A to Z (Abrahams - Currie)
Other clubs: Aughton Wanderers
Alfred signed amateur forms in August 1921 having previously played as an inside forward for Aughton Wanderers in the Zingari League. He never played a first team game for the club.
DOB: 24th June 1894
DIED: 12th February 1929
Other clubs: Fleetwood FC, Lytham FC
Height and weight: 6 ft., 12 st
Haughton, who was born in Todmorden, was a goalkeeper who arrived at Springfield Park from Lancashire Combination outfit Fleetwood FC in 1921. He made just five League appearances for Boro, making his debut on 29th March 1922 against Darlington at Springfield Park. The game resulted in a 3-3 draw. He also played once in the Lancashire Senior Cup on 21st September 1921, a 2-2 draw against Stockport County at Springfield Park. There are no records linking him to any other League club. For most of his time at the club he fought a losing battle for the number one jersey with former Everton and Oldham Athletic goalkeeper William Bromilow.
However, Haughton does have the distinction of being the first goalkeeper to play for Boro in their first ever game at Springfield Park as a Football League club. The game was against Woolwich Arsenal on 4th May 1921. The friendly game finished 2-1 in Boro’s favour.
DOB: 20th October 1889
DIED: 24th June 1972
Other clubs: Wadsley Bridge, Sheffield Forge and Rolling Mills, Walkley Amateurs, Sheffield Wednesday, Leeds United, Stoke City, Rhyl Athletic, Port Vale
Honours: Division Three North winner 1927 (Stoke City)
Height and weight: 5 ft. 8 ins, 11 st
Sheffield born Len was a fantastic centre forward. He played for Sheffield Boys as a youngster and was the proud owner of an ESFA Shield winner’s medal. He started his career playing for three local clubs and he was signed by Sheffield Wednesday on 1st January 1914. He made just 3 League appearances for the Owls without scoring during. He stayed at Hillsborough until 1st August 1920 when he joined Leeds United. Len actually scored Leeds’ first ever Football League goal against South Shields although United lost the game 1-2. In total he made 48 League appearances and scored 11 goals during his time at Elland Road.
On 1st June 1923 he arrived at Springfield Park and he scored 21 goals in just 28 League appearances before leaving to join Stoke City on 1st March 1924. His League debut for Boro came on 25th August 1923 against Doncaster Rovers at Belle Vue. He scored twice in his next game, his home debut against Rochdale that resulted in a 3-0 victory. He also played once in the Lancashire Senior and Manchester Senior Cups and he played 3 FA Cup games for the club scoring once.
It was whilst at the Victoria Ground that he toured South Africa with the FA. In total he played 194 League games for the Potters and scored 19 goals in the process. It was also whilst with the Potters that he won his first major honour in the game when the club won the Division Three North winners trophy in 1927.
Len’s brother Tom was also a very promising footballer who signed for Sheffield Wednesday, Len’s former club, on leaving the Royal Navy at the end of World War One. On Christmas Day 1923, while Len was trying to help Boro avoid a 3-0 defeat against Walsall at Fellows Park, Tom was playing for Sheffield Wednesday against Rotherham Town.
After approximately quarter of an hour of the match had elapsed, Tom took a thundering shot at the Town goal, but the ball rebounded off the post wickedly and struck him savagely in the kidneys region. In those days before substitutions he bravely (or stupidly) played on until the end of the first half although he was in some considerable pain. In the dressing room at half time the decision was made to send him straight to hospital.
He died five days later aged just 26. Len, as stated previously, left Springfield Park shortly afterwards and after playing for Rhyl Athletic and Port Vale (where he was converted into a defender, but still managed to score twice in 11 League appearances) he retired as a player. He died in his home town in the spring of 1972 aged 72.
Billy, who was comfortable playing at either inside left or centre forward played for Boro in 1921 and he didn’t score in the 2 League games that he played for the club. Local born, he played as an amateur for both Belle Green Mission and Ince Labour Club before arriving at Springfield Park.
He made his League debut on 4th March 1922 against Darlington at Feethams in a game that resulted in a 3-0 defeat. His only other League game came eight days later and was a home game against Chesterfield that Boro also lost 1-2. He did play a further game for the club in the Manchester Senior Cup, a second round game against Stockport County that also resulted in defeat. His next port of call was Burscough Rangers and there are no records of him playing for another League club.
A player who signed amateur forms at the club in August 1923 without ever progressing on to the first team.
BALL, J Edward
Other clubs: Skelmersdale Mission
Height and weight: 5 ft. 8 ½ ins, 11 st 6 lbs.
Edward was signed by Herbert Bamlett in August 1921 from Skelmersdale Mission. He was reported locally as being a decent centre forward, but he failed to make the grade at Springfield Park.
BAMFORTH, Geoffrey C
DIED: 28th February 1985
Other clubs: Fariol College (Birmingham), Skelmersdale United
Geoffrey, a right half born in Swindon, arrived at Springfield Park from Fariol College in August 1921 and he played just 1 League game for the club without scoring. This occurred on 3rd September 1921 and the occasion was Boro’s first ever home game in the Football League. Sadly Nelson ran out 4-1 victors on the day. He also played once for Boro in the Lancashire Senior Cup which was a second round, second replay against Stockport County that resulted in a 1-0 defeat.
On Saturday 12th November 2005, I received an e-mail about Geoffrey from his nephew and I have reproduced it below…
Cruising the web and I came across my uncle in your list of Wigan Borough players (first published on 'YOTAC' in 1996).
To give you a bit more information,
Geoffrey Charles Bamforth was born in Swindon, near Wolverhampton (not Swindon Wiltshire). His father was from an Upholland family but had studied at Saltley College in Birmingham and married a local girl when he took his first teaching job in Swindon. When Geoffrey was still an infant the family moved back up to Upholland. Geoff also studied at Saltley College and became a school teacher in Upholland. He did only play the one game for Wigan, and never played for any other League team. In later life he was a village Councillor and a JP.
Barlow whose playing position was at inside left, failed to play a first team for Boro after signing on as an amateur in the summer of 1925.
DIED: October 1941
Other clubs, Altrincham, Macclesfield Town, Glossop, Bolton Wanderers, Cardiff City, Stockport County (wartime guest), Manchester United (wartime guest) Cardiff City (wartime guest), Rochdale (wartime guest), Aberdare, Fordson’s AFC.
