top of page

Former Players Stories

Phil Shuttleworth 1972 - 2009

By RMFA Historian Shaun Foster

Phil Shuttleworth Royal Marines

RMFA Referee

WO2 Phil Shuttleworth Royal Marines 1972 - 2009


Phil Shuttleworth was born on Christmas Eve in 1953 in a small village called Wray on the north Lancashire border with Yorkshire close to Hornby (no they don’t make trains there). Education was at the village school until he went to secondary school at Ripley St Thomas in Lancaster some 10 miles away, he represented the School at both Football and the egg chasers game. He Left school at 14 and a half and started work in a local hotel until he decided he would run away from home. Taking only a small suitcase (somewhat similar to the one Johnny Byrne's uses as a lunch box). He left home and hitchhiked all the way to the Isle of Skye which took about three days.

He stayed with a family who once lived in Wray, and soon took up the trade of bricklaying where at the age of seventeen he was laying close to a thousand bricks a day. His parents being severely pissed off would not sign his papers to join up so he decided that he needed a little more adventure, so he signed up on a fishing smack out of Portree, which is what he did until he signed up in 1972. In the recruiting office in Inverness he was asked by a Chief as he walked in the door if he was here to join the Royal Navy, not bloody likely he said as he had constantly been sea sick every day whilst on the trawlers.


Phil joined Deal on the 8th of Feb 1972 and was put into 19 Troop where he and the other members of his troop were beasted for about 8 weeks until they were sent to CTCRM to continue their training. His training team was Bill Godfry, Danny Blatchford, Rabbi Radford, and it was Rabbi who paraded them at Deal and as he inspected them he was asking questions, like name and such, as one guy said his name was Michael, Rabbi took offence and said he did not look like any Michael he knew and said he looked like a “Bruce” and he was called Bruce from that moment on!!

Most of Phil’s training was uneventful and quite enjoyable, he even ended up winning the Commando Medal and towards the end he was made a Diamond, just missing out on being a Kings Badge man.(Their was no Kings Badge man in his Troop)


Phil’s first draft was to 45 Commando be a Mountain Man in the “Penal Battalion” where he stayed until late 1998, except for a year with Naval Party 8901 Falklands detachment 1973 to 74, where he was part of the football team but only against teams like HMS Endurance and John Biscoe and a team of Emperor Penguins (He sure one looked like Tommy Mcphee and another like Mal Fairbrother). He was in the Zulu Company football team with Nadge Tattnell & Dusty Miller but not quite good enough for the Unit Squad, He always seemed to dip out but that was largely due to the fact that he had never been coached, and was clearly not good enough, but nether the less he ran around a lot.


1978 saw a draft to Air Defence Troop at Stonehouse Barracks as one of the founder members, and for about the next ten years he played for HQ + Sigs in most of the Tunney Cups and in the Plymouth league. Dan Richmond, Chunky Phellps, Paddy Kirkpatrick, Mal Fairbrother, Phil Keith, Speedy Beedham, Keith Palmer, Paul Rees, Mac Macintosh, Al Heward, Cliffy & Harry Holding are just some names of a few football characters of that time.

Never having won the Tunney Cup in all the times he has been there, but there was on memorable day when HQ + Sigs were playing RM Poole at Poole in the Tunney Cup in the early eighties and Derek Smith was the ref, he pulled Phil and Shaun “Chalky” Elliot up for tackling each other too hard, both of them had a chuckle, at that one!! 

Poacher turned gamekeeper happened as Phil approached 40 years old and he started slowing down, never being blessed with pace this happened ever so quickly, and he found that he was hacking and clogging his opponents and not really playing the game.

Being a referee has enabled Phil to stay in the game and he know some of you would differ in opinion. It has enabled him to put something back into Corps Football and organising quite a few Tunney Cups on the refs side it has given him great pleasure, and at the end someone has to take charge and make some bold decisions (Bold - that reminds me how is George Kent & Magsy these days), and ensure fair play all-round.

2003 Phil Shuttleworth Royal Marines

2003 Vets Reunion match at HMS Drake, The Globes team.

Back row Angus Hepburn, Al Tweed, George Bolton, Bob Fardoe, Darby Allen, Sammy Spall.
Front row Phil Shuttleworth, Si Taylor, Ricky Miller, Dave Robertson, Paul Dixon, Russ Wilson


One most memorable day was in the 2001 Inter Commands final at HMS Temeraire Portsmouth when he gave a Penalty against the Corps for a foul by me, or was it a dive by Scotland’s Stevie O’Neil that fooled Phil? With about 5 minutes to go and Scotland Command scored to make it 2-2, but in the end the Corps still won 3-2 after extra time thanks to a goal from me, but he is still getting yards of stick about it now.

 Another moment that Phil is not to proud of, is sending off Ian “Pom” Pomeroy in a game as it was the only time in his career as a footballer he had been sent off, but as the last man pulled down a player who was about to score, put his career on the line, and like a man took the punishment, but that was Pom all over a Hoofing player!!


Six knee operations later and in the twilight of his career as a Referee and a Footballer, He would not do anything different, He has lived life to the full and has had some great experiences, which culminated on the RMFA tour to Quantico USA with the boys (what a Run ). Phil would like to thank each and everyone who has played alongside him, shared the highs and lows, He apologises to any one who has ever been tackled by him as he built his game on tackling and was good at it, and he only ever give 100% in any game, either as a referee or a player, and he thanks the Corps for allowing him the pleasure of being amongst such talented people!!

Royal Marines Football 2003 USA

2003 RMFA tour to Quantico USA

Back row L to R Richie Hope, Karl Lockhart, Martin Carlon, Stevie Marr, Phil Shuttleworth, Shaun Foster, Kev Fullalove, Sam Woodin, Dean Jones, Jez Scherrer, Jason Margrett.

Front Row L to R Mick Hart, Scotty Nicholson, Johnny Byrne, Craig Brown, Chris Rowley, Ian Pomeroy, Jase Kilner, Robbie Buglass, Simon Bochenski, Terry Price

Royal Marines football 2003 USA tour

2003 USA tour Phil attempts to coach the yohan cruyff turn to the amazed American children.

 I am sure that 5 seconds after this photo was taken Phil ends up in a heap on the floor.

Phil Shuttleworth has been a great servant and supporter of Corps Football throughout his long and distinguished career. He is one of the many Corps characters that light up the football scene come Tunney cup week and long may he continue to grace us with his presence for many a year to come at the annual vets reunion.

bottom of page