This article continues the series dedicated to the men who played in the final ever game at Plumstead. Today, WA Spittle. There’s a list of the team for the final game of the 1912/13 season at the foot of the page.
William Spittle was an inside forward, born in Southfields April 1893. He played for Southfields Juniors, Woolwich Arsenal, Leicester City, Nuneaton Town and Tamworth Castle.
In the 1912/13 season he played six games, and scored zero, and in the first season at Highbury played one again without scoring. He is recorded as being on the books until 1919, but didn’t play after February 1914 (see below). He got no run in the team, clearly just filling in at either number 8 or 10 when injuries demanded.
But here’s a strange fact: despite those games he never once played on the winning side. His final game was away to Lincoln City on 21 February 1914, where we lost 2-5. By then I suspect Morrell (the manager) must have seen him as a curse, and decided not to use him any more.
For his start in football I regret I am at a loss – there are too many Southfields to be sure which one he came from. Leicester City is not much help either. They were a league team by the time Spittle would have joined them, and there is a list of Leicester players on Wikipedia, but no reference to him there.
Nuneaton were in the Birmingham and District league by the time Spittle arrived, and this looks to be a semi-pro or amateur appointment. Tamworth Castle is noted on a number of web sites, but sadly they all copy from each other, noting that there was a club, but that it collapsed in 1933. Which league they played in, I don’t know.
So a dead end all round. Not one of my best efforts, I know, but at least I noted Arsenal never won a game he played in.
Here’s the team for the final game at Plumstead – with links to the players covered so far.
- Goal: O Wilson
- Right back: J Shaw
- Left Back: J Fidler
- Right Half: GM Grant
- Centre Half: PR Sands
- Left Half: A McKinnon
- Outside Right: C H Lewis
- Inside Right : W A Spittle (this article)
- Centre Forward: S J Stonley
- Inside Left: A Devine
- Outside Left: G Burrell
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