Albert was born in Altrincham and started his career with his hometown club in 1909. He was transferred from the Moss Lane outfit to their bitter rivals, Macclesfield Town, three years later and after just one season at the Moss Rose he was on his way again, this time to Glossop for the start of season 1913/14.
He made 22 league appearances and scored twice whilst with the Silk Street based club (who are now known as Glossop North End), before signing for Southern League outfit Cardiff City for whom he netted six times in 16 League appearances. During World War One he guested for Stockport County, Manchester United and Rochdale before resuming his career at Ninian Park after the hostilities, making a further 23 Southern League appearances without scoring.
In season 1920/21 Cardiff City played their first season in the Football League and Albert played in 11 of them, scoring once. His next port of call was Aberdare for whom he played 22 times, scoring 5 goals in season 1924/25. It was after a season at Fordson’s that he arrived at Springfield Park, by now playing in the inside left position. He made just 3 League appearances for Boro without scoring, the first of which was at the Tower Athletic Grounds against New Brighton which resulted in a 3-1 defeat on 18th September 1926, before returning to Altrincham.
DIED: 1st February 1963
Other clubs: Hindley Central, Stalybridge Celtic, Burscough Rangers, Wigan United
Height and weight: 5ft 9 ins, 11st 6 lbs.
Hindley born Harry played for Boro as a left half for 7 League games without scoring. There are no records of him ever playing for another Football League team. His League debut arrived on 26th November 1921 against Stalybridge Celtic in a 0-0 at Bower Fold. Harry also played in both the Lancashire Senior Cup and the Manchester Senior Cup on one occasion for Boro without scoring.
He also has the distinction of playing in Boro’s first ever game at Springfield Park as a League club. He was in the side that beat Woolwich Arsenal 2-1 in a friendly game on 4th May 1921.
DOB: 15th November 1901
Other clubs: Wigan United, Bradford City, Hamilton Academicals, Atherton, Runcorn, Winsford United, Nottingham Forest, Ollerton Colliery
Height and weight: 5 ft. 8 ½ ins, 11st 3 lbs.
Jimmy was born in Lower Ince and he commenced his career as a left back at Boro’s predecessors Wigan United. He played for United in their first ever Lancashire Combination game against South Liverpool at Springfield Park on 28th August 1920. He then plied his trade with Bradford City during season 1920/21 and failed to score in his 2 appearances at Valley Parade. His career looked like it wouldn’t ‘take off’ in England and so he moved north of the border to Hamilton Academicals.
However, it wasn’t long before he was back in Wigan, this time in the colours of Boro in the summer of 1925. His League debut arrived on 31st August 1925 against Coventry City at Springfield Park in a game that was won by a convincing 5-1 margin. He made 71 League appearances, scoring once in the process; he also played once in the Lancashire Senior Cup, made 5 appearances in the Manchester Senior Cup and 6 appearances in the FA Cup without scoring, before signing for Winsford United in the summer of 1927. He then signed for Nottingham Forest and was at the City Ground from 1929 until 1936, during which time he made 211 League appearances and scored once.
DOB: 28th August 1905
DIED: June 2000
Other clubs: Station Road Athletic
Goalkeeper William was on Boro’s books in 1927. Billinge born, he made 5 League appearances whilst at Springfield Park. He made his Boro League debut on18th February 1928 against Crewe Alexandra at Springfield Park with Boro running out 2-1 winners. He also played once for Boro in the Manchester Senior Cup.
DOB: 10th April 1891
DIED: 13th September 1968
Other clubs: Albion FC, Cammell Laird, Barnsley, Aston Villa, Manchester United, Watford, Hartlepools United, Rhyl Athletic
Honours: ENGLAND (1 cap),
FA Cup winner 1921 (Aston Villa)
Height and weight: 5ft 11½ ins, 12 st 8lbs
Frank is undoubtedly the most famous (or should that be infamous!) player ever to pull on a Boro jersey. He was born in Grimesthorpe and played at half back for most of his career. After playing schoolboy football his first club was Albion FC and he quickly progressed to Cammell Laird’s first eleven before being snapped up by Barnsley in July 1919. In his nine year stint at Oakwell he made 91 League appearances without scoring before joining Aston Villa in October 1919.
Without doubt his proudest moment in football occurred whilst with the Villans. On 4thApril 1920 Frank was a member of the Villa team that won the FA Cup Final at Stamford Bridge. They beat Huddersfield Town 1-0 and legend has it that Frank was paid a visit by the referee, Jack Howcroft, just prior to kick off and warned as to his conduct on the pitch. He was clearly in danger of being the first man sent off in a FA Cup Final and his performance that day was reported as being ‘particularly subdued’.
His winner’s medal, which was made of 15 carat gold, was sold at auction on Tuesday 23rd November 2004.
In total he made 92 League appearances and scored 10 goals for the Villans, before a move to Manchester United in August 1922. His stay at Old Trafford lasted almost six years and in his 140 League appearances for the Red Devils he netted 4 times. Again legend and folklore has it that Frank signed for United for a fee of £5,000 and the promise of his own public house if the Red Devils gained promotion within three years. They were, and the story goes that when Frank opened the doors of his new pub he was swamped in the rush of people to get in, and he decided then and there that running a pub was not the life for him!
His next port of call was Watford for whom he signed in May 1928. He stayed at Vicarage Road for exactly one year during which time he made 10 League appearances and scored once. In May 1929 he accepted the post of player coach at Hartlepools United; he made 9 League appearances and scored twice for ‘Pool, before signing professional forms at Boro in July 1930.
At the time the club was really struggling and it was rare indeed that anybody was taken on in a professional capacity. He made his Boro League debut on the opening day of season 1930/31 against Darlington at the Feethams on 30th August 1930, a game that resulted in a 3-2 victory. He made 19 League appearances and never scored. He also appeared in 1 FA Cup game without scoring during his time at Springfield Park, after which he drifted into Non League football with Rhyl.
Incidentally, his England appearance came about whilst a Villa player on 15th March 1921 The game itself was a Home Championship encounter against Wales at Highbury which resulted in a 1-2 defeat.
