Adam Heywood – one of Arsenal’s early stars, who left for £50

by Tony Attwood

Across four consecutive league matches between December 31 and January 21 1899 Adam Heywood scored six goals, yet as with so many players from our past he is now forgotten.  But in his day he was quite a hero.

He was born in Burton on Trent on 23 March 1875 and died in May 1932, although I can’t see a record of the date.    Woolwich Arsenal was his first professional club and he played his first game against Leicester on January 25 1896, and retained his place for each game thereafter, playing at inside right.   He played nine consecutive games and scored four and was part of the 7-0 thrashing of Crewe on March 21 1896.

The following season he played 26 and scored 11, including playing a couple of games at inside left and one at centre forward.  1987/8 saw 26 games but only four goals but his game was changed by the introduction in the second half of the season of Hunt at centre forward (12 goals in 22) and Hannah at number 10 (12 goals in 20).

After missing some of the opening part of the season (a regular feature for some reason) he scored 12 in 23 in 1898/99.

In all he played 91 times and scored 36 goals, but then a £50 offer from Glossop North End at the end of the season led to his transfer – although it was a very curious transfer because before Adam had a chance to play for Glossop he went to QPR in the Southern League, where he met up with four other ex-Woolwich men.

The story is that Haywood played for QPR against Wolverhampton, and Wolverhampton were so impressed that they stayed in touch and eventually purchased him and he got to play in the top league, but not before he had moved to New Brompton, and just as at Glossop, moved on without playing.

Years Team



1894 Burton Wanderers



1896–1899 Woolwich Arsenal



1899 Glossop North End



1899–1900 Queens Park Rangers



1900–1901 New Brompton



1901–1905 Wolverhampton Wanderers



1905–1907 West Bromwich Albion



1907–1908 Blackpool



1908–1912 Crystal Palace



The final period in this list involved him being player/coach at Palace.  One reference has this spell ending in 1909, at which point he is said to have left football, but another has him staying at Palace under 1912, possibly as coach.   Any clarification would be welcomed.

Beyond that however I have no information, but we can say that Adam Heywood was one of our our stars.

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