Cleveland Golf Club
Dennis Windross Winter Top Dog
Forem in nostrum Sententia”.
B. 12-May-1939 d. 9-Oct-1989
Professional Footballer, loving Husband, devoted Father
Dennis Windross started his footballing life playing for Blackett Hutton after leaving school and showed great promise, catching the eye of several clubs as a promising junior. It was no great surprise when Middlesbrough came knocking on the door for his services, and it was here that Dennis was to truly show his skills and eye for goal over an incredible 5 years before leaving the club for Brighton & Hove Albion. Dennis was to leave in a straight swap with Bobby Baxter, both players being valued around the £6000 mark.
In 1957/1958 Dennis broke into the Boro’s Reserve team, debuting for the Reserves at home to a resilient South Shields on 30-Nov-1957, Boro running out 4-0 winners and a young Dennis Windross scoring on debut. Boro were second behind South Shields n the North Eastern League that season and before it was over he had scored 11 goals in the league and 5 in the North Riding Cup, scoring 4 against Billingham Synthonia in a 2 – 7 demolition in the quarter finals. Boro won the two-legged final against Workington Reserves 5 – 0 on aggregate and Dennis scored one goal in each leg.
The next season 1958/1959 proved to be a frustrating year as injuries came to the fore and as such Dennis only netted 11 times, but the Boro did win the league and North Riding Cup in a two-legged final against Scarborough.
It was to be the 1959/1960 season when Dennis truly came alive scoring an incredible 43 goals including a staggering 6-hat-tricks, one in 3 minutes against Stockport County Reserves. Dennis twice scoring 4 goals in back-to-back game s against Hartlepool (9 – 2) and Stockport (4 – 0). This season saw him break into the 1st team, when you consider the likes of Clough, Peacock, etc. were banging goals in for fun and playing for England it was little wonder that he only gained four 1st team appearances and 1 goal, before going south in a swap with Bobby Baxter, both players reportedly worth around £6000. Not before banging in another 9 goals, scoring in each of his last 5 games finishing his Boro Career on 12-Nov-1960.The Brighton year was littered with missed chances and moderate success, scoring 4 goals in 25 1st team appearances, and strong family ties persuaded him to return back to his native North East, this time as the leader of the forward line at Darlington. Again mixed appearances, injuries and goals 4 in 21 games forced him to again, look elsewhere. Doncaster Rovers came in with an offer and it was here that Dennis finished his short career after 2 seasons at Left Half, scoring 4 times in 51 1st team appearances.
Once the Football was finally over Dennis, after a decade of pain as a Terylene Spinner in I.C.I found his niche as a Supervisor at the Saltburn Leisure Centre, until his illness got the better of him in 1989.
His career was not dynamic by many people’s standards, but he certainly packed in a lot in the 7 years he played at the top level. I had the pleasure of playing alongside him in the Northern League for a time and he was still a prolific goal scorer until he hung his boots up at 44, after a rib injury forced his eyes open, that the body can only go so far. I watched in awe at times as he scored some of the best goals I have ever seen, one in particular that summed him up perfectly. Playing for Dunsdale Athletic in the Stokesley League Cup Final against our nemesis Guisborough Town. Dad scored the winner in injury time, stooping low between defenders to power a header into the top corner of the net from beyond the penalty spot. He took a boot in the face for his goal and got up as if it was nothing, blood streaming from his nose. What do you think he said to me? “Make sure you don’t tell your Mum, Son”!
He was one of the best Squash players I have ever seen beating Men half his age in the squash courts at the Leisure Centre.
An avid golfer (we often had some fierce battles on the links at Cleveland I can tell you, both of us being massively competitive – I still am!). Possibly his proudest moment came when he beat a young Andy Gray in the Mackay Scratch, down the last 1 Up, one of his best rounds ever shooting 2 under par Gross off an 8 handicap. Although, I have a card from Cleveland in 1987, when I shot a 65 Gross off the old course White Tees and lost on the last, as he chipped in for birdie from off the back of the old 18th green! Old members will remember how much that green used to slope! – Old Bugger! “She’s there”! he shouted!
His love of the club was always evident and his competitiveness in the event named after him playing with Jack May (Winners on 3 occasions) was testament to that, always shouting his catch phrase to Jack, whenever he holed a putt….”She’s There”! I got sick of hearing that after a while.
To sum up, he was much loved, always missed and respected by everyone he knew. I hope the same can be said of me when I pass on!
Thanks to all that look after this event year after year (you know who you are), you do a fabulous job and to Frank in editing the site
‘Dennis Windross Top Dog’ - Competition History - To Day
The ‘Winter Top Dog Competition’
The aforementioned Competition was run on a totally different format to the existing one i.e. Teams who entered were drawn and placed into Leagues of 5/6 teams. They would play each other on a ‘Matchplay’ basis with the top team of each League qualifying for the Knock Out stage. This format had its built in problems insofar as if you had lost your first two games there was no way of qualifying, so the enthusiasm to get out of bed on a cold, wet , windy Sunday morning was limited. In addition , matches then were scored on a ‘Holes won’ basis, so matches hard fought resulting in a one hole victory were rendered ridiculous by a team not turning up and the match being claimed 18-0. The format had to be changed!!
The ‘Dennis Windross Top Dog Competition’.
The new format was decide upon after much discussion (and beer consumed) amongst the ‘Bar Flies’ and is basically the format presently in operation. It has been amended slightly since its inception.
The best 6 cards (previously 4) encourages participants to play more games.
The ‘Match Play’ format for the Top 16 teams will change this year with a 3/4 difference in handicap being taken from the lowest handicapped player.
Otherwise the format remains that decided upon 20years ago… ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’.
By common consensus, this competition is now regarded as one of the most popular in the Clubs annual calendar with approximately 45 teams participating.
Let us keep it that way.
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