A profile of every player to have played for Spurs during the Second World War: (part 1)
(Pictured above is war time guest Bobby Browne).
This year marks exactly 75 years since the Second World War came to an end, a period of great tumult and tragedy during the 20th century for the whole of the world. For England the country went through an awful lot however, surprisingly for some football did go on despite what was happening all around. With the LWL (London War League) and the FLS (Football League South) just some of the competitions going on throughout the war years in the absence of the Football League which was suspended. The club took part in such competitions despite the fact that many of their players had been posted all over the British isles, and in some cases across the planet. Like all the other first division clubs at the time, Spurs resorted to fielding a large number of guest players who ranged from England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. Some were big players and household names, others weren’t as such and therefore it was difficult to source much information about them and their footballing careers. As it is the 75th anniversary of the ending of the Second World War I thought that I’d mark this anniversary by writing a profile of every player to have represented Spurs throughout the war from when it started in 1939. Some profiles are considerably shorter than others due to the lack of information on some players and the vast amount of guest players who played for us.
This certain lack of information even goes as far to not knowing certain players first names. As there were a great number of players who played and guested for Spurs during this period, I thought that it would be best if I did this project/piece in several parts to make it easier for people to read. I simply would not have been able to write these articles without purchasing Bob Goodwin’s excellent and extremely informative book the Spurs Alphabet which I would highly recommend to all Spurs fans. The book provides invaluable information about players who played for Spurs during the war and it also provides important statistics and information. Such as the amount of appearances that players made for the club and where players were born. The Spurs Alphabet was an important source which helped me to write the following piece. Various historical online documents also proved very helpful in writing this series of articles. While I have tried my utmost to make these pieces as accurate and informative as possible, if anyone does spot any historical errors I do apologise and would appreciate being informed.
George Burchell: A fullback or central defender by trade, who only made one appearance for Spurs during the war. This came for George Burchell in an FLS game away at Watford in December 1939. Burchell was with Romford when he signed for Spurs as an amateur in the August of 1935. He did however, continue to play for the ‘ Boro ’ and when the war came he guested for Reading, Darlington and Middlesbrough before finishing his career off with Walthamstow Avenue who he played for after the war was over. Burchell also represented Essex and the Athenian league, and in addition to this he won 16 amateur caps for England between 1935-36 and 1946-47. Remarkably the fullback who was the captain of England Amateurs for a number of years, was one of the smallest central defenders ever to play international amateur football, but this didn’t stop him from being effective on the pitch. A tough tackling defender, Burchell also kept very good positioning on the field of play. In one of the games in which George Burchell captained England Amateurs against Wales, over 12,000 people were in attendance to watch them play at Dulwich Hamlet’s Champion Hill ground.
Doug Hunt: Born in the Hampshire village of Shipton Bellinger in 1914, centre forward Douglas Arthur Hunt started his footballing career with Winchester City in the Hampshire league. He took over the number nine shirt from future Arsenal legend Ted Drake who had transferred to Southampton. However, after being scouted by Spurs, Doug Hunt joined the Lilywhites in 1934, playing with Spurs’ nursery side Northfleet United to begin with before eventually making his senior debut for Tottenham in a first division game against Grimsby Town on Christmas Day of that year (Spurs lost 3-0). During the three seasons that Hunt was on the books of Spurs he always found himself behind the prolific George Hunt and also Johnny Morrison in the pecking order. However, Hunt was unlucky in a respect, as he was a very clinical finisher at reserve team level for Spurs. In total the centre forward made 19 competitive appearances for Tottenham scoring six goals during his time in north London. After transferring to second division Barnsley for a fee of £1700 in March 1938, Hunt scored 15 goals in 29 appearances for the Yorkshire club before transferring to Sheffield Wednesday after one season at Barnsley, in 1938. At Sheffield Wednesday Hunt was a consistent performer and goal scorer, and in one such league game against Norwich City he scored a remarkable total of six goals. However, the war came (Hunt scored 30 goals in 42 competitive appearances for Sheffield Wednesday) and the striker left the ‘ Owls ’ to guest for a number of clubs in the south of England, of which included Aldershot, Fulham, Brentford where he won the London War Cup in 1942 and Spurs who he returned to, to make five appearances for (he netted seven goals from those five appearances). After the war ended Hunt finished his playing career with Leyton Orient before moving into management. He took charge of Gloucester City and Tonbridge, taking the latter to the Southern League Cup finals in both 1955 and 1957.
Hunt would later move on to Yeovil Town aa a trainer/coach and he would spend more than 25 years at the Somerset based club until retiring in 1986 (he was given a testimonial by the club ten years earlier). Doug Hunt passed away three years later at the age of 75.
Sid Ottewell: Born in Horsley, Derbyshire in 1919 Sydney Ottewell captained the Derbyshire Schools Football team during his youth, before beginning his senior footballing career with Holbrook Colliery Welfare. The inside forward later joined Chesterfield in 1936 and made his competitive senior debut for the then second division outfit in a league game against Blackburn Rovers, aged 17 in 1937. Ottewell’s career like many other English footballers was disrupted by the start of the Second World War, and during the war he served as a Physical Training Instructor in the Royal Air Force. Sid also guested for a number of clubs during that period, of which included Birmingham City, Blackpool, Fulham and Spurs. The inside forward who stood at five foot, seven inches tall, played his one and only game for Spurs in an FLS game against London rivals Chelsea in the May of 1940 (he operated as an outside left). After the war Sid had a good career in the game and he played for Birmingham City, Luton Town, Nottingham Forest, Mansfield Town, Scunthorpe United, Whitstable Town and Spalding United (player mangaer). After he finished playing Ottewell turned his hand to management, taking charge and doing well at Bourne Town and Lockheed Lemington (his long time in charge there made Ottewell the longest serving Lemington manager of the modern era). At Lockheed Lemington the former footballer won the Midland League tittle in the 1965-65 season. In later life Sid resided in Newthorpe and at one stage he was believed to be Nottingham Forest’s oldest surviving former player. He passed away at the age of 92 in 2012.
Vic Woodley: Next on the list of footballers to have played for Spurs during the Second World War is a Chelsea legend. Victor Robert Woodley was a highly talented goalkeeper who made over 250 senior competitive appearances for the ‘ blues ’ during a 13 year spell. Woodley, who was born in Cippenham, Berkshire in 1911, played for a couple of clubs including Cippenham before joining Windsor and Eton in 1930, in the the old Spartan League. However, it was playing for the Athenian League against Berks and Bucks that Woodley was scouted by Chelsea in 1931 (he was also scouted by Aldershot but he turned them down) and he joined the west London club in the same year. A goalkeeper who anticipated situations and read the game really well, Woodley made his competitive debut for Chelsea the following year. A member of the famous ‘ Blues ’ side of the 1930’s, Woodley helped to keep Chelsea in the first division and in the process he kept Scotland’s number one goalkeeper John Jackson out of the team. Woodley also won 19 caps in total for his country, England and he was a part of the side that toured Germany in 1938. The goalkeeper remained at Chelsea throughout the Second World War however, he did guest for a number of clubs during this period. Those clubs were Brentford, Brighton and Hove Albion and Spurs. During his very brief time at Spurs Woodley played a single game for the Lilywhites, that came in an FLS game against Fulham in the April of 1940. Vic, who played in Chelsea’s historical friendly match against Soviet side Dynamo Moscow after the war had ended, was released by Chelsea shortly after that game. Woodley briefly linked up with Bath City before going back to the first division to play for Derby County. While there Woodley made 30 appearances for the ‘ Rams ‘ in all competitions and he was a member of the side that won the 1946 FA Cup. After finally retiring from playing professionally he rejoined Bath City who he served as player/manager until 1949. The former Chelsea legend passed away in Bradford on Avon in 1978.
W.Arnold: A player who made only a sole appearance for Spurs during the war, W.Arnold (I was unable to source his first name) was a player who operated as a winger. Interestingly however, Spurs were due to play Leicester City in an FLS game in May of 1941, but they had only turned up to the East Midlands with ten men. Leicester kindly agreed to lend one of their junior players (W.Arnold) to Spurs for the game. This was to be the only time that Arnold turned out for the Lilywhites. It is unknown who Arnold played for after leaving Leicester.
