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THEY DIDN'T MAKE IT - AT SWINDON

A multitude of players have signed for Swindon Town but have not progressed to the first team.

This database - which was developed by fellow historian ALAN HARDING will hopefully list some 2,000 names of all those who have played at reserve team level for the club or as trialists for the first team. Thanks to MIKE SKINNER for providing many previously missing first names.

Do you have any additional info on a player listed here or any on a player not yet listed here?

If so, please e-mail me: paul@swindonfc1879.com.

FIND PLAYER BY SURNAME: A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | V | W | Y

FIND PLAYER BY YEARS:
Pre-WW1 | 1919-1939 | 1940s | 1950s | 1960-1965 | 1965-1970 | 1970-1975 | 1975-1980 | 1980-1985 | 1985-1990 | 1990-1995 | 1995-2000 | 2000-2005 | 2005-2010 | 2010-2015 | 2015-Date

ALLWRIGHT Charlie (Charles) Russell Spencer WF 
Born : Brentford 11 June 1888 Died : Wallingford, Oxon Apr-Jun 1966, aged 77
PLAYING CAREER
Hanwell Town - Brentford (am Aug 1910) - Uxbridge (Nov 1911) - Old Kingstonians (cs 1912) -
Brentford (pro Aug 1913) - Hendon (Jan 1919) - Bristol City (Jul 1919) -
SWINDON TOWN (20 May 1920) - Chatham Town (Aug 1921) - Dartford -
Hanwell Town (Aug 1922) - Margate (Aug 1924) - Lightalloys Sports (Dec 1929)

Almost 32 when he signed, Charlie found himself fourth choice winger behind the evergreen Bob Jefferson (then 38), Bertie Davies and Tommy Bolland. Charlie made 30 reserve appearances, netting five goals.


ASHMAN Ernest Sid (Sidney) Montague WF 
Born : Wareham, Dorset 26 May 1919 Died : Swindon 23 June 1992, aged 73
PLAYING CAREER
Swindon Rangers - Swindon Victoria (cs 1934) - SWINDON TOWN (am 22 Aug 1936) -
Swindon Corinthians (cs 1937) - Trowbridge Town (cs 1938) - Oxford City (cs 1939) -
Swindon Victoria

A former Commonweal School winger, Sid grabbed 18 goals in just 22 reserve appearances but missed out on a pro contract. In 1968 he was appointed secretary of the Wiltshire League.


BATES Harry FB/WH 
Born : Washington, Co.Durham 17 May 1919 Died : Rhyl 9 January 1997, aged 77
PLAYING CAREER
Hylton Colliery - Huddersfield Town (May 1937) - SWINDON TOWN (17 May 1938) -
Chester (23 Jul 1941) - South Liverpool (Aug 1945)

Harry made around 30 appearances for Town's reserve side before returning north to play forty war-time games while at Sealand Road.


BENFIELD George John Jerome FB 
Born : Eastney, Portsmouth 7 January 1899 Died : Devizes 27 August 1986, aged 87
PLAYING CAREER
Portsmouth (am ) - SWINDON TOWN (am Oct 1919) - Bridgend (May 1923) -
SWINDON TOWN (pro 4 Sep 1924) - Swindon Corinthians (cs 1925)

A locomotive fireman for the Great Western, George was finally given a pro contract after almost four years with the reserves - where he made over 90 appearances - and another in south Wales.


BOOTS Len (Leonard) Joseph H F 
Born : Swindon 13 April 1907 Died : Devizes Jan-Mar 1970, aged 62
PLAYING CAREER
Swindon Corinthians - SWINDON TOWN (am Jan 1929) - Bath City ( Oct 1929) -
SWINDON TOWN (am Nov 1929)

Len hit six goals in just four reserve appearances at the start of 1929/30, but that failed to impress boss Sam Allen and he joined the Romans on what appeared to be a loan for a month. He continued to assist Town's reserves until November 1931.


