Reg Lewis: record goalscorer, and (almost) a one club man

Reg Lewis was born in Bilston Staffordshire on March 7, 1920 and died in 1997 and spent all of his senior football career at Arsenal.

He joined Arsenal as a schoolboy on 9 May 1935 – having played at Arsenal’s nursery club, Margate, and started out by playing for the reserves in the in the London Combination.  He scored 43 goals in 31 appearances in 1938/39 in the Combination which is still a record for Arsenal.

He made his first appearance for Arsenal first team on January 1 1938 against Everton – and scored in a 2-1 win over Everton.  He made four appearances that season in the number 9 shirt and scored twice.

The following season he got a run in the side when injures meant the team was reshuffled – Ted Drake moving out to the wing, making room for Reg Lewis in the middle.  He played 15 games and scored 7.

He played for Arsenal in the unofficial wartime games and got four goals in the 1943 War Cup Southern final against Charlton.   Overall he scored 142 goals in 128 wartime games.

He later served in the British Army of the Rhine, and returned to Arsenal in 1946.

Arsenal had a poor season immediately after the war, coming 13th in 1946/7 but Reg Lewis was easily the top goal scoring with a staggering 29 goals in 28 games!

Then came the amazing 1947/48 season in which he played 28 league games and scored 14 while Ronnie Rooke played 42 and scored 33.    Arsenal under Tom Whittaker won the league.

In 1949/50 he scored  19 goals in 31 league games, and played in all the FA Cup matches, concluding with scoring both the goals in Arsenal’s 2-0 cup victory at Wembley.

However injuries, which had always hampered his career, afflicted him further and he retired in the summer of 1953 having played 176 games and scoring 116 goals.  He went on to run a pub and then work in insurance.

See also…


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2 Replies to “Reg Lewis: record goalscorer, and (almost) a one club man”

  1. I well recall being among the 75,000 at Wembley on 1st May 1943 to see Arsenal beat Charlton Athletic 7-1 in the Southern Area War-time Cup Final, with Reg’s four goals being the highlight.
    Unfortunately, a fortnight later we lost 2-4 to the Northern finalists, Blackpool in the overall Final.
    The attendance at Wembley was the limit restricted by the Government for fear of air raid casualties…still a rather high figure though.
    Actually, by 1943, the danger of air raids had receded.

  2. My Dad appeared in the first FA instructional film at the Ibis Sports Ground in 1934-alongside Reg Lewis and Maurice Edelstone. The instructor in chief was Jimmy Hogan. Never been able to see a copy of the film!

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