Ken Burditt: Yet another player who Leicester City agreed to let Spurs have for the FLS game at Filbert Street in May of 1941 due to having a lack of players to play the game (this was to be Burditt’s only appearance for Spurs). Ibstock born Frederick Charles Kendall Burditt was on Colchester United’s books when he turned up at Filbert Street ready to guest for the ‘ Foxes ’ against Spurs (Burditt was back in the Midlands during the war to work as a coal miner after being posted there during the war). An inside forward by trade who started his footballing career with Ibstock Penistone Rovers before going on to play for a couple of other clubs before going on to sign for Norwich City in October of 1930. Burditt spent six years at the ‘ Canaries ’ making 173 competitive appearances, before moving to London club Millwall in 1936. During his first season at the ‘ Lions ‘ the inside forward scored a fine total of 25 goals and he also played a part in Millwall making the semi-finals of the FA Cup. After leaving Millwall Ken Burditt would play for Notts County and Colchester United, before returning to Norwich City to guest during the Second World War, as well as guesting for Leicester City and Spurs. After the Second World War had finished, Burditt’s time working down the pits had taken its toll on his body and meant that he was unable to continue to play football in the Football League. He did however, play for Ibstock Colliery, Pegsons and Penistone Rovers as player-manager even when he was in his 50’s. It was at Penistone that he ended his footballing career. Ken Burditt passed away in his home town of Ibstock, Leicestershire in 1977 at the age of 70.
Doug Flack: Douglas W Flack was born in Staines in October of 1920 and attended Spring Grove Grammar School where he started his footballing journey. Recommended to west London side Fulham by teacher and former Fulham player Bernard Joy, Flack who operated as a goalkeeper joined the ‘ Cottagers ’ as a ground-staff player in 1935 to start an almost 20 year association with the club. However, Flack only really had one season where he was the number one goalkeeper for Fulham, that came in the 1948/49 season. He guested for a number of clubs during the Second World War of which included Brentford, Portsmouth, Reading and Spurs who he made five appearances for in the autumn of 1940. Doug Flack remained at Fulham after the war ended, staying there until 1953 before he went to join Walsall. After leaving the Midlands based club Flack then retired and took charge of Corinthian Casuals as a coach, and he took them to the FA Amateur Cup Final during his first season in charge. He would later manager London side Tooting and Mitcham before retiring from the game in 1970.
Les Henley: Lambeth born inside forward Leslie Donald Henley started his footballing career with non-league side Nunhead in 1938. Henley would later play for Margate before joining Arsenal as an amateur in 1939, and he made his one and an only competitive senior appearance for them in an FA Cup game in 1946 (he also played 97 times for them during the war). During the war Henley guested for Brentford, Brighton And Hove Albion, Crystal Palace, Fulham, Northampton Town, Queens Park Rangers, Reading, West Ham United and Spurs. For Spurs he made just two appearances, one of those incidentally (Henley’s debut) came in an FLS game against Arsenal in the October of 1940 however, it was brought to an abrupt end at the interval due to the air raid sirens sending out a warning. In his second appearance for Spurs against Aldershot, he scored one of Tottenham’s goals. In 1946 Henley joined Reading and he would go on to make close to 200 competitive senior appearances for the ‘ Royals ’. Then in 1953 he took the trip across the Irish Sea to manage Bohemians before returning to England in 1955 to manage Wimbledon who he took charge of for almost 16 years. Henley made Wimbledon flourish and they became one of the top amateur sides in the country during this period (they won four Isthmian league titles and an FA Amateur Cup as they progressed into the professional game). Les Henley passed away in May of 1996.
