Two of Arsenal’s most mysterious players: missing from the official list, but they certainly played.

By Tony Attwood

1910 was the summer that Woolwich Arsenal FC were on the edge of extinction surviving only because of the intervention of Henry Norris.  He paid off the debts, negotiated with the existing shareholders, offered the club back to the local community, and indeed guaranteed the club’s solvency.

He also guaranteed that the club would stay in Plumstead for two more seasons.

The first of these promised seasons was not helpful for the club in terms of selling shares and returning ownership to the fans, which is what Henry Norris had intended, but after a shaky start the club, as we have seen, ended the season in 10th place – exactly half way down the table.

With Norris having paid off the debts and guaranteed the future loans, he was not minded to put his hand further into his pocket to buy in new players – not least because the Fund Raising Committee would not hand over its money to the board to use for the club’s benefit.

Below is a list of the players Arsenal used in 1910/11 with links to articles on these players.  I’ll be trying to complete the links by having articles on all the players, in the coming weeks.

But something strange cropped up here.  I noted two players who I don’t believe were listed on the Arsenal FC official site, in its history section.  (I say “don’t believe” because on the day I am writing this, 4 July 2017, the site no longer has a list of players – although I guess a new one might appear ready for the new season.  However when I made a copy of their list to check against my list, during the 2016/17 season, those players were definitely not included.

These players are Leslie Calder and Frederick Calvert who each made on appearance at the end of the season.

All I can find on Leslie Calder in relation to football is that he was born in Southampton, and signed for Arsenal as an amateur on 24 March 1911.  He played that one game at centre forward away to Middlesbrough on 15 April 1911.  It was a 1-1 draw, Neave scored and there were 14,000 in the crowd.  He then signed as a professional on 24 August 1912, but didn’t get another game and does not appear to have moved on to another team.

Fred Calvert played for Woolwich Arsenal while he was in the Army based at the Woolwich Garrison.  He was born in Southend on Sea and signed for Arsenal as an amateur on 2 April 1911.   He played in the match after that involving Calder – the game two days later away to Liverpool, another 1-1 draw, this in front of 20,000.   He did however manage one more game – against Notts County on 23 December 1911.  Arsenal lost 1-3 in front of 6,000.

And that is all I have.

The players who don’t yet have biographies on this site will have them added in the coming weeks, but for now, here is the full list, with links to articles that have thus far been completed.

Player Position Games Goals Pens
Edwin Bateup Goalkeeper 30
George Burdett Goalkeeper 10
Leslie Adair Calder Forward 1
Frederick J Calvert Forward 1
John Chalmers Centre forward 31 16
Alfred Common Inside forward 31 6
Andrew Ducat Wing half 35 3 1
John Flanagan Inside forward 10 1
Archie Gray Full back 28
David Greenaway Outside right 22 2
Frank Heppinstall Outside left 5
Gordon Rahere Hoare Forward 16 7
Charles Henry Lewis Forward 36 2
Henry McDaid Logan Forward 11
Duncan McDonald Full back 1
Roddy McEachrane Half back 32
Angus McKinnon Left half 10
David Neave Outside left 16 3
John Charles Peart Full back 7
James Alfred Quayle Full back 1
Willis Rippon Inside forward 9 2
Percy Sands Centre half 33
Joseph E Shaw Full back 37
Matthew Shortt Inside forward 4
Matthew Thomson Half back 17
Thomas Winship Outside left 6

The story of Henry Norris at the Arsenal is being developed on this site.  Here are the articles already completed

Part 1. How Arsenal fell from grace.

Part 2: heading for liquidation and the first thought of moving elsewhere

Part 3: March and April 1910 – the crisis deepens

Part 4: the proposed mergers with Tottenham and Chelsea.

Part 5: The collapse of Woolwich Arsenal: how the rescue took shape.

Part 6: It’s agreed, Arsenal stay in Plumstead for one (no two) years

Part 7: Completing the takeover and preparing for the new season

Part 8: July to December 1910. Bad news all round.

Part 9: 1911 – Arsenal escape relegation.

  • There is an index to all the series on this site on the home page



7 Replies to “Two of Arsenal’s most mysterious players: missing from the official list, but they certainly played.”

  1. Leslie Calder had a decent post was career with DFC of Prague (Deutcher Fussball Club/German Football Club) where he played centre-forward from 1920 to 1925. In newspaper line-ups he was mostly listed as ”Less”. DFC also had an Englishman in defence, full-back James Ottaway, simply listed as ”Jimmy” in in line-ups.

    DFC was a Czech pioneer in football, a club with a predominantly Jewish/German/Upper class signature.

  2. Hi there, could you tell me if you have a photographic image of Fred Calvert? Maybe even in a team line up.

    Kind regards.

    Ralph Sheridan.

  3. Hi Tony, thank you very much for replying. The reason I asked is I bought a couple of very interesting photos at an auction over the weekend. I don’t receive them for another week or so but one of them has a post it note on saying that their Grandad, Fred Calvert, is in the front row and the other is an action shot of a game obviously taken around the turn of last century with a reasonable amount standing on what seems a basic terracing in the back ground and behind them in the shortish distance are two sets of very large chimneys. I wondered if this is the Fred Calvert it may be of a very early game at the Manor Ground with the Arsenal works in the back ground. All guess work till I get the photos. I’ll keep in touch with you about them if that is ok?
    Cheers, Ralph.

  4. Sorry Tony, I meant to say, I’m looking in to contacting the person who sold the photos and is hopefully Fred Calvert’s Grandchild.

  5. I am 95% sure this Leslie Calder was my great-grandfather! He married my great-grandmother who was a pediatrician in Prague. I will try to collect some more information from my Aunt. Is there anything specific you would like to know?

  6. Anything really Julie. As the headline said, they are mysterious players, and there was nothing much I could find out at all, from articles published. So anything on his life would be of interest.

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