DOB: 13th March 1904
DIED: May 1987
Other clubs: Upholland YMCA, Burscough Rangers, Upholland
Height and weight: 5 ft. 7 ins, 11 st 8 lbs.
Right half John was born in Upholland and he arrived at Springfield Park from the local YMCA at the age of 22 years old. He made just 1 League appearance, a 0-4 defeat against York City at Bootham Crescent on 28th December 1929. He moved on to Non League football with Burscough Rangers.
Other clubs: Blackburn Trinity, Burnley, Blackburn Rovers, Dundee Hibs, Bridgend Town
Height and weight: 5ft 8 ½ ins, 11 st
Rishton born Joseph assured himself a place in Boro folklore when he played at right back, aged 24 years old, in their first ever Football League game against Nelson away from home on 27th August 1921, a game that resulted in a 2-1 victory. He arrived at Springfield Park from Blackburn Rovers, for whom he made 8 League appearances without scoring.
During his time at Boro, which was ruined by injury, he made 9 League appearances without scoring. He also played twice for Boro in the Lancashire Senior Cup and once in the Manchester Senior Cup without hitting the net. He left Springfield Park to move north of the border with Dundee Hibs and his last known club was Bridgend Town for whom he signed in August 1924.
DOB: 9th February 1899
DIED: 22nd January 1966
Other clubs: Stormy Albion (Skelmersdale), Westhead Juniors, Orrell Discharged Sailors and Soldiers, Southport, Chester, Ashton National, Skelmersdale United, Rochdale
James was born in Lathom and started his Football League career at Southport after making a name for himself as a talented left half in various local amateur teams. Whilst at Haig Avenue he made 109 League appearances and scored 50 goals for the Sandgrounders. After a brief spall at Chester, he then drifted into Non-League football with Ashton National and Skelmersdale United, thinking his chances of playing League football again were over.
That is until signing for Boro in the summer of 1930. His League debut for Boro came on the opening day of season 1930/31 against Darlington which resulted in a 3-2 win at the Feethams on 30th August 1930. He made 41 League appearances and netted once, he also played once without scoring in the Lancashire Senior Cup, the Manchester Senior Cup and the FA Cup, before being offloaded to Rochdale to help ease the club’s dire financial situation in the summer of 1931. His Spotland career encompassed 12 League games and 1 goal.
BIRCHALL, J H
Amateur centre forward who signed for Boro in the summer of 1925. He failed to make the grade at Springfield Park.
DOB: 16th November 1901
DIED: 20th July 1977
Other clubs: Lazenby AFC, Middlesbrough, Eston United
Height and weight: 5 ft. 10 ins, 11st 8 lbs.
Eston born, Ronnie arrived at Springfield Park in 1925 from Middlesbrough after failing to make their first team squad. He played in the right half berth and he notched up 13 League appearances for Boro without scoring. He made his League debut for the club on the opening day of season 1925/26 which was a 3-3 draw with Ashington at Portland Park on 29th August 1925. There are no records available that suggest he played for any other Football League club.
DOB: 29th March 1898
DIED: 5th November 1961
Other clubs: Newmains Juniors, Lincoln City, Grimsby Town, Armadale, Kettering Town
Height and weight: 5 ft. 6 ins, 10 st 5lbs
John was born in Hamilton and had played amateur football with Newmains Juniors before signing for Lincoln City in 1921.
It was from the Imps that he signed for Boro two years later, but he was to make just a single League appearance without scoring, against Hartlepools in a 0-0 draw at Victoria Park on 29th September 1923, before being transferred to Grimsby Town at the start of season 1923/24. He made just 4 League appearances for the Mariners before he drifted into non league football with Armadale, Kettering Town and finally Armadale again in 1926.
DOB: 23rd April 1897
DIED: January 1972
Other clubs: Grimsby Town (wartime guest), Manchester City, Chesterfield, Crewe Alexandra, Colwyn Bay United, Ashton National
Height and weight: 5 ft. 9 ½ ins, 11st 6 lbs.
Right half Jimmy was born in Clayton and started his career at Manchester City in 1922. Unfortunately he failed to break into the first team and he joined Chesterfield the following year completing 8 League games for the Spireites without scoring.
Springfield Park was his next port of call, signing for the club aged 24 years old in the summer of 1924. He made 3 League appearances, scoring once, the first of which was a 2-1 win over Halifax Town at the Shay on 11th April 1925, before moving on to Crewe Alexandra in 1925. After making 10 League appearances without scoring he drifted into Non League football firstly with Colwyn Bay United and then Skelmersdale United.
Other clubs: Urmston United
Height and weight: 5 ft. 8 ins, 11 st 10 lbs.
Bradley signed amateur forms for Boro in the summer of 1929. The 22 years old who could play at outside left or outside right, was acquired from Manchester Amateur League outfit Urmston United. He failed to play a first team game during his spell at Springfield Park.
BRANDON, William Thomas
DOB: 28th May 1893
DIED: 1st May 1956
Other clubs: Blackburn Rovers, Rossendale United, South Liverpool, West Ham United, Blackburn Rovers (wartime guest), Linfield (wartime guest), Bristol Rovers, Hull City, Bradford Park Avenue, Bootle Borough
Height and weight: 5 ft. 10 ins, 12 st 6 lbs.
Tommy, who was born in Blackburn was an accomplished defender and he could operate in the left back and right back roles as well as anywhere along the middle of the back line. He started his career in 1909 at his home town club, Blackburn Rovers. However, he failed to make the first team and drifted into Non League football with quite a few clubs, the most notable of them being West Ham United. He did eventually break into League football when he signed for Hull City for the 1919/20 season.
His time at Boothferry Park yielded 3 goals in 56 League appearances before he left to join Bradford Park Avenue. He spent almost three seasons there during which time he made 85 appearances without finding the net. He then arrived at Springfield Park and in 1925 he made 8 League appearances without scoring, the first of which was an opening day 3-3 draw against Ashington at Portland Park on 29th August 1925, He also appeared in 1 FA Cup game for Boro, who were Tommy’s last League club.
BRODIE, George W
DOB: 17th December 1898
Other clubs: Douglas Wanderers, Castle Douglas, Preston North End, Fleetwood, Notts County, Darlington, Queen of the South.
Height and weight: 6 ft., 6 ½ ins, 11 st
Inside left, George was born in Castle Douglas and he was in the first ever Boro Football League team on 27th August 1921 at Seedhill against Nelson, a game that resulted in a 2-1 victory. His career at Springfield Park consisted of 14 League appearances and four goals. He also scored once in 5 Lancashire Senior Cup games and failed to score in his single Manchester Senior Cup game for the club.
He originally arrived in England having signed for Preston North End from Douglas Wanderers in 1919. After leaving Deepdale he is known to have plied his trade at Fleetwood for one month before signing for Boro, who were then in the Lancashire Combination, in October 1920.
On leaving Springfield Park in February 1922 he returned to Douglas Wanderers before signing for Notts County in August 1922 but he only ever made 1 League appearance for them without scoring. He did play for one other Football League club and that was Darlington the following year, however, he failed to play a first team game at the Feethams and after a further spell at Deepdale, he returned north to his homeland where he finished his career at his first club, Douglas Wanderers after a spell at Queen of the South in season 1923/24.
Other clubs: Lingdale FC, Everton, Tranmere Rovers (wartime guest), Bury (wartime guest), Oldham Athletic, Skelmersdale United, Chorley
Height and weight: 5 ft. 9 ins, 11 st
Liverpool born Billy was the first ever goalkeeper to play League football for the club. He has his own piece of folklore in that he conceded the first ever goal scored in the Third Division (North), however Boro did win the game (against Nelson on 27th August 1921) 2-1! He was to make 33 League appearances for the club along with 4 Lancashire Senior Cup and 1Manchester Senior Cup game.
Prior to signing for Boro he had started his career as an apprentice at Everton and he did play 1 League game for them in 1912. He then re surfaces in 1920 playing for the Oldham Athletic second string and it was from there that he arrived at Springfield Park. After Hampton Ackroyd took his place in the Boro team he signed for Skelmersdale United before finishing his career at Chorley.
Height and weight: 5ft 10. ins, 12 st
Richard was a 19 years old goalkeeper who hailed from Aspull. He signed amateur forms for the club in May 1924 but failed to make the grade at Springfield Park.
DIED: 16th December 1959
Other clubs: Chorley, Queens Park Rangers, Rochdale (wartime guest), Manchester United (wartime guest), Rochdale, Earlestown LMS
Height and weight: 5ft 7 ins, 11 st 3 lbs.
John arrived at Springfield Park in September 1921 amidst something of an injury crisis. He played in the right half berth as he had done previously at Chorley, Queens Park Rangers and Rochdale. It was from Spotland that he arrived at the club after making just a single League appearance for ‘Dale.
Earlestown born, he played 31 League games for Boro, the first of which was a 1-1 draw against Grimsby Town at Springfield Park on 24th September 1921, and he netted three times. He also appeared once in the Manchester Senior Cup before returning to Rochdale for the start of the following season. He made a further 8 League appearances for them before drifting into Non League football with his home town club, Earlestown LMS.
DOB: 22nd January 1899
DIED; 24th January 1972
Other clubs: Ormskirk Discharged Sailors and Soldiers Club, Ormskirk FC.
Height and weight: 5ft 8 ins, 10 st 6 lbs.
Edward, who played at outside left, arrived at Springfield Park from the Ormskirk Discharged Sailors and Soldiers Club who played in the Ormskirk District League and he played just 1 League game for Boro during his stay at Springfield Park. However it was a historic game, being the club’s first ever Football League game against Nelson in a fixture that produced a 2-1 away victory on 27th August 1921. He also appeared once in the Lancashire Senior Cup without scoring that season. And it is recorded that he played in Boro’s first ever game at Springfield Park as a League club. He was in the side that beat Woolwich Arsenal 2-1 in a friendly game on 4th May 1921. On leaving Springfield Park he signed for Liverpool County Combination outfit Ormskirk FC.
BROWN, James W
DOB: 18th January 1905
Other clubs: New Springs Labour Club, Adlington, Atherton, Runcorn, Hurst, Clitheroe, Chorley Middlewich
Height and weight: 5 ft. 11 ins, 11 st 9 lbs.
Jimmy, who played in the outside half berth, was born in Wigan and he played 7 League games without scoring as a centre half during his spell with the club, signing as an amateur from Atherton in August 1923. His debut was on 21st February 1925 in an away fixture at Nelson which Boro lost 1-0. His Springfield Park career also consisted of 3 Manchester Senior Cup appearances during which he failed to score.
There are no records of him ever playing for another Football League club, but he did have an excellent career trawling the Non League circuit after leaving Springfield Park to sign for Runcorn the following season.
He rejoined Boro from Hurst in October 1930, but he didn’t make any further appearances for the club.
DOB: 21st November 1903
Honours: ENGLAND (3 caps), FOOTBALL LEAGUE REPRESENTATIVE TEAM (2 apps), Hindley Green, Bolton Wanderers, Horwich RMI, Burnley, Blackburn Rovers, Preston North End
Just what Jack, an outside right born in Westhoughton, who was also destined to be a future Blackburn Rovers manager, was doing at Boro in 1922 we don’t know. We will however, hazard a guess that he played a few games in the reserve team as a trialist or he was a reserve team player. He didn’t feature in any of Boro’s League games and Boro hadn’t entered the FA Cup until the 1923/24 season, so he never played in that competition for Boro.
His England appearances (whilst he was playing for Burnley) were on 17th May 1928 at the Colombes Stadium Paris when England beat France 5-1 in a friendly game. He then played the following game on 19th May 1928 at the Olympic Stadium, Antwerp when Belgium were beaten 3-1. His next game was on the 14th April the following year. The game against Scotland was a Home Championship game played at Hampden Park and Scotland ran out 1-0 winners in front of a crowd of 110,512. Playing in goal that day was future Boro goalkeeping trialist John Hacking. (This was the first time two players with Wigan connections had played in the same National team together).
After playing locally mainly in the Westhoughton Sunday Schools League and for Hindley in the ‘Lancashire Alliance’ before attaching himself to Boro, he was signed by Bolton Wanderers after his Springfield Park venture in 1923 where he didn’t break into their first team either. He then had a spell at Horwich RMI and must have thought that he would never play League Football.