Taffy O’Callaghan: A Tottenham Hotspur legend who dazzled as an inside forward for the Lilywhites after joining Spurs during the mid 1920’s. Eugene O’Callaghan was born in Ebbw Vale, Wales to Irish parents in October of 1906. Taffy O’Callaghan began his footballing journey with Victoria United (Ebbw Vale’s junior side) before progressing up to Ebbw Vale’s reserve side. He divided his time playing football as well as working in the pits. O’Callaghan was scouted by Spurs and initially invited to join the ground-staff in 1925 however, he was soon farmed out to nursery clubs Barnet and Norhtfleet United who he did very well at. A bright spark during a dark time for Spurs during the late 1920’s as well as in the early 1930’s, the inside forward made his competitive senior debut in a Football League game against Everton in January of 1927. O’Callaghan was adept with both feet, had a good shot at his disposal, and he was also capable of dribbling with the ball at speed. The young footballer adapted well to life at Spurs and it didn’t take him long to make his mark on the club. An accurate passer of the ball who also had a creative side to his game, O’Callaghan also scored a lot of goals for Spurs (121 in 313 appearances). A player who was described by journalists at the time as an artist, he enjoyed many fine years at Spurs and the Welshman was a key member of manger Peter McWilliam’s Spurs side which was known as the ‘ Greyhounds ’ in the early 1930’s. O’Callaghan, who won 12 caps for his country Wales during his footballing career, would leave Spurs as a firm fans favourite in March of 1935 to join then Second Division side Leicester City much to Tottenham fans surprise. While at Leicester O’Callaghan quickly became an important player and helped them to win the Second Division title in his second season at the club. After leaving the ‘ Foxes ’ Taffy signed for Fulham who he played for until the start of the war.
During the war years O’Callaghan played for a number of clubs (he also served as a policeman and as an ambulance driver) including his old club Spurs who he returned to, to make a good number of appearances for in the LWL and FLS. The inside forward continued to play for Fulham in the first season after the end of the war however, he retired from playing in 1946. He went on to take up the position of assistant trainer at Fulham, right up until his untimely death in October 1956. Taffy O’Callaghan was a true Spurs legend.
Tom Paton: Thomas Gracie Paton was a footballer who lived a very interesting life. Born in Saltcoats, Ayrshire in the February of 1918, Scotsman Tom Paton started his career off with local side Ardeer Recreation in 1936, before then moving to Wolverhampton Wanderers the following year. Spells at Portsmouth, Swansea Town and Bournemouth and Boscombe followed, and Paton guested for a number of clubs during the Second World War of which included Leeds United, Manchester City and Spurs. During the war Tom Paton was in the British Army, serving first in the Hampshire Regiment and then later as an RAF officer in Bomber Command. During his time in the RAF, Paton was held as a prisoner of war for three years after the plane he was traveling in was shot down and captured near Heidelberg, Germany. All this happened shortly after the forward made his four guest appearances for Spurs during the early years of the war (he failed to score in any of the four games). Paton returned back to Bournemouth after the war had ended and he was a part of the side that won the Third Division South Cup. He would later sign for Watford in 1948 and he would interestingly play predominantly at right half for the ‘ Hornets ’ during his almost five seasons there. Paton finished off his playing career with Folkestone Town in Kent, before going on to scout for Sheffield Wednesday. Tom Paton died in Folkestone at the age of 72 in December 1991.
Wilf Saunders: A goalkeeper by trade who was on West Bromwich Albion’s books when he guested three times for Spurs in 1940, after being recommended to the Lilywhites by his RAF friend and Spur Viv Buckingham. Saunders who was from Grimsbury in Oxfordshire, started his career with Banbury Spencer before moving to West Brom (he would go on to make two senior competitive appearances for them) in 1938. He guested for Luton Town, Clapton Orient, Northampton Town, Watford and Spurs during the war before ending up back at his old club Banbury Spencer, before passing away in 1981 (I’m afraid that I wasn’t able to find much else out about Wilf Saunders during my research).
