A to Z - (Davis - Freeman)
Other clubs: Atherton Wesleyans, Blythe Bridge
Tom arrived at Springfield Park as a reserve grade outside left player from Atherton Wesleyans in 1923. His debut for Boro came on Boxing Day 1923 when Boro defeated Walsall 2-1 at Springfield Park. He played 7 League games for Boro, netting once. Little is known of his whereabouts after leaving Springfield Park at the end of season 1923/24. However he resurfaces at Blythe Bridge in 1927The first of those games was against Southport at Haig Avenue on Boxing Day 1923 in a game that resulted in a 1-1 draw.
DAVIES, A L
Davies was a local born goalkeeper who signed amateur forms in 1923. He failed to make the grade at Springfield Park.
Another local lad, a right half, who signed amateur forms in 1925, only to fail to play a first team game for Boro.
Other clubs, Blackburn Trinity, Hurst, Lytham
Blackburn born Harold was spotted by Blackburn Trinity playing for Blackburn Grammar School. His next port of call was Boro where he was a reserve team player who failed to break into the first team before moving to Hurst in August 1928. He is believed to have finished his career at Lytham.
DOB: 21st September 1896
Other clubs: Ashton PSA, Denton, Birkenhead Comets (wartime guest), Tranmere Rovers (wartime guest), Stalybridge Celtic, Blackburn Rovers, Manchester United, Chesterfield, Macclesfield Town, Hurst, Mossley
Height and weight: 5 ft. 8 ½ ins, 12 st 2 lbs.
Inside left or inside right player Billy Dennis, one of the more ‘high profile’ Boro stars, was born in Mossley on 21st September 1896. He started his career as an amateur with Ashton PSA and he continued playing at that level for Denton FC and then the army until the outbreak of the First World War. During the hostilities he turned out for the Birkenhead Comets FC and Tranmere Rovers.
In March 1919 he signed for Stalybridge Celtic and after spending just two months with the club Blackburn Rovers snapped him up in 1919. Things didn’t work out for him at Ewood Park, but he did manage 5 League appearances without scoring, and by February 1920 he was back at Stalybridge where he made 72 League appearances without scoring and he thought that was the end of his Football League career.
He must have been as surprised as anyone when in May 1923 he signed for Manchester United. However, once again he struggled for regular first team football at League level and he made just 3 League appearances without scoring before leaving Old Trafford in February 1924. His next port of call was Chesterfield for whom he made 166 League appearances and scored 6 goals, and it was from Saltergate that he joined Boro in May 1928.
His Boro League debut arrived on the opening day of season 1928/29; 25th August 1928 against Lincoln City at Sincil Bank in a game that Boro won 3-1. During that season at Boro he helped the club into fourth place in the Third Division North and at one stage it seemed as though the club would win promotion to the old Second Division. His second, and final, season was a disaster and the club finished in 18th place amid horrendous financial circumstances. In total he played 67 League games without scoring a goal during his time at Springfield Park. He also amassed 4 appearances without scoring in the Lancashire Senior Cup, the Manchester Senior Cup and the FA Cup.
He joined Macclesfield Town in May 1930 and after one season there he signed for Hurst in July 1931. He wound up his career as trainer for his hometown club Mossley.
William was also an accomplished cricketer and represented Cheshire in the Minor Counties.
DOB: 4th November 1894
DIED: 16th December 1947
Other clubs: Blackburn Trinity, Blackburn Rovers, Blackburn Trinity (wartime guest), Accrington Stanley, Rochdale, Stalybridge Celtic, Stockport County, Stalybridge Celtic, Hurst, Macclesfield Town, Barnoldswick Town, Lytham, Stalybridge Celtic
Height and weight: 5 ft. 8 ½ ins, 11 st 6 lbs.
Equally at home at inside left or centre forward, Blackburn born school master Harry started his career at Blackburn Trinity. He was spotted by the town’s senior club and in 1910 he signed for Blackburn Rovers for whom he played prior to and after the First World War. However, he only made 3 League appearances during his time at Ewood Park and in 1921 he signed for Rochdale. He was very prolific during his year long spell at Spotland netting 17 goals in 33 League appearances.
It was during the following season that he arrived at Springfield Park. He made 30 League appearances and hit the net 13 times. In fact, during his Football League debut for the club on 26thAugust 1922, he rattled in 4 goals in a 6-1 demolition of Ashington at home. He left Springfield Park at the end of season 1922/23, after also scoring once in a single Lancashire Senior Cup appearance and hitting another goal in 5 FA Cup outings, before signing for Stalybridge Celtic.
He signed for Stockport County in 1924 and during his brief stay at Edgeley Park he made 11 League appearances, scoring 3 goals in the process. He then embarked on a decent Non League career, winding up at Stalybridge Celtic for the third time in his career.
DOB: 11th November 1899
Other clubs: The Royal Navy, Plymouth Argyle, Rossendale United, Norwich City
Jimmy was born in Crawshaw Booth and his first club after serving during the First World War with the Royal Navy was Plymouth Argyle in 1920. Whilst with Argyle he was a member of the Plymouth team that toured South America to play nine exhibition matches in the summer of 1924. During these games the Pilgrims beat Uruguay 4-0 and Argentina were disposed of by a 1-0 margin! He spent four years at Home Park playing as a right or left half and he made 111 League appearances without scoring before moving North to Boro for the start of season 1925/26.
However, he failed to make the grade at Springfield Park and left without ever having put on a first team jersey. He then had a spell at Non League Rossendale United before signing for Norwich City in 1926. He made 16 League appearances without scoring at Carrow Road and there are no records of him ever playing for another Football League, or Non League club after his spell in East Anglia.
DOB: 18th February 1906
DIED: 17th August 1968
Other clubs: New Springs FC, Nottingham Forest, Rotherham United, Southend United, Hull City
Height and weight: 5 ft. 9 ½ ins, 11 st 9 lbs.
Billy is quite simply a Boro legend. Not only did he have unprecedented success at Springfield Park, but he also became a true hero everywhere he played afterwards. He was an amazing player who could play at inside left, inside right, or outside right. No matter where he played he was an absolute goal machine.
Born in Wigan he was spotted playing locally and Boro had no hesitation in snapping him up, having him sign amateur forms in the summer of 1924 and he eventually made his League debut on 17th October 1925 against Tranmere Rovers in a game in which Boro were hammered 5-1. He was dropped for the next 5 League games but he then scored twice against Accrington Stanley in a 5-0 victory at Springfield Park on 5th December 1925 and never looked back! By the end of his first season as a first teamer (1925/26), he held the all time club record of most goals in a season when he scored 32 (this figure DOES include Cup games). The following season he even beat that record by banging in an amazing 34 (again Cup games are included) goals!
In total he made 104 League appearances scoring 64 goals in the process. His Springfield Park career also consisted of 2 Lancashire Senior Cup games in which he failed to find the net, but this was not a problem he encountered in the other two main domestic cup competitions. He netted 7 times in 8 Manchester Senior Cup outings and he scored 4 times during 6 FA Cup games for Boro.
Four months into the 1927/28 season he was transferred to Second Division outfit Nottingham Forest and his record there was equally as impressive. In both season 1931/32 and 1932/33 he was their leading scorer and by the time he left the City Ground in 1933 he had made 136 League appearances and netted 68 goals.
His next port of call was Rotherham United. And by the end of season 1934/35 he had made 70 League appearances for the Millers and scored 43 goals. The man just could not stop scoring goals! He eventually wound his career up at Hull City were he netted 5 times in 18 appearances.
Height and weight: 5ft 11 ins, 12 st
Dobb was a Leith born centre half, signed in the summer of 1927, who failed to make the grade at Springfield Park.
DOB: 12th December 1897
DIED: 25th April 1972
Other clubs: Saltcoats Victoria, Cowdenbeath, Raith Rovers, Greenock Morton, Connah’s Quay and Shotton, Stevenston, New Brighton, East Stirlingshire, Stalybridge Celtic, Shelbourne
Owen was born in Stevenston, Scotland and Boro where the first Football League club he ever played for. Equally at home at inside left or inside right he arrived at Springfield Park in January 1930 from Connah’s Quay and Shotton after considerable experience north of the border. His League debut for Boro was against New Brighton at Springfield Park on 17th January 1931 in a game that finished in a 1-1 draw. He made 17 League appearances and scored 4 goals along with a single appearance without scoring in the Manchester Senior Cup, before returning north to sign for Falkirk before joining his home town club Stevenston.
However, he moved down south again in 1931 and played 3 Football League games during a trial spell at New Brighton. He finished his career at Shelbourne after a short stint at East Stirlingshire.
DOB: 22nd January 1898
Other clubs: Ashington, Leeds United, Doncaster Rovers, Burnley (trial), Torquay United (trial), Ashington
Born in Ryhope, Billy was a goalkeeper of considerable League experience when he arrived at Springfield Park on trial in 1930. Having started his career at Ashington he moved on to Leeds United in 1920. He played 96 League games in a four-year spell at Elland Road before being transferred to Doncaster Rovers in 1925. In just over a year and a half at Belle Vue he made 50 League appearances before signing for Burnley in 1927, where up until 1929 he had made 80 League appearances before his career effectively came to an end. He had a trial at Torquay United but he never played a first team game at Plainmoor.
He did manage 2 League games for Boro in the winter of 1930. His first was on 20th December 1930 in a game at Springfield Park in which Crewe Alexandra were crushed 6-0 and the following game that was played on Christmas Day, against Accrington Stanley at Peel Park that resulted in a 3-0 beating.
DOB: 7th December 1902
DIED: 4th June 1968
Other clubs: Blantyre Vics, Cambuslang Rangers, Coventry City, Crewe Alexandra, Kings Park
Height and weight: 5 ft. 7 ins, 10 st 10 lbs.
John was an inside right who was born in Scotland. After playing for Blantrye Vics and Cambuslang Rangers he moved down south and arrived at Springfield Park in the summer of 1925 for a trial period and did enough to earn a contract at Springfield Park. His first game for the club came on the opening day of season 1925/26, a game played on 29th August 1925 at Ashington that resulted on a 3-3 draw. He scored 6 goals in 13 League appearances before moving on to Coventry City the following year. He made 40 League appearances at Highfield Road, scoring four goals before being freed by the Sky Blues. He did have a trial for Crewe Alexandra in 1927 but he failed to impress and so he moved back up north to play for Kings Park.
Copyright © 2012 - This Northern Soul. All rights reserved EATOCK, Thomas
DIED: 7th April 1944
Other clubs: Ince Parish Church, Everton, Bolton Wanderers
Height and weight: 5 ft. 9 ½ ins, 11 st
Tommy, who was born in Wigan, was an outside left player of great skill. He was also a former winner of the famous Powderhall Handicap in 1920. This event is the current ‘New Year Sprint’ which originated in 1870. He ran a distance of 130 yards with a 10 yard handicap in 12 3/16th seconds. He was at Springfield Park during seasons 1921/24 following his signing from Everton’s reserve team. He made his League debut for the club on 17th December 1921 against Hartlepools United in an away fixture that resulted in a 0-0 draw. He was to make 10 League appearances for Boro, scoring once, along with a single goal scoring appearance in the FA Cup against Bath City in a first round 4-1 victory on 13th January 1923, before signing for Bolton Wanderers as a replacement for Ted Vizzard during season 1924/25. He made 11 League appearances and scored once, against Blackburn Rovers, for the Trotters.
If you wish to know more about the Powderhall Handicap go onto the internet and go to
Other clubs: Southend United, Crewe Alexandra
Not much is known of Alex, save that he was born in Liverpool. He turned out for Southend United for 8 League games without scoring in 1921 and he also played for Crewe Alexandra in 1923 making 10 League appearances and scoring twice. Whether he arrived at Springfield Park as a trialist or whether he played for the reserve team is not known.
Other clubs: Heaton FC, Manchester United (trial), Horwich RMI. Little Lever
Height and weight: 5 ft. 11 ins, 11 st 6 lbs
Harry played for Boro during season 1930/31, making just 2 League appearances without scoring after being signed from Little Lever. His first was against New Brighton at Springfield Park on 17th January 1931, a game which Boro drew 1-1. His second and final game occurred on 21st March 1931, a game against Carlisle United which ended with a 1-2 home defeat.