Enter Burnley in 1924. His dreams must have all come true as he spent five years at Turf Moor where, as well as his England caps, he represented the Football League on two occasions. In total he made 167 League appearances for the Clarets and scored 42 goals. He then joined Blackburn Rovers in 1929 and was to stay at Ewood Park until 1938 where he made 324 League appearances and scored 108 goals. A move to Preston North in in 1939 yielded no games and no goals and it was after this spell at Deepdale that he quit playing.
DOB: 4th October 1898
Other clubs: Cambuslang Rangers, Hibernian, Dundee Hibs, Pontypridd, Johnstone, Peebles Rovers, Northwich Victoria
John, who played in the left back berth, arrived at Springfield Park in 1927 with considerable football experience north of the border under his belt. He was signed from Peebles Rovers and was only to play 3 League games for Boro, without scoring.
The first of these games came on 29th August 1927, the second game of the season, against Lincoln City at Sincil Bank that resulted in a 4-1 thrashing. He played in the following two League games that completed his Boro career, against Accrington Stanley at Springfield Park which resulted in a 4-1 victory and against Lincoln City in the reverse League fixture that once again ended in defeat, this time by a 1-3 margin.
Records suggest that he didn’t play for another Football League club after leaving Wigan. What is known is that he stayed for just one month at Springfield Park before signing for Northwich Victoria.
Height and weight: 5ft 9 ins, 10 st 8 lbs.
Byrne was a Haydock born player whose specialist position was at right back. He was signed in the summer of 1927 but he failed to play a first team game for Boro
Caddick, who was a player whose preferred position was at the right side of the defence, signed amateur forms for the club in the summer of 1925. He failed to make the grade at Springfield Park.
DOB: 3rd April 1988
DIED: 25th January 1980
Other clubs: St Roch’s, Bury, Southampton, Norwich City, Horwich RMI. Mossley
John was born in Glasgow and was a centre half of considerable Football League experience when he joined Boro in 1925. After playing in Scotland for a few junior teams he arrived in England, Gigg Lane to be precise. Whilst at Bury from 1921 until 1923 he made 60 League appearances and scored once. He was then transferred to Southampton for whom he made just 1 League appearance without finding the net.
It was from The Dell that he arrived at Boro, making his League debut on 29thAugust 1925, the opening day of the League campaign, in a 3-3 draw at Ashington. He made just 8 League appearances and scored twice; he also played once in the Lancashire Senior Cup and twice in the Manchester Senior without finding the net whilst at Springfield Park.
He went on to Norwich City in 1925 but he never played in their first team and he was last heard of plying his trade at Mossley.
DOB: 13th April 1894
Other clubs: Heywood United, Oldham Athletic, Blackburn Rovers, Rochdale, Stalybridge Celtic, Morecambe, Great Harwood
Height and weight: 5ft 5 ½ ins, 10 st
Joe was born in Blackburn and when he arrived at Boro during the infamous early season injury crisis of 1921/22, his favoured position was as an outside right player. He had spent the previous season battling away in Oldham Athletic’s reserve team and he never did make a League appearance for the Boundary Park outfit. His Boro League debut was the club’s first ever Football League game against Nelson on 27th August 1921 and resulted in a 2-1 victory. In total he made 7 League appearances for Boro without scoring before signing for Blackburn Rovers later in the campaign.
However, he failed to break into their first team and was soon plying his trade at Rochdale. Whilst at Spotland in 1922/23 he made 34 League appearances and scored 4 goals before moving into Non League football with Stalybridge Celtic before finishing his career at Great Harwood after a two year stint at Morecambe.
DOB: 14th July 1891
DIED: New Years Day 1971
Other clubs: Atherton, South Liverpool, Dundee (wartime guest), Southport Central (wartime guest), Southport Vulcan, Dundee, Southend United, Wallasey United
Goalkeeper Tommy was born in Newton-le-Willows. After starting his career at South Liverpool and then Southport Vulcan, (this club is actually Southport who played under the name of ‘Vulcan’ for season (1918/19) following a sponsorship deal with the Vulcan Motor Company), he moved north of the border to sign for Dundee. His first taste of English Football League action was for Southend United for whom he signed in July 1920. Two years at Roots Hall saw him amass 78 League games before joining Boro late in 1922.
His League debut arrived on 20th February 1923 against Stalybridge Celtic in an away fixture that resulted in a 2-0 victory. He played 5 consecutive League games and 1 Manchester Senior Cup game whilst at Springfield Park before finishing his career on the Non League circuit, with his last known club being Wallasey United.
DOB: 9th September1889
Other clubs: South Liverpool, Preston North End, Padiham, South Liverpool, Preston North End (wartime guest), Everton (wartime guest), Oldham Athletic, Morecambe
Height and weight: 5ft 8 in, 11st 9 lbs.
‘Dick’ was born in Preston and his first Football League club was Preston North End who he signed for in 1909. Although a regular in the reserve team he failed to make the grade at Preston and found himself in Non League circles, firstly at Padiham and then a return to South Liverpool. He guested for his hometown club and Everton in the war, then in 1919, the heftily built centre half finally made his League bow for Oldham Athletic for whom he made 5 League appearances without scoring.
Boro where his next port of call and he made his League debut for the club on 3rdSeptember 1921 against Nelson at Springfield which resulted in Boro’s first ever Football League defeat. In total, he made 32 League appearances for the club, scoring 3 goals, all of which were penalties. He netted 3 times during 5 Lancashire Senior Cup outings and failed to hit the net in his solitary Manchester Senior Cup game for the club. On leaving Springfield Park he finished his career on the Non League circuit, most notably with Morecambe.
CARNEY, Michael James
DOB: 4th December 1891
Other clubs: Bolton Wanderers, Blackpool, Glossop, Stalybridge Celtic, Newport County
Jimmy, who could play at left half or right half was Bolton born and he started his career at his home town club in 1908 but he failed to make the grade and was signed by Blackpool in the summer of 1909. He fared no better at Bloomfield Road and eventually got his first taste of first team action at Glossop where he made 138 League appearances, scoring 6 goals before another move to Bolton Wanderers in the summer of 1919. Again he failed to make a first team appearance for the Trotters and he surfaced at Springfield Park in August 1921 prior to the team’s induction into the Third Division North.