Reg Edwards: Born in the market town of Newton-Le-Willows, Cheshire in July of 1919, Reginald Charles Edwards was a winger (he did however, fill in at other positions on occasions) who started his footballing career with Earlestown White Star. Edwards would later move to Scottish side Alloa Athletic who he was on the books of right up until the start of the war. During the war years Edwards guested for a number of clubs south of the border, of which included QPR, Luton Town, Watford and Spurs. Reg Edwards guested for Spurs on eight occasions from the years 1941 to 1944 (he scored two goals) he had made his debut for the Lilywhites in the LWL against Brentford in April 1942. These appearances for Spurs came when the winger was plying his trade as a railway electrician, while serving in the RAF. After the war had ended Edwards signed permanently for Luton Town, before going on to end his career with Accrington Stanley who he moved on to the following year. Reg passed away in his home town of Newton-Le-Willows in March of 2002.
Jack Finch: East Londoner (West Ham born) John A Finch was a former Gainsborough Road School pupil (born in 1910) who went on to play for St Margarets, Walthamstow Avenue (he had two spells with Walthamstow) and Lowestoft Town as well as going on trial with Aston Villa, before signing amateur forms with Fulham in October 1930. Starting a 16 year association with the ‘ Cottagers ’ which saw him make 295 competitive appearances, scoring over 50 goals, Finch was a winger who was adept at playing on either flank and who undoubtedly had an eye for goal. The Londoner who was a creative force in the Fulham side of the 1930’s, was a member of the sides which won the Third Division South championship during the 1931-32 season and that reached the FA cup semi-finals during the 1935-36 season. Finch guested for Brentford, Crystal Palace and Spurs during the Second World War as well as being player-manager of Sittingbourne from 1943-46. Jack Finch made one appearance for Spurs and that ironically came in a London War League fixture against Fulham in May of 1942. After the war had ended Finch had a brief stint with Colchester United who he made three competitive appearances for, before going in to the coaching side of the game. First of all the former Fulham man was the manager of Nigeria, who he took charge of in 1949 for the team which toured England. Finch met the players at Liverpool docks after they arrived on the RMSS Apapa. During their time in England, Finch’s side who often played barefoot, played in total nine games against sides ranging from Dulwich Hamlet to South Liverpool. Nigeria won three of their nine games. During the following year and after his experiences coaching Nigeria, Jack Finch took the trip to Iceland to manage Valur who he was in charge of for two years. After finishing with the game of football he would work as a freelance reporter in east London before working as a driver in the Lowestoft area of Norfolk. In later years Finch settled down in Worthing on the south coast, the place where he passed away in November of 1993.
Alf Fitzgerald: Born in Conisborough, Yorkshire in January 1911, half-back Alfred Malcolm Fitzgerald started his career off with Denaby United. Fitzgerald later went on trial with Reading before signing professional forms with them in August of 1934, he then joined Queens Park Rangers in 1936, a club who he would play for until the war. Fitzgerald guested for a number of clubs during the war, these included Chelsea, Aldershot, Chelsea, Watford, West Ham United and Spurs. Alf Fitzgerald made his one and only appearance for the Lilywhites in a LWL fixture against Fulham in May of 1942, Spurs won 7-1. After the war had ended Fitzgerald joined Aldershot who he enjoyed two seasons with before later moving to Tonbridge in 1948. Alf Fitzgerald passed away in Brighton, Sussex in 1981.
Tom Kiernan: Thomas Kiernan was born in Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire, Scotland in October 1918. Kiernan started his footballing career with Viewpark Celtic in 1935 before then moving to Clydebank Juniors, and then Albion Rovers who he was on the books of when the Second World War began. The Scotsman was an inside forward by trade who was posted to London during the war as he was serving with the Royal Engineers. Tom Kiernan guested for Chelsea, Fulham, Aldershot, Brentford, Southampton and Spurs. For Spurs, he, made just two appearances, both of which came in the London War Cup in games against Charlton in the April of 1942. After the war was over Kiernan signed for one of Scotland’s biggest clubs in Glasgow Celtic. Putting in some impressive performances for the ‘ Hoops ’ during his time there, he was a regular during the 1945-46 and 1946-47 seasons, and his adeptness with both feet made him a very useful player (he also played as a centre forward for Celtic during his time there). Playing a total of 64 competitive senior games for Celtic during his time there, scoring 19 goals, Kiernan was sold to Stoke City in September 1947 (in the same year he played for the Scottish league against the Football League) leaving the supporters of Celtic dismayed, as they had been very fond of Kiernan during his time with them. After joining Stoke City he would later play for Luton Town, Gillingham, St Mirren, Barry Town (he had two spells with the Welsh club), Albion Rovers and Alloa Athletic. After retiring from playing Tom Kiernan took up a coaching position with Albion Rovers. He passed away in his home town of Coatbridge in June of 1991.