DOB: 23rd May 1910
Other clubs: Sacred Heart FC (St Helens), St Helens Town, Liverpool, Runcorn (trial), Rhyl Athletic, St Helens Recreation RLFC, Rhyl Athletic, Bury, Caernarvon Town, Liverpool (wartime guest), Manchester United (wartime guest), Bristol City (wartime guest), Brighton and Hove Albion (wartime guest), Rhyl Athletic
Height and weight: 5 ft. 11 ½ ins, 12 st 7 lbs
Goalkeeper Billy, who was also an accomplished rugby league player, was born in St Helens and he started his career with Liverpool in 1929 after being discovered playing at amateur level locally. However, he failed to make the grade at Anfield and dropped into Non League football with Rhyl Athletic before joining Boro in the summer of 1930.
His debut arrived on the opening day of season 1930/31, 30th August 1930 against Darlington at the Feethams, a game in which Boro ran out 3-2 victors. He went on to make 22 League appearances and appeared once in the Lancashire Senior Cup, The Manchester Senior Cup and the FA Cup whilst at Springfield Park, before signing for Bury in 1934. His Gigg Lane career consisted of 91 League appearances in a five season spell before he signed for his final Football League club. He joined Bristol City in 1945 but he never played a first team game at Ashton Gate.
DOB: 1st May 1896
DIED: 12th August 1963
Other clubs: Harrowby, Everton, Bury, Flint Town United, Stalybridge Celtic, Liverpool Warehousing Company, Congleton Town
Height and weight: 5 ft. 10 ½ ins, 12 st
Harry was a strong right back player who, before arriving at Springfield Park during the summer of 1922, had failed to make the grade at Everton, who themselves had picked him up from Harrowby.
He made his League debut for the club on the opening day of season 1922/23, against Ashington at Springfield Park which was won 6-1. During almost three seasons at Springfield Park he went on to make 112 League appearances, scoring 12 league goals, along with 4 Lancashire Senior Cup appearances without scoring, 9 Manchester Senior Cup games without scoring, although he did score once in 9 FA Cup outings, before signing for Bury in 1926. He made just 2 league appearances without scoring at Gigg Lane before drifting into Non League football with Flint Town United.
Other clubs, Norwich City, Eccles United
Height and weight: 5 ft. 10 ins, 11 st 8 lbs.
St Helens born Farrar was 24 years old when he signed in the summer of 1925. His previous clubs numbered Norwich City and Eccles United, for whom he played at right back. He failed to make the grade at Springfield Park.
DOB: 12th May 1904
Other clubs: Warrington Juniors, Cheshire Lines, Notts County, Bradford City
Height and weight: 5 ft. 10 ½ ins, 11 st
Warrington born Tom who could play at outside and inside left, as well as a centre forward was spotted by Boro playing local football in Warrington for Cheshire Lines . He arrived at Springfield Park in 1924, making his League debut on 13th December 1924 in an away fixture against New Brighton. The game resulted in a 1-2 defeat but he had more joy in his following game against Grimsby Town at Springfield Park a week later, netting twice in a 3-1 victory.
He made 93 League appearances and scored 38 goals before being transferred to Notts County in 1927. His Springfield Park career also consisted on 2 Lancashire Senior Cup games without scoring, 5 Manchester Senior Cup games during which he rattled in 6 goals, and 5 F A Cup games during which he scored 3 times.
His Meadow Lane career consisted of 158 League appearances and 60 goals in a six year spell with the Magpies. His final port of call was Bradford City in 1933 where he made 7 League appearances, scoring twice.
DOB: 5th August 1903
Other clubs: Vale of Clyde, Gillingham, Swansea Town, Bury, Newport County, Grimsby Town (wartime guest), Lovells Athletic (wartime guest), Bristol City (wartime guest), Bristol City, Swindon Town, Milford United
Honours: Scotland Junior international,
Welsh Cup winner 1932 (Swansea Town)
Third Division South championship winner 1939 (Newport County)
LEAGUE OF WALES REPRESENTATIVE (twice)
Goalkeeper, Alexander Sterling Brown Ferguson was born in Lochore. He started his career with Vale of Clyde before arriving at Springfield Park in 1924. He was to make just a single League appearance for Boro, against Accrington Stanley at Springfield Park on 4th April 1925, a game which Boro lost 1-2, before moving to Swansea Town in 1926. He made 280 League appearances and was a key member of the team that established itself in the Second Division after promotion from the Third Division South the previous season. He also represented the League of Wales side on two occasions during his spell at the Vetch Field before signing for Middlesbrough in late 1935.
