The Johnson Jets, in one guise or another have had a long association with Tinsley Green. The Dr Samuel Johnson was one of the first New Town pubs and is situated in Langley Green. The first time the team played at Tinsley Green was in 1958 and they practiced on a ring that had been special built in the pub garden.That first year in their first game they beat the Casuals who had won in 1956, but it was not until 1965 that they first made it to the finals. Despite their 25 – 8 semi final victory over the Jets the Terribles had four of their six player killed in the game. These first incarnations of the team reached the final on no less than seven occasions, but were always runners-up.
The 1969 final proved the most exciting for years, the Jets took an early lead, the Terribles rallied making it 10 all Alan Smith then scored 13 putting the Terribles well in front, Haydn Williams retaliated for the Jets with a break of 10. But the Terribles added another two, which gave them their thirteenth title.
In 1971 Len Smith beat Frank Butler from the Jets to win the individuals title.
After the split in 1977 there were various teams from the Dr Johnson who played in the championships, under such names as the ‘Johnson Scuttles’ ‘DJ Tries’ until finally back to the Johnson Jets. This was a continuation of the old team with both Les Rogers and Derek Jurgens playing again. It was not until 2001 that the reformed team managed to win the championship, although they were runner-ups on no less than seven times.
The new Johnson Jets 2001 l to r Graham Smith Trevor Baker
Les Rogers, Donny, Paul Smith and Mark Parsons