BRATLEY George Bill (William) FB 
Born : Wickersley, Yorks 17 January 1909 Died : Sheffield Jan-Mar 1978, aged 69
PLAYING CAREER
Rotherham St Peters - Rotherham YMCA (Mar 1929) - Rotherham United (Apr 1929) - Sheffield Wednesday (Feb 1933) -
Rotherham United (Jan 1934) - Gainsborough Trinity (Jul 1934) - Bath City (Jul 1935) -
Barrow (Aug 1936) - SWINDON TOWN (4 Aug 1938) - Tunbridge Wells Rangers (loan Feb 1939) -
Hull City (31 Oct 1940) - Leeds United (guest Sep 1941) - Crystal Palace ( Jan 1943) -
Oldham Athletic (guest Oct 1943) - Halifax Town (guest Feb 1944) -
Brighton & Hove Albion (guest Aug 1944) - York City (Aug 1945)

Third choice for his favoured centre-half position - behind George Morrall and Dai Jones - Bill played mostly at left-back for the reserves before switching to their Southern League rivals in Kent - who paid 3 of his 5 per week salary !


COLLIER George James F 
Born : Wantage 22 July 1912 Died : Wantage 10 October 1977, aged 65
PLAYING CAREER
Wantage Town - SWINDON TOWN (am 12 Sep 1935) - Wantage Town (cs 1936)

A regular in the Western League championship winning side of 1935/36, George returned to Wantage after failing to secure a pro contract.


CORBIN Ron (Ronald) Arthur WH / IF 
Born : Treherbert, Glam. 30 June 1913 Died : Malvern, Worcs. 13 April 2013, aged 99
PLAYING CAREER
Milford United - SWINDON TOWN (28 Aug 1936)

Initially coming on trial, left footed Ron was handed a pro contract on the day before the 1936/37 season commenced. He scored for the reserves in the opening two Western League fixtures but quickly disappeared, joining the Royal Artillery in 1938. Ron missed reaching his 100th birthday by just eleven weeks.


FOLLIT Fred (Frederick) Arthur F  
Born : Swindon 9 October 1909 Died : Swindon 19 August 1988, aged 78
PLAYING CAREER
Swindon Corinthians - Crystal Palace (trial ) - Oxford City (cs 1933) -
SWINDON TOWN (am 6 Aug 1934) - Chippenham Town (cs 1935) -
Swindon Corinthians - Bath City (trial ) - Swindon Victoria

After impressing in the public trial game, where he scored the winning goal for the 'possibles', Fred hit five on his debut - in a 6-0 win over Radstock ! Despite netting 20 goals in just 25 reserve games, Fred was never given a pro contract.


GREEN Cecil John HB 
Born : Swindon 17 February 1912 Died : Swindon 13 January 2000, aged 87
PLAYING CAREER
Central Athletic - SWINDON TOWN (am 23 Aug 1933 pro 15 Jun 1934) -
Bath City (cs 1936) - Cheltenham Town ( Aug 1937) - Colchester United (guest Dec 1945 & Mar 1946) -
Bath City (cs 1946) - Chippenham United

Cecil made over 50 reserve appearances during his two seasons as a player and later held the post of club Chairman for ten years - from 1973 to 1983. His two guest appearances for Colchester were both against his parent club - and at Whaddon Road !


GROSVENOR Cliff (Clifford) IF 
Born : Dudley, Worcs. 17 May 1914 Died : Dudley 27 September 1943, aged 29
PLAYING CAREER
West Bromwich Albion (May 1934) - Leicester City (Aug 1937) - SWINDON TOWN (30 Aug 1938)

Cliff made just half a dozen Southern League appearances, scoring twice. His premature death was due to tuberculosis.


HATHERALL Ernie (Ernest) F 
Born : Stratton St Margaret 14 August 1898 Died : Swindon 11 July 1982, aged 83
PLAYING CAREER
Stratton Reform - Garrards FC - SWINDON TOWN (trial 7 Nov 1925)

Ernie was given a one-match trial, scoring in a 3-1 home win over Plymouth.


HIGGINS Cyril F 
Born : Watchfield 19 September 1913 Died : Caen, France 10 July 1944, aged 30
PLAYING CAREER
Watchfield - Stanford-in-the-Vale - SWINDON TOWN (am Jan 1934 & Dec 1935)

Cyril made his debut for the reserves in a 5-2 home win against Weymouth, but he did not receive another call-up by Town until for almost two years. In the War he served as a Lance Corporal with the 4th Battalion of the Wiltshire Regiment. They were part of the 43rd Wessex Infantry that included Alan Fowler's Dorset Regiment. Both Cyril and Alan died on the same day in the battle to liberate Caen.