He didn’t make the first team at Ayresome Park and moved to Bury for the start of the 1936/37 season, making 63 League appearances for the Shakers before moving to South Wales again, this time joining Newport County in 1938. His stay at Somerton Park was disrupted by the Second World but he still made 44 League appearances before joining Bristol City in 1946. He stayed at Ashton Gate for one season making 32 League appearances before finishing his Football League career at Swindon Town, for whom he played 7 League games.
DOB: 6th November 1896
Other clubs: Newburn FC, Tottenham Hotspur, Dundee, Portsmouth
Height and weight: 5 ft. 8 ins, 11 st 6 lbs.
Andy, who was born in Newburn was an accomplished inside forward who made 30 League appearances for Boro, scoring once in a two season stay at the club. His Boro League debut came on 2nd September 1922 against Ashington away from home in a game that Boro lost 1-2. His record at Springfield Park also consisted on 1 Lancashire Senior Cup game without scoring as well as 3 Manchester Senior Cup games during which he netted once and 3 FA Cup games in which he scored twice.
He had arrived at Springfield Park after failing to make the grade at Tottenham Hotspur. He also played for Dundee.
DOB: 28th December 1906
DIED: March 1988
Other clubs: Ince St Mary’s, Rossendale United (trial), Hurst , Stalybridge Celtic, Mossley
Height and weight: 5 ft. 9 ½ ins, 11 st 10 lbs
Boro appear to be centre half Jimmy’s only Football League club. He arrived at Springfield Park in the summer of 1925 on amateur forms and had to wait until the final game of season 1926/27 to make his Boro League debut. This was on 7th May 1927 against Crewe Alexandra at Springfield Park and the game resulted in a 2-2 draw. During his time at the club he made 7 League appearances without scoring, along with a single appearance in the Lancashire Senior Cup in which he failed to score.
He left Springfield Park to sign for Cheshire County League outfit Hurst FC in October 1929, (this team later evolved into the current Ashton United) and he later played for former Third Division North side Stalybridge Celtic and Mossley.
Other clubs: St Thomas’, Newtown Legion
William, who played at half back, is another of those shadowy Wigan Boro players of whom very little is known. However, he made 4 League appearances during his stay at Springfield Park in season 1927/28 after being snapped up from Newtown Legion.
He made his League debut for the club on 22nd October 1927 against Durham City in a fixture that was played away from home and resulted in a 0-3 defeat. His stay at Springfield Park also encompassed 1 Lancashire Senior Cup appearance.
DOB: 3rd February 1902
DIED: 4th May 1989
Other clubs: Lostock Hall, Leyland Motors, Leyland, Manchester United, Chorley, Tranmere Rovers, Chorley, Barrow, Lancaster Town, Burscough Rangers, Lancaster Town, Stalybridge Celtic, Rhyl Athletic, Northwich Victoria, Leyland Motors
Height and weight: 5 ft. 10 ins, 11 st
John, who was born in Lostock Hall, could play at inside left or inside right although during his spell at Springfield Park in 1930 he had little chance to prove it as he made just 1 League appearance on 15thNovember 1930. The game was an away encounter against Carlisle United who crushed Boro 6-1 on that day.
After starting playing local football in Leyland he was spotted by Manchester United for whom he signed in 1925. He never played a first team game at Old Trafford and at the start of the following season he found himself playing for Tranmere Rovers, His Prenton Park career consisted of 64 League appearances during which he netted an impressive 42 times. He was released after sustaining a bad injury in 1928 and found himself playing Non League football with Chorley before signing for Third Division North outfit Nelson in 1929. Without playing a game, he moved to Barrow in 1930 making 5 League appearances without scoring. It was from the Holker Street outfit that he signed for Boro.
His career after leaving Springfield Park saw him move to Lancaster Town in August 1931 and his final port of call in 1935 was Leyland Motors.
DOB: 15th November 1901
DIED: March 1965
Other clubs: Shettleston, Dundee, Fulham, Dundee United
Height and weight: 5 ft. 9 ins, 11 st, 2 lbs
Glasgow born Tom was a right back player. He started his career in local football with Shettleston before progressing to Dundee. As was the norm for promising young Scots in those days he moved down south to ply his trade. He joined Fulham in 1921 and in almost four seasons at Craven Cottage he made 111 League appearances without hitting the net.
