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Noel George’s 1921 FA Cup Final jersey

Noel George’s 1921 FA Cup Final jersey

The annals of football history are full of odd stories. One quaint story comes from the Midlands where Lichfield-born Noel George was goalkeeper for Wolverhampton Wanderers for the 1921 FA Cup Final against Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge.

Cup Final

Spurs won the 1921 final with a goal from Jimmy Dimmock but our story concerns the Wolves goalkeeper of the day, Noel George.

George was an imposing figure, often described as a giant. One article made the dubious claim that he could hold the ball between the thumb and forefinger of either hand. Who are we to doubt this claim?

He first came into the Wolves first team during the 1920/21 season when he took Welsh international goalkeeper Teddy Peers place in the side. He played throughout Wolves’ cup run to the final.

Noel George’s Wolves lost to Spurs in the final.

George would cement his place as a regular in the Wolves team for the next six years. However, an illness curtailed his career and he had to retire in the late 1920s. Sadly the illness that ended his career also ended his life, and he passed away at the terribly young age of only 31.

Lichfield 1946

We pick up the Noel George story again in 1946 in Lichfield where this wonderful article appeared in the Lichfield Mercury

Probably the most ancient jersey ever on display in the annals of the Lichfield and District League was on show on Saturday at the Burntwood Rangers – City Institute game. Spectators were amazed at the spectacle of a tattered pain spattered, bottle-green jersey worn by goalkeeper C. Gough, for the Institute, who was obviously proud of his possession.

Gough’s jersey is one with a famous history and came into his possession at the time of his entry into the City Institute club as goalkeeper last season.

The jersey, over 25 years old, had been worn and was the property of one of Lichfield’s foremost and most distinguished footballers – none other than the late Noel George of Molineux fame. Noel George, a colourful figure in national football during the twenties, wore the jersey when keeping goal for the Wolves in the 1921 Stamford Bridge Cup Final against Tottenham Hotspur. it was a most thrilling final, as some of our older sportsmen will recall Noel George, wearing the same green jersey, only let one goal past him, and it was the winner for Spurs.

Whether Gough, who has played consistently well in goal for the Institute this season wears the jersey through necessity in these couponless times or for sentimental reasons is a matter for conjecture. But, in any case, the jersey is in good hands and, despite its age and tattered appearance, continues to render good service to the cause of local football.

It’s absolutely wonderful to hear that a jersey from the 1921 Cup Final was still in use after the second World War albeit in a local league. It caused a bit of a stir locally at the time but this story is now long forgotten.

The present whereabouts of said jersey are currently unknown.

Source material from the excellent British Newspaper Archive.

 
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Posted by on February 20, 2019 in History

 

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Alliterative Footballers in the Premier League, Championship, League One and League Two


A list of footballers who have played in the Premier League, Championship, League One or League Two this season with their first name beginning with the same letter as their surname. Please let me know if you are aware of any others.