Wilf Mannion: Middlesbrough legend Wilfred John Mannion was one of the greats of English football from the period ranging from the 1940’s right through to the 1950’s. Mannion was rightly inducted in to the English Football Hall of Fame in 2000, which was a testament to his footballing career in this country. Born in South Bank, Middlesbrough to Irish parents in May of 1918, Mannion who was one of ten children, used to play football on the waste ground in South Bank as a lad before he joined local side South Bank St Peters. He played for them until he signed amateur forms with Middlesbrough in 1936 (he made his league debut for them in 1937). Standing out during his early days for Middlesbrough, the tough but ultimately very quick and skilful inside forward settled in well, and he scored a good number of goals for his team. However, the Second World War arrived and the then promising young footballers career was put on a temporary hold. Mannion served for the British Army in France where it had even been reported that he had been killed however, he had been evacuated from Dunkirk at the time of this report. He also served in Italy during his time on the continent and was part of the British force which invade Sicily in 1943 (Mannion made his four appearances for Spurs before this period. He also guested for Bournemouth and Boscombe Athletic). However, after the war had ended Wilf Mannion won his first full international cap with England scoring a hat-trick in a 7-2 victory over Northern Ireland. He continued to enjoy many more very fine years with Middlesbrough and he won a lot more England caps (he won 26 in total and played at the 1950 World Cup) but after initially retiring from the game in 1954 after making 351 senior league appearances for Middlesbrough, Mannion ended up returning to the game when he signed for Hull City in the same year. Mannion would later play for Poole Town, Cambridge United where he would have played agains Spurs’ A team, King’s Lynn, Haverhill Rovers and Earlestown where he served as player-manager.
Wilf Mannion was granted a testimonial match by Middlesbrough in 1983. He passed away in Redcar, Cleveland in April 2000.
McFarlane: During my research writing this piece McFarlane was one of those players who I was able to find very little about, other than what was included in the Spurs Alphabet. An outside right by trade who used to be a fullback when he played for Edinburgh side St Bernards, McFarlane was brought to Spurs by Viv Buckingham and played his one and only game for them in a London War Cup game against Watford in the April of 1942.
David Noble: David Simpson Noble was born in Queensferry, West Lothian, Scotland and he first started out at Blackhall Athletic. He would later play for Edinburgh side St Bernards before moving to North Lanarkshire based club Clyde in the September of 1936. During the Second World War and when Noble was on Clyde’s books he guested for Spurs during the 1941-42 season (presumably as he was posted to southern England) the outside left played six times for the Lilywhites, scoring three goals.
Tommy Pearson: A quality outside left during his time at Newcastle United and Aberdeen during the 1930’s, 40’s and 50’s. Edinburgh born Thomas Usher Pearson (born in May 1913) started his footballing career with local side Murrayfield Athletic, before going on trial with Hearts in 1933 however, he didn’t end up signing for the Edinburgh club and instead Pearson joined Newcastle United in March of the same year for a sum of £35. While at Newcastle the highly skilful winger endeared himself to the Newcastle faithful with his entertaining and effective style of play right up until the beginning of the war. When the war did arrive Tommy Pearson ended up guesting for a number of clubs such as Blackburn Rovers, Birmingham City, Blackpool, Bolton Wanderers, Heart of Midlothian, Stoke City, Liverpool, Walsall and of course Tottenham Hotspur. Pearson made just two appearances for Spurs, with both of them coming in the London War League (he made his debut against Reading on January of 1942). During the war Tommy Pearson interestingly filled in for England, and he would later play twice for Scotland, making him the only player in the history of the game to play for both countries. In the February of 1948 Pearson left Newcastle United to go back up north and sign for Aberdeen for £4000. Once again he won the affection of the supporters this time through his ‘ double shuffle ’ something which he developed during the war years. Pearson ended up retiring from playing in 1953 and initially worked as a journalist for the Scottish Daily Mail, and he wrote for them up until he was appointed as a youth football coach at Aberdeen at the end of the decade. He was later to be appointed the manager of the football club but had to deal with losing a number of key players at Pittodrie to retirement. He resigned after close to six years in his post, in February 1965. However, Pearson ended up returning to another former club in later years in Newcastle United to serve as a scout for the club. He also opened a jewellery shop in Edinburgh. Pearson passed away in his home city of Edinburgh at the age of 85 in March of 1999.
