Norris at the Arsenal: Arsenal Players in the wartime league, 1916/17

by Tony Attwood

With thanks for the list of players and their games played in 1916/17 to Andy Kelly.  The figures for games played and goals this season come from TheArsenalHistory website.

1916/17 was the second season for the wartime leagues, and the first in which a London league (known as the London Combination) had been organised to run all the way through the season.

Arsenal played 40 games in the League of 14 clubs, and used 44 players during the season – a remarkably similar number to the previous season when 46 players were used during the two league campaigns of that season.

14 of the 44 players who turned out for Arsenal played just one game for the club and a further five played two games.  11 of the players had appeared for Arsenal in the 1914/15 season – the last professional season before the league was abandoned for the duration of the war.  The Arsenal 14/15 column shows how many games the player had played in that final professional season before the war.  These Arsenal professionals are indicated in red.

The numbers in the left column are simply for convenience in trying to track all these players.

Player Guest’s Club Games Goals Arsenal 14/15
 1 MWA Allman Croydon Common 18 4
2 J Bailey 1
3 WJ Baker 4
4 W Blackmore Southampton 1
5 WN Blyth 1
6 F Bradshaw   31 29
7 MA Broderick 2
8 CS Buckley   2 29
9 JJ Chipperfield Luton Clarence 29 12
10 HL Cockerill 8 1
11 ES Cockle 1
12 A Ducat Aston Villa 2 1
13 J Elkington 13
14 JT Flanagan   2 3 26
15 GM Grant   12 28
16 FW Groves   27 6 2
17 HG Groves 8 2
18 HTW Hardinge   20 9 12
19 W Hibbert Newcastle United 1
20 AV Hutchins Arsenal from 1919 32 2
21 J Johnson Brentford 1
22 HE King   10 6 37
23 F Knowles Manchester City 6
24 E Liddell   13 2
25 R Little Hamilton 4
26 A McKinnon   20 21
27 W Madge 6
28 A Melville 1
29 R O’Neill 1
30 RC Pearson Southampton 1
31 J Rutherford   28 6 26
32 V Sanderson 1 1
33 JE Shaw   12 38
34 E Silto 1
35 D Slade 1
36 WA Spittle 7 2
37 WJ Stapley Glossop 24
38 J Thomas 1
39 FA Tyler 2
40 JA Weaver Croydon Common 10 2
41 W Wilkins 18 1
42 D Williams Notts County 16 4
43 EC Williamson Croydon Common 40
44 CW Wright 1

Ernest Williamson, the goalkeeper through this season was registered with Croydon Common, but that club, from the Southern League did not compete in wartime football after the 1916/17 season and so he found regular games with Arsenal.  Indeed he went on to play for Arsenal professionally after the war.

As far as I can tell Croydon Common had effectively gone into administration or receivership after the 1916/17 season, as I can find no record of them playing any further games after that season.  They were the one Southern League team not to return to the League in 1919 when professional football resumed.

There is a slight indication that Henry Norris had an interest in Croydon Common FC, and it is interesting that three of the Common players were by now getting occasional games with Arsenal.

We are currently evolving a complete series on Henry Norris at the Arsenal.  The full index to the articles that cover the period from 1910 to this point are given in Henry Norris at the Arsenal

Perhaps the most popular element in the Norris story is that of Arsenal’s promotion to the first division in 1919.  Therefore we have separated that story out below.  It raises in part the question of the validity of the chief critic of Henry Norris: the Arsenal manager from 1919 to 1925 who Norris sacked.  Thus in the selection below we include articles which consider the question as to the validity of Knighton’s testimony.

For the complete index on Norris at the Arsenal please see the link above.

The preliminaries

The voting and the comments before and after the election

The Second Libel

The Third Allegation

The Fourth Allegation

Did Henry Norris really beg Leslie Knighton to stay and offer him the hugest bonus ever?  And if so, why were there no new players?

The Fifth Story:

The Sixth Allegation

The Seventh Allegation

The Eighth Strange Story

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *