by Mick McManus, Les Kellett and Jackie 'Mr TV' Pallo.

So the Boston Strangler never had anything to do with Boston, England?

No, but Jim Smith has been known to throw crockery around dressing-rooms and decorate the walls with tea.

So it's right to pay tribute from another Boston institution?

Yes. Cheers!

BBC Sport's Steve Houghton
"Boston join the ranks of the the Football League"
Boston boss Steve Evans
"It's been a mountain of a season"
See also:

28 Apr 02 |  Eng Conf
Boston seal promotion
29 Apr 02 |  Brighton
Taylor quits Brighton
29 Apr 02 |  Preston
Brown poised for Preston job
Links to more Boston United stories are at the foot of the page.


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