Charlie Revell: Born in Belvedere, county Kent in June of 1919, Charles H Revell was scouted by Tottenham playing for his first club Callenders Athletic. The half back joined Spurs as an amateur in January of 1937 and was farmed out to Spurs’ nursery club Northfleet United who he interestingly played for as a forward. Revell signed professional forms with Spurs during the following year but ended moving across to south London to join Charlton Athletic in 1939 after not making a single senior appearance for Spurs. The man from county Kent served the ‘ Daggers ‘ with distinction, helping them to win the Football League South Cup in 1944 as well as playing in virtually every position except goalkeeper during his 12 year spell there. During the war Revell very impressively notched up 82 goals in just over 100 matches for Charlton. However, during the war years he also managed to guest for Blackpool, Bury, Birmingham City, Chelsea, Fulham, Wrexham and Spurs. For his old club Spurs Charlie Revell played once and scored once in a London War League fixture against Charlton Athletic. Upon leaving Charlton permanently in 1951 he joined Derby County before joining Eynesbury Rovers as player-manager the following year, but this was to be where Revell’s playing career would end. He later managed Edgware Town, Canterbury City and Erith and Belvedere before serving both Crystal Palace and Charlton as a coach and as a scout. In later years Revell settled back in Kent where he was a football teacher at Bexleyheath school. He passed away in Sidcup at the age of 80 in December 1999.
Joe Sibley: Southend born (born in October 1919) Albert Sibley started out at his local club Southend United and he rose up through the ranks at the ‘ Shrimpers ’ to make 226 appearances for them, scoring 44 goals. Like many other players the outside rights career was disrupted by the war, and the then young Joe Sibley guested for Arsenal, Aldershot, Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Fulham, Millwall, Queens Park Rangers and Spurs. For Spurs, Sibley made three appearances in the LWL, scoring one goal during the 1941/42 season (Joe Sibley made his Spurs debut against Reading in January of 1942). During the war years Sibley also served in the RAF at Ruislip. However, after the war was over he continued to play for Southend before making the move to Newcastle United in February 1947. Whilst at Newcastle Sibley played with some great players such as the Robledo brothers and Tommy Walker, and he (Sibley) played a part in helping the ‘ Toon ’ to win the old Second Division during the 1947/48 season (Joe Sibley made his debut for Newcastle United in February of 1947 v Southampton). Joe Sibley spent three years at Newcastle (many of which were disrupted by injury) and the winger ended up returning to Southend United in the summer of 1950, and he would go on to spend six years there until retiring at the end of the 1955/56 season. Joe Sibley passed away in Southchurch, Essex in February 2008.
Cyril Williams: Bon in Bristol, England in November 1921, Cyril Edward Williams started his footballing career with his hometown club Bristol City after being signed by manager Bob Hewison in 1939. An outside left/inside forward who was a good dribbler of the ball, Williams had hardly signed for Bristol City when the war had broken out. During the war years he guested for Swindon Town, Reading and Spurs. For the Lilywhites the young lad from Bristol made three appearances for Spurs in the London War League, making his debut against Portsmouth in November of 1941. After the war had ended Williams ended up making 78 appearances in total for the ‘ Robins ’ scoring 27 goals, before transferring to West Bromwich Albion in June of 1948, much to the disappointment of the Bristol City supporters. In his first season at the Midlands based club he helped them to finish as runners up in the old Second Division and they were subsequently promoted to the first division for the start of the following season. Then in August 1951 Williams rejoined Bristol City for a sum of £4,500. He was a part of the side which won the Thid Division South in 1954-55 and he once again became a key player for the team as they moved in to the second division. After a successful second spell with Bristol City, Cyril Williams first joined Chippenham Town as manager in 1958 before later taking charge of Gloucester City. After retiring from football Cyril Williams ran the Greylands Hotel which was situated in Western-Super-Mare. He managed the hotel until his untimely and tragic death in a car crash in January of 1980.
