George Elcoat: the last of the one-year managers

George Elcoat who is referred to in many Arsenal history books as a manager of Woolwich Arsenal, was in fact nothing of the kind.  The manager in question was in fact his brother William Elcoat.

I must admit we too fell into the trap initially of getting the names confused, following what others had written before, but we have now sorted this out, and William now has his own page on this site.

Please go to  and you will find the full story.


4 Replies to “George Elcoat: the last of the one-year managers”

  1. By 1911, George Elcoat was back in Stockton-on-Tees working as a drawing office manager.

    He died on 3 June 1929 in Stockton, leaving £858 in his will.

    Something that has only just occured to me. He was born in the same area as Jack Humble and about the same time. I need to do a bit more digging to see if it was possible that they knew each other before the Arsenal connection. Humble was Arsenal’s chairman when Elcoat was appointed manager.

  2. I think there is some confusion with George Elcoat’s name.

    I’ve found an article in the North Eastern Gazette dated 30 March 1898 that states that R. Elcoate, secretary of Stockton F.C. had been appointed secretary-manager of Woolwich Arsenal.

    Looking further back, there are a number of articles referring to him as W.R. Elcoate! There are also shades of George Allison with Elcoate’s story. He had been a director of Stockton F.C. until the summer of 1895 when he stood down during the club’s AGM. Later in the AGM, the incumbent secretary-manager was relieved of his duties having been accused of poaching players from Middlesbrough and Darlington. Elcoate was then appointed secretary-manager.

    However, there are also plenty of references to W.R. Elcoat. I reckon that George Elcoat is actually William Robson Elcoat born in Stockton in 1859 and died 1912. George may have been a nickname. Arsenal’s first secretary was Elijah Watkins, commonly known as George.

    It also appears that Stockton had a baseball team that Elcoate was actively involved with.

    More investigation required!

  3. Evidence exists in the Annual Report and Statement of Accounts that Arthur Edwin Kennedy was Secretary and Manager of Woolwich Arsenal FAC in June 1899. He was obviously appointed following the departure of George Elcoat and before the appointment of Harry Bradshaw.

  4. Elcoat resigned at the end of February 1899. His last game in charge was on 18 February against Burtob Swifts.

    Vice-chairman Arthur Kennedy was appointed caretaker secretary-manager for the remainder of the season.

    Kennedy eventually became chairman.

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