  • Adebayo Akinfenwa (Northampton Town)
  • Adebayo Azeez (Wycombe Wanderers & Leyton Orient)
  • Ahmed Abdulla (Barnet)
  • Akwasi Asante (Shrewsbury Town)
  • Ali Al Habsi (Wigan Athletic)
  • Almen Abdi (Watford)
  • Andreas Arestidou (Morecambe)
  • Andrey Arshavin (Arsenal)
  • Antolín Alcáraz (Wigan Athletic)
  • Barry Bannan (Aston Villa)
  • Bartosz Bialkowski (Notts County)
  • Billy Bodin (Torquay United)
  • Brian Barry-Murphy (Rochdale)
  • Chris Cohen (Nottingham Forest)
  • Christopher Chantler (Carlisle United)
  • Ciaran Clark (Aston Villa)
  • Clarke Carlisle (York City & Northampton Town)
  • Conor Clifford (Portsmouth & Crawley Town)
  • Courtney Cameron (Rotherham United)
  • Craig Cathcart (Blackpool)
  • Craig Clay (Chesterfield)
  • Craig Conway (Cardiff Dragons)
  • Craig Curran (Rochdale)
  • Cyrus Christie (Coventry Dragons)
  • Damien Delaney (Crystal Palace & Ipswich Town)
  • Danny Drinkwater (Leicester City)
  • Darryl Duffy (Cheltenham Town)
  • David Davis (Wolverhampton Wanderers)
  • David De Gea (Manchester United)
  • David Dunn (Blackburn Rovers)
  • Diego De Girolamo (Sheffield United)
  • Donervon Daniels (Tranmere Rovers)
  • Dorian Dervite (Charlton Athletic)
  • Ethan Ebanks-Landell (Bury)
  • Frank Fielding (Derby County)
  • Gábor Gyepes (Portsmouth)
  • Gaël Givet (Blackburn Rovers)
  • Gary Gardner (Aston Villa)
  • Gianluca Gracco (Dagenham & Redbridge)
  • Gordon Greer (Brighton & Hove Albion)
  • Harry Hooman (Cheltenham Town)
  • Heidar Helguson (Cardiff Dragons)
  • Jake Jervis (Portsmouth, Tranmere Rovers, Carlisle United & Birmingham City)
  • Jake Jones (Walsall)
  • Jamie Jones (Leyton Orient)
  • Jermaine Jenas (Nottingham Forest & Queens Park Rangers)
  • Jermaine Johnson (Sheffield Wednesday)
  • Joe Jacobson (Shrewsbury Town)
  • Johnnie Jackson (Charlton Athletic)
  • Jussi Jääskeläinen (West Ham United)
  • Kei Kamara (Norwich City)
  • Keith Keane (Preston North End)
  • Leon Legge (Gillingham & Brentford)
  • Leroy Lita (Sheffield Wednesday & Birmingham City)
  • Marcus Marshall (Bury)
  • Mark Molesley (Exeter City & Plymouth Argyle)
  • Marko Marin (Chelsea)
  • Marvin Morgan (Shrewsbury Town)
  • Mathieu Manset (Carlisle United)
  • Matt Mitchel-King (AFC Wimbledon)
  • Matthew McClure (Wycombe Wanderers)
  • Matthew Mills (Bolton Wanderers)
  • Michael Morrison (Charlton Athletic)
  • Modibo Maïga (West Ham United)
  • Nyron Nosworthy (Watford)
  • Olanrewaju Oyebanjo (York City)
  • Osayamen Osawe (Accrington Stanley)
  • Oulwasanmi Odelusi (Bolton Wanderers)
  • Paul Parry (Shrewsbury Town)
  • Pavel Pogrebnyak (Reading)
  • Phil Picken (Bury)
  • Richard Ravenhill (Bradford City)
  • Robbie Rogers (Stevenage)
  • Sam Saunders (Brentford)
  • Sam Slocombe (Scunthorpe United)
  • Sam Sodje (Portsmouth)
  • Scott Shearer (Rotherham United)
  • Scott Sinclair (Manchester City)
  • Sean Scannell (Huddersfield Town)
  • Sean St. Ledger (Leicester City & Millwall)
  • Stéphane Sessègnon (Sunderland)
  • Steve Sidwell (Fulham)
  • Steve Simonsen (Preston North End)
  • Steven Schumacher (Bury)
 
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Posted by on April 12, 2013 in Alliteration XI, Club

 

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WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS SEASON REVIEW 2011/2012


The word cloud below was generated using all of Wolverhampton Wanderers’ match reports from the BBC website from the 2011/2012 season. The more frequently a word is used, the larger it appears on screen. The image was generated using the wonderful wordle.net.

Click to make image bigger

Click to make image bigger

 
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Posted by on July 4, 2012 in Club

 

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Foreign players in the Premier League 2011/2012


Following on from the post I made earlier in the week regarding foreign players in the Championship here we have the same information but for the top flight – The Premier League. As you would expect this division features a higher proportion of foreign players than the Championship. However, it’s interesting to note that 68 different nationalities were used in the Premier League during the 2011/2012 season, one fewer – 67 – were used in the Championship.

Of the 522 players that played in the Premier League 212 of them were Englishmen. In my opinion that should be a decent enough pool of players for an England manager to pick from. Talk of sanctions to free up more spaces for average English players over foreign counterparts seems a pointless exercise when that many players are playing top flight football.

The table below shows data on each of the twenty-four clubs in the Premier League and the nationalities who played during the 2011/2012 season. The columns are as follows, Nats: number of nationalities used, Plyrs: total number of players used, Eng: Englishmen used (Sco, Wal, NI, Ire self-explanatory). %Eng is the percentage of the total number of players used who are English whilst %B&I is the percentage of players used who are from England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland. Whilst I understand that Ireland is a foreign country I feel that this metric is useful as players from the Republic of Ireland have been integral parts of squads in the football pyramid for many years.