It was from the Cottagers that he joined Boro, making his League debut on 24th October 1925 against Walsall at Springfield Park with Boro winning 2-0. In February 1926 he was suspended by the FA for twenty eight days following an alleged deliberate foul on Stoke City’s Bobby Archibald in an FA Cup game a few weeks earlier. Reports at the time indicate his sending off was unjust and tempers inside Springfield Park were tense to start with as the referee had, unjustly according to match reporters and the crowd, disallowed a Boro goal scored in the second half, which had it been allowed to stand, may not have resulted in Boro getting beaten.
His manager William Rayner faced an even stiffer sentence of suspension for the remainder of the season for refusing to give the match referee Fleming’s Christian name after the incident. In total, he made 22 League appearances without scoring at Springfield Park where he also accumulated 4 FA Cup games without scoring.
On leaving Springfield Park he returned north to play out his career at Dundee United.
Other clubs: Birkdale East End (Southport), Accrington Stanley, Burscough Rangers, Crompton Road FC (Southport), Kent Road SC (Southport), Crossens (Southport), St Mary’s (Southport)
Height and weight: 5ft 10 ins, 11 st
Centre forward Hugh who was born in Southport, arrived at Springfield Park from Birkdale East End in 1924 and has the distinction of scoring in every game that he played for the club. Unfortunately, he only appeared in 1 League game! His ninety minutes of Boro fame came against Tranmere Rovers at Prenton Park in a game that Boro won 3-2. He left Springfield Park in December 1925 to sign for Accrington Stanley.
DOB: 10th August 1901
DIED: 30th March 1966
Other clubs: Park Juniors, Plank Lane AFC (Leigh), Hindley Green Athletic, Millwall (trial)
Paul was a left back who was signed from Plank Lane and he played just 1 League game without scoring in 1922. This was against Chesterfield at Saltergate on 20th January 1923 in a game that ended in a 3-1 defeat. That is the sum total of his Football League career as he signed for Hindley Green Athletic on leaving Springfield Park and they are believed to have been his final club.
DOB: October 1885
DIED: August 19
Other clubs: Gower Street Old Boys, Aston Manor, Aston Villa, Woolwich Arsenal, Everton, Burnley, Kettering Town, Kidderminster Harriers
Honours: England (5 caps), FA Cup winner 1914 (Burnley)
Bertram Clewley Freeman was born in Handsworth and started playing football for his local club Aston Manor and it wasn’t too long before he caught the eye of Aston Villa for whom he signed in 1904. However he didn’t play a single first team game for the Villans and he was transferred to Woolwich Arsenal in 1905. He spent two seasons at Highbury and scored 21 goals in just 44 League appearances. He was signed by Everton during the pre season of 1907/08 and he went on to make 86 League appearances for the Toffees, scoring an incredible 61 goals in the process. On 12th December 1908 Everton drew 1-1 against Sheffield United at Goodison Park and Bert was the goal scorer. The significant thing about that is the fact that in doing so he had scored in 10 successive First Division games and that is still an Everton record to this very day! He finished season 1908/09 as the country’s top scorer with 38 league goals to his credit.
He also made the first of his five England appearances whilst based at Goodison Park, scoring on his international debut in what was England’s 100th game against Wales at the City Ground, Nottingham on 15th March 1909. Bert was also part of the Everton team that toured South America in the summer of 1909.
He was surprisingly sold to Burnley who were then in Division Two in April 1911 and he made 166 League appearances and scored 103 goals as he helped Burnley regain top flight status in 1913. He scored the winning goal for Burnley against Liverpool in the FA Cup Final at Crystal Palace in 1914 and refereeing the game was future Boro manager Mr Herbert Bamlett! His stay at Turf Moor lasted almost a decade before he was transferred to Boro in 1921.
His League debut for Boro came on 1st October 1921 against Grimsby Town at Blundell Park. The game resulted in a 1-1 draw and he made a goal scoring home debut the following week when Walsall were beaten 4-2 at Springfield Park. He stayed at Springfield Park for a single season scoring 13 goals in 25 League appearances. He also played once for Boro in the Lancashire Senior Cup, scoring once against Stockport County in a second round replay at Edgeley Park. On leaving Wigan he drifted into Non League football with Kettering Town and then Kidderminster Harriers.
Copyright © 2012 - This Northern Soul. All rights reserved