Matthew Shortt: 4 games and 4 defeats with Arsenal, but then a success in America.

By Tony Attwood

Matthew Shortt was born on 5 February 1889 in Dumfries and started playing football with his home town club Dumfries before moving on and playing with Dalbeattie Star situated just 13 miles down the road.

That club was founded in 1905 and played until 1948 when it folded.  In 1976 a new club was formed with the same name and it now competes in the Lowland Football League was formed in 1976.

It was from Star that Arsenal signed the player on 12 November 1910.  He made his debut two weeks later but was on the losing side in all four games he played.

On 26 November 1910 he lplayed the first of four games for Arsenal, after which he left the club and went back to Scotland where he played for Kilmarnock, Clydebank, Kilmarnock again, and then Llanelly, before deciding, for reasons I don’t know, to emigrate to the USA.  I suspect he left during the first world war but I have no evidence for that.

Once there he continued his travels and played for Fall River Marksmen, Brooklyn Wanderers, Philadelphia Field Club, Boston Wonder Workers, and finally Brooklyn Wanderers again.

However I do have a report that by the time he moved to America he had also moved position.  Having played for Arsenal as an inside forward he changed and is reported as playing in the USA as a centre back.   He stayed in America until his retirement in 1924.

We have no further information on his life, save that he died on 7 January 1974.  As always, if you have any more information please do let us have it.

All four games that he played for Woolwich Arsenal are listed below and were league matches.

Date Game Res Score
26 Nov 1910 Woolwich Arsenal v Newcastle United L 1-2
03 Dec 1910 Tottenham Hotspur v Woolwich Arsenal L 3-1
10 Dec 1910 Woolwich Arsenal v Middlesbrough L 0-2
17 Dec 1910 Preston North End v Woolwich Arsenal L 4-1

This short report concludes the list of players who played in the 1910/11 season:


Player Position Games Goals
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
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
Harry 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

Details of all the various series covered by The Arsenal History Society are given on the home page of the blog,

This article is part of the series “Henry Norris at the Arsenal”

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