Premier League nationality breakdown 2011/2012

Premier League nationality breakdown 2011/2012

No team fielded more Englishmen than QPR during the season (19) though it should be remembered that QPR fielded the most players (35) in the same period. Stoke City operated with the smallest (but almost certainly tallest) squad of 23 and it was Wigan Athletic who featured the fewest Englishmen during the season (3).

Wolves’ doomed campaign featured the most Irish players (6), they also fielded 3 Welshmen during the season though Swansea City fielded the most Welsh players (4). Wigan Athletic’s survival was helped along by their 3 Scotsmen whilst both West Brom and Fulham featured 2 Northern Irishmen in their Premier League campaigns for 2011/2012.

Of the players who turned out for Champions League victors Chelsea, only 28% of them were “British & Irish” whilst Norwich City players were 85% “British & Irish”. The team that we can all label “the foreign legion” are Arsenal who featured 22% “British & Irish” players during the 2011/2012 season. Wigan Athletic fielded the lowest percentage of Englishmen with 13% of their players being eligible for England.

 

 
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Posted by on May 22, 2012 in Statistics

 

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Analysis of player nationalities at Premier League clubs 2010/2011


As a follow up to my previous blogpost related to the different nationalities represented in the Premier League I thought it might be interesting to slice the data slightly differently. This time I’m going to look at player nationality by club. The data in this article relates to the nationality of players who started matches in the Premier League last season (2010/2011). For example, every club has 418 starting berths each season, that’s 11 players multiplied by 38 games. Of those 418 potential starting berths, Birmingham City used 242 Englishmen. That’s a percentage of around 57%.

Only six teams in the Premier League last season fielded teams that featured more than 50% Englishmen. These were  Birmingham City, Aston Villa, Sunderland, Bolton Wanderers, Newcastle United and West Ham United. The following table displays the most English clubs in the Premier League last season.

Clubs with most English starting players in the Premier League 2010/2011 season

Clubs with most English starting players in the Premier League 2010/2011 season

A few things of note:

  • The three relegated sides Birmingham City, Blackpool and West Ham are in the top seven most English sides.
  • It is Wigan Athletic and Arsenal who have the least English sides by far. They are also the only two clubs in the Premier League whose most used nationality was not English. Arsenal’s was (unsurprisingly) French, whilst Wigan Athletic had more Honduran starters than any other nationality last season.
  • Of England’s Champions League representatives for the 2011/2012 season it is Manchester City who are the most English having started Englishmen 43 more times than their city rivals Manchester United.

Clubs featuring most of one particular nationaliy

Clubs featuring most of one particular nationaliy

A few things to note on the above data:

  • Wolves feature a large number of Irishmen, this is probably unsurprising due to their manager being ex-Ireland international Mick McCarthy.
  • Blackpool were the “most Welsh” Premier League side during 2010/2011. Both David Vaughan and Neal Eardley featured regularly for the Tangerines.
  • Fulham featured a number of Northern Irish players, a hang-over from Lawrie Sanchez’ era at Craven Cottage perhaps?
  • Liverpool featured more Spanish starters than any other side, their previous manager to Kenny Dalglishg was (of course) Spaniard Rafa Benitez,

Different nationalities starting games by club Premier League 2010/2011

Different nationalities starting games by club Premier League 2010/2011

A couple of things to note related to the above data:
  • The most English side Birmingham City also started the least number of nationalities (only 9) during the Premier League campaign.
  • West Brom used more than double the number of nationalities than Birmingham City.
If you have any ideas on ways this data can be further analysed I’d be happy to hear from you.
 
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Posted by on August 1, 2011 in Club

 

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Premier League Season Review 2010/2011: #20 Wolverhampton Wanderers


The word cloud below is generated from all of the BBC’s match reports from the 2010/2011 season for Wolverhampton Wanderers. The cloud offers a visual review of the past season, illustrating the players who were important – or at least were mentioned in the match reports most times! Click on the image to see a larger, easier to read version:

Premier League 2010/2011 Season Review: Wolves

Premier League 2010/2011 Season Review: Wolves

World Cloud (description from wikipedia): A tag cloud (word cloud, or weighted list in visual design) is a visual representation for text data, typically used to depict keyword metadata (tags) on websites, or to visualize free form text. ‘Tags’ are usually single words, normally listed alphabetically, and the importance of each tag is shown with font size or color.

 
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Posted by on June 21, 2011 in Club

 

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