Pat Beasley: Pat Beasley was a player who featured more frequently than most war time guests for Spurs during the war (like Taffy O’Callaghan). Beasley was from Stourbridge, Worcestershire (born in July of 1912) and he started off playing for local sides Cookesley and Stourbridge in Kidderminster. Beasley who operated both as a forward and as a half back, joined Arsenal in the May of 1931, starting a successful five year spell at the ‘ Gunners ’ which saw him win two First Division Championships with them in 1933-34 and 1934-35, playing with the likes of the legendary Cliff Bastin and a future Spurs manager in Joe Hulme. Sold to Huddersfield Town for £750 in 1936, Beasley enjoyed a good solid three seasons with the ‘ Terriers ‘, making over 100 appearances for them and he also helped them to reach the 1937/38 FA Cup Final which they finished runners up in after losing to Preston North End. Beasley won an international cap for England in a game against Scotland the following year (he scored in this game and became the 653rd player to play for England). The County Worcestershire man guested for a number of clubs during the war of which included Spurs who he made 98 appearances for scoring 31 goals, Arsenal, Brentford, Charlton Athletic, Reading, Derby County, Fulham and York City. After the war had ended Pat Beasley spent five years with Fulham before joining Bristol City in 1950 first as a player and then two years later he became player-manager where he took the ‘ Robins ’ up to the Second Division in 1955. He would later manage Birmingham City where had a good spell, before becoming a scout for Fulham and later managing Dover. Beasley resided in County Somerset in later years, and he passed away in Taunton at the age of 72 in March of 1986.
Charlie Briggs: Welshman Charles Edward Briggs was born in Newton, South Wales in 1910, and he joined Spurs 20 years later as an amateur. Briggs was a goalkeeper by trade and the Lilywhites farmed him out to Hayward Sports, but Spurs never ended up signing him as a professional. Spells at the likes of Guildford City, Fulham, Crystal Palace and Halifax Town followed. It was on Halifax Town’s books that Briggs returned to Spurs as one of the clubs that he guested for during the war, he made three for them over a two year spell. After the war was over he would later play for the likes of Clyde, Rochdale and Chesterfield. Briggs passed away in Broxburn, Scotland at the age of 81 in January of 1993.
Bobby Browne: Derry man Robert James ‘ Bobby ’ Browne was born in February 1912. The Northern Irishman who played for his country six times (he made his debut against England in Belfast in 1935) was a half back by trade, and a talented one too. One of ten children (his youngest brother Leonard was killed when the HMS Firedrake was sunk) he started off playing for junior clubs Maleven and Cooney Rovers however, Browne began his senior career with hometown club Derry City in the early 1930’s. He played for the ‘ Candystripes ’ until 1935 winning both the City Cup and the North-Western Cup, when English side Leeds United were impressed by Browne who was playing in the game between the Irish League team and the English League, and came calling. He joined Leeds for a fee of £1500 and despite his small frame he settled in well to life at the Yorkshire based club. Before, during and after the war Browne made in total 121 appearances for Leeds. During the war he joined the police force in England, he later resigned and would become an Army PT instructor in Colchester, Essex. In the midst of all this he also guested for a number of clubs including Derry City when he was posted back to Ulster, Aldershot, Luton Town, Swansea Town, Colchester United, Watford and Spurs. For Spurs, Browne made three appearances in total, making his debut against Queens Park Rangers in the FLS in the September of 1942. After the war had ended Bobby Browne played for York City, before becoming player-manager of Thorne Colliery and then coach and caretaker manager of his old club Halifax Town in 1954. Browne passed away in 1994 when he was in early 80’s.
To be continued…