Dan Burgess (also known as Dick); another of our mystery players

The deeper one goes the harder and more mysterious it gets.  And none more so, thus far, than Daniel Burgess, also known as “Dick”.

Here’s what we know from the records.

He was born in Goldenhill, in Staffordshire, on 23 October 1896 and was an inside forward.

He started with Port Vale, which would have been his local club, and then moved to Arsenal for whom he played from 1919 to 1922.   He then moved on to West Ham (1922/3), Aberdare Athletic (1923), QPR and Sittingbourne.

Overall he played 13 times for Arsenal.

He first shows up at Arsenal in the first post-war season of 1919/20 as one of the men brought in by Leslie Knighton, the new manager.  He didn’t play in the opening game of the season, but played his first game on 1 September 1919 against Liverpool at number 8 (inside right).  Having lost the first match of the season at home, Arsenal went to Liverpool and won 3-2.

He scored his first and indeed only goal on 27 September 1919 against Blackburn (away), but after the return match the following week (this being the season that home and away games were played against the same team consecutively, he dropped out of the team.  So that was 7 games in a row, and one goal, and then no more.

Burgess did not return to the side until 12 March 1921 (ie 18 months later) when he got two more games, and then again two more for the last two games of the season.

At the start of the 1921/2 season he played in the second and third game, but this latter game, (a 4-1 defeat away to Preston on 29 August 1921) proved to be his last and after that he left.

I did wonder how he came to move from West Ham to Aberdare, but Aberdare but they had joined the Third Division South at the start of 1921/2 from the Southern League, and so were at the time, recruiting players for their new status.  Perhaps WHU simply offered him to all and sundry.

And that’s it.  Another mystery player.  We know nothing of his life beyond football, and nothing much about his footballing life either.  If you know, please do write in.

Tony Attwood


6 Replies to “Dan Burgess (also known as Dick); another of our mystery players”

  1. Why did he drop out of the team after playing 7 consecutive games? Did he pick up a long term injury? Was he only playing because the usual inside-right was injured? Was he just no good?

  2. Patrick – I think the only way we would find the answer to your questions about injury would be through the local press of the time – and they were not that good at following up such matters in those days.

    But yes, he played in his normal position, that we do know. Knighton did recruit a few really good players at low prices, but it looks like it was just another player he tried out after the war, and who in the end didn’t make it. And then subsequently the story that he had played for Arsenal was lost to his family.

  3. Dan Burgess was my ‘uncle’. T least that is what I called him. I too was born in Golden hill which is in Stoke-on-Trent Staffs. In the 1960’s I remember staying at his house in Mill Hill, London with my parents when they went down to the big smoke. The last time I remember visiting was in 1972 (when I was 20) to see Stoke win the league cup. We stayed with then on the Saturday night but I can’t remember the street I’m afraid but his wife was aunty “lydie’, I would think that they would appear on electoral rolls of the time.
    I will ask my older brother if he can remember any other details.

  4. You may have visited Dan and Lydia in Byron Road, Mill Hill. They were my husbands grandparents. As far as we know, Dan met Kate Lydia Ward through her brother, who was one of his army friends.

  5. Lydia (Lyd) was my great Aunty. She married my grandfathers army friend (Dan). My grandfather (Charles Ward) is my Mums dad. (Hilda Harris). We are living in New Zealand and have just discovered this story as my son (Dan’s great great newphew) is a massive Arsenal fan. Who knew!

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