He played in a couple of trial games (Wigan Borough Probables v Wigan Borough Possibles) prior to commencement of the season, but he wasn’t taken on by Boro. He then signed for Stalybridge Celtic, making 72 League appearances, scoring 44 goals in a two season spell before winding up his career in 1928 at Newport County, for whom he made 118 League appearances and scored 33 goals.
Height and weight: 6 ft., 12 st, 4 lbs.
Chadwick, who hailed from Ulverston, was a big, bustling centre forward who signed amateur forms for Boro in the summer of 1922. He failed to play a single first team game for the club.
Other clubs: Skelmersdale United, New Springs RLFC, Burscough Rangers, Morecambe, Prescot Cables, Colwyn Bay United, Rushden Town, Northampton Town, Wigan Athletic, Cardiff City, Southport, Walsall
Locally born James, an outside right, has the distinction of being in the Boro team that played their last ever Football League game against Wrexham at the Racecourse Ground on 21st October 1931 which resulted in a 5-0 hammering. After failing to break into the Wigan Boro team he signed for Skelmersdale United in 1926. Jimmy who also played rugby league for the New Springs RLFC and had spells at arrived at Springfield Park from Colwyn Bay United in the midst of an exodus of departing players shortly after the start of the 1931/32 season.
He only made 4 League appearances without scoring, his first being against Walsall at Fellows Park on 3rdOctober 1931, a game that ended in a 0-3 defeat. However those 4 games, along with his single appearance in the Lancashire Senior Cup have been expunged from official records. On leaving Springfield Park after just one month, he signed for Prescot Cables in February 1932 before signing for Northampton Town in June 1933, after a short spell at Rushden Town.
He then returned to Springfield Park, this time to play for Wigan Athletic, making 8 Cheshire League appearances for Latics without scoring before moving on to Cardiff City in September 1935, his stay there was short lived and he signed for Southport two months later.
His last known club was Walsall who he joined just one month after arriving at Haig Avenue, and whilst at Fellows Park he made just 1 more Football League appearance.
CHESSER, William Etheridge
DOB: 11th August 1893
DIED: 27th October 1949
Other clubs: Stockton, Bradford City, Lincoln City, Bradford City (wartime guest), Merthyr Town, Lincoln City, Lincoln Claytons
Billy was an inside left, born in Stockton. After playing in the local junior leagues he was discovered by Bradford City playing for Stockton. He signed for the Valley Parade club in 1912, but he was to make just 7 League appearances, scoring twice for the Bantams before joining Lincoln City in 1913. He spent six seasons at Sincil Bank and made 76 League appearances, scoring 18 goals in the process. In 1930 he played for Merthyr Town, making 28 League appearances and scoring 7 goals before joining Boro in September 1921.
His League debut occurred on 10th September 1921 in a home game against Stockport County that Boro lost 1-0. He made 13 League appearances and scored once, in a 4-3 win against Halifax Town at Springfield Park. He also played once in the Manchester Senior Cup without scoring during his spell at Springfield Park, before he turned up in 1923 doing a second stint at Lincoln City. He never played in the Football League for them, or anyone else and he wound up his career at Lincoln Claytons.
Height and weight: 5ft 8 ins, 11 st
Preston born Churnside was a goalkeeper who signed for the club in the summer of 1922. He failed to make the grade at Springfield Park.
DOB: 4th February 1910
Other clubs: Sacred Heart Church (Westhoughton?), Westhoughton Town, Manchester City, Accrington Stanley, Arsenal, Margate, Norwich City, Lincoln City, Ruston Bucyrus, Bournemouth
Joe played in the outside half position and had done since his days at Westhougton Town, his first and home town club. In 1930 he signed for Manchester City, but he didn’t break into their first team. In 1931 he was at Springfield Park but he also failed to gain a first team spot at Boro as well. After Boro had folded he rejoined Westhoughton Town and he stayed there until signing for Accrington Stanley in 1933. He made 25 League appearances and scored once at Peel Park before leaving to try his luck at Arsenal in 1935. He failed to make their first team and he was soon on his way to Margate.
However his Football League career hadn’t quite finished as he joined Norwich City for whom he played 22 League games and scored 5 goals.
Season 1937/38 was the first of his two seasons at Lincoln City and he made 71 League appearances, scoring 25 times during his stay at Sincil Bank. After this he drifted into the Non League scene with Ruston Bucyrus before becoming the first team trainer at Bournemouth.
COCKLE, Ernest Samuel
DOB: 12th September 1896
Other clubs: Green and Siley Weir, Clapton Orient, Margate, Maidstone United, Arsenal, Luton Town, Northampton Town, Guildford City, Chorley
Honours: Manchester Senior Cup winner 1930 (Wigan Borough)
Height and weight: 5 ft. 10 ins, 11st 10 lbs
Ernie was a centre forward born in East Ham, who had had a varied football career before finishing it when Boro folded. He started with Green and Siley Weir before making his Football League bow with Clapton Orient in 1920. He made 20 appearances and scored 4 goals whilst in London. He found himself playing non league football with both Margate and Maidstone United before signing for Arsenal in 1923. He failed to make the grade at Highbury and so joined Luton Town in 1924. He played 7 games for the Hatters and scored 10 times for them. His next port of call was Northampton Town in 1924 and he made 97 appearances and scored 46 goals for them before arriving at Springfield Park in 1928.
He made his League debut on the opening day of season 1928/29 in a game against Lincoln City at Sincil Bank on 25th August 1928. Boro won the game 3-1 with Ernie scoring one of the goals. He followed this up by scoring in his next game, his Springfield Park debut, against Halifax Town that resulted in a 1-1 draw. In total he played 81 League games for Boro, scoring 16 goals, and he also played 8 Lancashire Senior Cup games netting once, he scored once in 7 Manchester Senior Cup games and failed to score in 3 FA Cup games.
He was the team captain when Boro beat Manchester City at Maine Road to win the Manchester Senior Cup on Wednesday 7th May 1930. He accepted the trophy in front of the main stand and said, “This is the first time we have won it and we aim to win it again”.
Sadly it was never to be and he left Boro in the summer of 1930 for a spell at Guildford City. Upon his return to Springfield Park in the summer of 1931 he was appointed reserve team manager and he played for the club despite those managerial duties right to the bitter end. Six of his Boro League appearances were expunged from official records as were 2 of his Lancashire Senior Cup appearances for the club. When Boro folded he moved on to Chorley. He was a long way from that wonderful night in Manchester.
DOB: 18th January 1903
DIED: 31st August 1975
Other clubs: Aberpergwyn, Trecynon, Aberdare Athletic, Ebbw Vale, Charlton Athletic, Connah’s Quay and Shotton, Lovell’s Athletic, Aberdare
Honours: Welsh Cup winner 1926 (Ebbw Vale)
Height and weight: 5 ft. 11 ½ ins, 11 st 10 lbs.
Centre half Henry arrived at Springfield Park in 1928. He had previous League experience with Charlton Athletic whom he had joined in 1927 following stints at Aberdare Athletic, his home town club and Ebbw Vale. He made 19 League appearances at the Valley without scoring before signing for Boro in the summer of 1929. He made his League debut on 7th September 1929 against Stockport County at Edgeley Park in a game that resulted in a 1-1 draw.
In total, he played 26 League games for Boro without scoring and he failed to find the net in 1 Lancashire Senior Cup and 3 Manchester Senior Cup outings before joining Connah’s Quay United. His last known club was Aberdare whom he joined from Lovell’s Athletic in 1934.
DOB: 17th September 1906
DIED: Ist July 1975
Other clubs: Ince Parish Church, Ince St Mary’s, Bacup Borough, Rossendal United, Presot Cales, Leyland Motors, Ince St Mary’s
Height and weight: 6 ft., 11 st 4 lbs.
Goalkeeper Sammy was born in Wigan and Boro where his only League club. He joined in 1925 after previously playing in the Wigan Sunday School League for Ince Parish Church and he made just 12 League appearances for Boro before fading into obscurity.
His debut must have been an absolute disaster for him personally. It was Christmas Day 1926 and Boro were at Nelson. Unfortunately for Sam his defence was full of the Christmas spirit and he probably sustained an injury after having to pick the ball out of his net on SEVEN occasions as Nelson cruised to a 7-0 victory! He also played 1 game for Boro in the semi final of the Manchester Senior Cup which Boro lost 2-0 against Manchester City.
COLLINS, Leigh Richman
DOB: 5th March 1901
Other clubs: Grassendale St Mary’s, Grayson South, Nelson, New Brighton, Crewe Alexandra, Stalybridge Celtic
Height and weight: 5ft 7 ½ ins, 10 st 10 lbs.
‘Dicky’ who was born in Liverpool, started his professional career at Boro playing in the left back role. He arrived at Springfield Park in 1921from amateur outfit Grayson South, making his League debut on 5thMarch 1922 against Lincoln City in an away fixture in which Boro were beaten 3-0. In his two years spell at the club he made just 5 League appearances and 1 Manchester Senior Cup appearance without scoring.
In 1923 he was transferred to Nelson for whom he played 13 League games without finding the net. He then joined New Brighton in 1924, making 11 League appearances without scoring. His next port of call was Gresty Road in 1925 but he was unable to break into Crewe Alexandra’s first team. Giving up on League football he entered the world of Non League football with Stalybridge Celtic. It is unclear whether or not his career ended there.
DOB: 4th June 1910
DIED: 15the January 1999
Other clubs: Whiston Parich Church, Bolton Wanderers (trial), Manchester United (trial), Prescot Cables, Chorley
Honours: Manchester Senior Cup winner 1930 (Wigan Borough)
Bob was a St Helens born centre forward. As far as can be ascertained, he wasn’t related to ‘Dicky’. He arrived at Springfield Park in 1929 from Prescot Cables and was to make 19 League appearances, scoring 7 goals before joining Chorley.
His League debut for Boro came on 1st February 1930 against Barrow at Holker Street which Boro lost 4-1. He also played in 6 Manchester Senior Cup games for Boro, netting 4 times including scoring in the Final against Manchester City on 7th May 1930, a game that Boro won 3-2!
DOB: 3rd June 1898
Other clubs: Bellshill Athletic, Bradford City, Bury, Morton, Queen of the South, Coventry City, Bradford Park Avenue, Philadelphia Field. Shawsheen Indians, Fall River Marksmen, New York Giants, Ayr United (trial)
Glasgow born Charlie could play at inside left or outside left and had a very glamorous football career. It started modestly enough at Bellshill before a move South to Bradford City in 1920. He made 7 League appearances without scoring during his year at Valley Parade and in 1922 he was at Bury for whom he appeared just once without scoring. He then returned north for a spell with Morton before signing for Coventry City in 1923. After making just 3 League appearances for the Highfield Road outfit, without scoring, he arrived at Springfield Park in the winter of 1926.
His spell at Boro was rather unspectacular and he made his League debut on Boxing Day 1926 against Southport at Haig Avenue in a game that resulted in a 1-1 draw. He was to make just 2 more League appearances without scoring, along with a single Manchester Senior Cup outing in which he failed to find the net before signing for Bradford Park Avenue in 1924. After just 2 League appearances and no goals Charlie then decided to ply his trade in America with the aforementioned hour American outfits. Surprisingly another three or four ex Boro players tried that route as well.
His career ended in March 1932 following a failed trial at Ayr United.
COOKE, George Henry
DOB: 16th April 1902
DIED: 20th September 1977
Other clubs: Clowne Colliery, Creswell White Star, Bolsover Town, Bolsover Colliery, Chesterfield, Shirebrook, Norwich City, Portsmouth, Southend United, Mansfield Town, Bradford Park Avenue, Connah’s Quay and Shotton Grantham Town
Height and weight: 5 ft. 6 ins, 11 st
Outside left George was born in Clowne and had certainly ‘done the rounds’ long before arriving at Springfield Park having played for four Non League and four League clubs, and he was only halfway finished then!
Starting in local football with Cresswell White Star and two Bolsover teams he joined his first League club, Chesterfield, in 1922. However, he couldn’t break into their first team and was soon back on the Non League scene, this time with Shirebrook. In 1923 he signed for the then Third Division outfit Norwich City for whom he made his Football League debut. However only 3 more games and no goals followed and he was soon on the move again. Portsmouth were next on his not inconsiderable list but throughout 1924 he only made 2 League appearances for Pompey without netting.
He had exactly the same playing record with Southend United in 1925 before joining Boro in the summer of 1926. His League debut came on the opening day of season 1926/27, a game against Nelson at Springfield Park on 28th August 1926, a game in which Boro triumphed 2-1.
His two year spell at Springfield Park was his most productive spell in the game as he made 61 League appearances and scored 10 goals. He also played twice without scoring in the Lancashire Senior Cup, his 6 Manchester Senior Cup appearances also yielded no goals, and he failed to hit the net in 4 FA Cup appearances as well. After spells at Mansfield Town and Bradford Park Avenue, for whom he never played a first team game, he finished his career at Grantham, but not before adding Connah’s Quay United to his impressive list!
This left sided defender signed amateur forms for the club in the summer of 1925, but he failed to play a single first team game for Boro.
Another player who signed amateur forms without making the grade despite spending two seasons at Springfield Park. He was a left half and signed amateur forms for the club in the summer of 1922.
COWPER, Peter Poole
DOB: 1st September 1902
Other clubs: Burns Celtic, Parkside Rangers, Atherton Collieries, Bolton Wanderers (trial), Rossendale United, West Ham United, Grimsby Town, Lancaster Town, New Brighton, Southampton, Southport, Carlisle United, Wigan Athletic, Altrincham, Prescot Cables
Pete was a talented outside right who was born in Tyldesley, his list of clubs makes Georgie Crooke look like a ‘one club man’! After taking in Burns Celtic, Parkside Rangers, and Atherton Collieries he had a trial for Bolton Wanderers in 1921. He didn’t impress sufficiently to gain a professional contract there, so he tried Boro the following year. Sadly he didn’t play a first team game for Boro and his next port of call was Rossendale United. By 1924 he was on West Ham United’s books and it was at Upton Park where he made his Football League bow. Unfortunately he made just 2 League appearances without scoring before he was on his travels again.
After a spell at Lancaster Town he signed for Grimsby Town in 1927. He made 4 League appearances for the Mariners without scoring and his next port of call was New Brighton in 1928. Here he hit the jackpot making 71 League appearances and banging in 19 goals in the process. In 1930 he moved to Southampton, but despite almost two years at the Dell he made just 5 League appearances without scoring.
Just to prove he hadn’t run out of clubs to play for he joined Southport in 1931 and made a couple of League appearances for the Sandgrounders without scoring. In 1932 he spent a season at Carlisle United for whom he scored once in 12 League appearances. He then finished his career in Non League football with Wigan Athletic, Altrincham and Prescot Cables. He passed away at Clifton, near Preston in 1962.
DOB: 28th November 1901
DIED: 9th May 1981
Other clubs: Lever Central, Witton Albion, Bolton Wanderers, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Tranmere Rovers, Pontypridd, Merthyr Town, Southend United, Rhyl Athletic, Colwyn Bay United, Yeovil and Petters United, Burton Town, Mossley, Rhyl Athletic
Billy, who could play at inside right or right half was born in Little Lever. He started his career with Lever Central and then Witton Albion before signing for Bolton Wanderers in 1922. He made 4 League appearances for the Trotters without scoring before signing for Wolverhampton Wanderers in 1923. He played 7 League games at Molineux without scoring before moving to the Wirrall to join Tranmere Rovers in 1924. His stay at Prenton Park yielded 19 League games without a goal before he went to Pontypridd.
He then signed for Merthyr Town in 1925 and a three-year stint there saw him make 131 League appearances, scoring 10 goals in the process. By 1929 he was down at Roots Hall in Southend and he made just a single League appearance without netting before joining Boro in the summer of 1930. He made his Boro League debut in an away fixture at New Brighton on 13th September 1930 which Boro won 2-0.
He was to score 4 goals in 24 League appearances and he appeared once without scoring in the Lancashire Senior Cup whilst at Springfield Park, before finishing his career in Non League circles at Rhyl Athletic for whom he was spending a second spell at the club in 1938.
CROMPTON, W H
Crompton, a local lad, played at right half and signed amateur forms at the club in the summer of 1922. He failed to make the grade at Springfield Park.
Other clubs: Parkhead, Accrington Stanley, Fall River Marksmen, Boston Wonder Workers
Cummings was an outside right signed from Parkhead, he failed to play a first team League game but he gets a mention because he did play 1 Lancashire Junior Cup game for Boro in 1921. This came against Southport in a first round replay at Haig Avenue on 6th September 1921, a game that Boro won 4-1.
There is an amazing story reported about the signing of Daniel. It appears that he was walking to the Wigan Boro offices, which were situated at 60a King Street to sign his contract. He asked a news vendor for directions but the player, who spoke with a broad Scottish accent, could not make himself understood. The news vendor promptly passed him on to a police sergeant, who escorted him to the Police station. He was then given a meal and personally escorted to Mr Herbert Bamlett’s office to sign on the dotted line!
Never making the grade at Springfield Park he tried his luck at Accrington Stanley in 1922 but only played once for them before immigrating to America. There he enjoyed a career with the Fall River Marksmen and the Boston Wonder Workers.
DOB: 22nd November 1889
DIED: 7th December 1962
Other clubs: Kilwinning Rangers, St Mirren, Leicester Fosse
Height and weight: 5 ft. 10 ½ ins, 11st 6 lbs.
Sammy was a very accomplished left back when he arrived at Springfield Park in 1922. Born in Kilwinning, he played for his local team and St Mirren before signing for First Division side Leicester Fosse, the fore runners of the current Leicester City, in 1909. He stayed at Filbert Street for 11 years, making 236 League appearances and scoring 4 goals before joining Boro.
He made his League debut for the club on 26th August 1922, the opening day of season 1922/23, against Ashington at Springfield Park with Boro winning 6-1. During his stay at Springfield Park he netted twice in 33 League appearances, he also appeared in the FA Cup 6 times, netting once. In March 1924 he quit playing and became the manager of Boro’s reserve team.
For the more curious among you a ‘fosse’ is actually a moat or a ditch in a fortified place. It was on such a piece of land, called the Fosse Road South, that Leicester originally played their games on before moving to Filbert Street, their home before the Walkers Stadium.
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