KNOWLER Archie Gerrard FB 
Born : Swindon 4 March 1916 Died : Bulawayo, S Rhodesia 27 January 1945, aged 28
PLAYING CAREER
Swindon Rangers - SWINDON TOWN (am 12 Jan 1935) - Bath City (Apr 1936) -
Trowbridge Town (cs 1937)

Archie made 15 appearances at right-back as Town's reserves lifted the Western League championship in both seasons he was with the club. A constable with the Wiltshire Constabulary, he died in a plane crash while serving in the RAF. He was buried in what was then a British colony but has now become Zimbabwe.


LEGG Harry (Henry) George W. FB 
Born : Swindon 6 August 1910 Died : Luton January 1986, aged 75
PLAYING CAREER
SWINDON TOWN ( 4 Jun 1928) - Crystal Palace (3 Aug 1929) -
Dartford (cs 1931) - Bath City (cs 1932)

Right-back Harry was unable to force his way into the Town side - kept out by Wally Dickinson who was 15 years his senior ! Harry moved to south London in search of first team football, but had to wait 15 months for his big chance - at local rivals QPR. Palace lost 0-4 and he was not given another. By the outbreak of War, Harry had moved to Luton where he worked as a motor mechanic.


MAPSON Johnny (John) G 
Born : Birkenhead, Ches. 2 May 1917 Died : Sunderland 19 August 1999, aged 82
PLAYING CAREER
Westrop Rovers - Highworth Town - SWINDON TOWN (am 20 Dec 1934) -
Reading (Dec 1934) - Guildford City (loan Jan 1936) - Sunderland (Mar 1936) -
SWINDON TOWN (guest 13 Oct 1939) - Reading (guest 20 Oct 1939)

Johnny played against Chippenham on Christmas Day 1934 but was allowed to move to Reading before the year was out. He went on to make nearly 400 appearances for Sunderland ! He came back to make one more appearance for Town in a friendly against Cardiff before again assisting Reading for most of the second War.


PACKER Hubert Frederick WF 
Born : Swindon 12 February 1921 Died : Swindon June 2001, aged 80
PLAYING CAREER
GWR Corinthians - SWINDON TOWN (6 Apr 1938) - Cheltenham Town ( Nov 1939) -
GWR Corinthians (cs 1946) - Pinehurst YC (Oct 1948) - Gorse Hill United

A winger in the last complete pre-War season, Hubert was granted a free transfer in May 1939. Following the end of hostilities, he signed on again at Whaddon Road before returning to the 'Corries'.


PARKER William Kirton WF 
Born : Jarrow, Co.Durham 24 June 1899 Died : Hartlepool 9 April 1968, aged 68
PLAYING CAREER
Hebburn Colliery - Jarrow - South Shields (Jun 1923) - SWINDON TOWN (19 Jun 1924) -
Crawcrook Albion (Sep 1926)

Durham-born left-winger William was given a run of just nine games in the second tier before trying his luck in the south. He netted six goals in 24 reserve games for Town.


POLAND George WF 
Born : Penarth, Glam. 21 September 1913 Died : Penarth 6 October 1988, aged 75
PLAYING CAREER
Cogan - Penarth Mission - SWINDON TOWN (am 22 May 1934) - Cardiff City (am Nov 1935 pro Dec 1936) -
Wrexham (Jul 1938) - Liverpool (Jun 1939) - Cardiff City (guest Oct 1939) -
Brentford (guest Apr 1941) - Fulham (guest Aug 1941) - Brentford (guest Nov 1941) -
Crystal Palace (guest Sep 1942) - Leeds United (guest Sep 1943) -
Cardiff City (Aug 1946) - Lovells Athletic (Aug 1947) - Penarth Albion (Sep 1950)

George played on the left-wing for Town's first five reserve games of the season. But he failed to get a contract and returned to Wales, where he was later capped by his country - as a goalkeeper !


POPPITT Granville IF/FB 
Born : Reading 30 December 1903 Died : South Marston, Wilts. 23 April 1985, aged 81
PLAYING CAREER
SWINDON TOWN (am 26 Feb 1923 pro 15 Jun 1923) - Bath City (10 Aug 1927)

The son of Town's Jimmy (1902 to 1905), Granville was also a useful cricketer and bowls player.


SULLIVAN (born O'Sullivan) Cyril Dan WH 
Born : Swindon 16 June 1908 Died : Swindon 11 February 1965, aged 56
PLAYING CAREER
Garrards Athletic - SWINDON TOWN (am Oct 1930) - Oxford City (cs 1933) -
Trowbridge Town (Jan 1934)

Cyril made 36 reserve appearances in the Southern League before exiting the County Ground along with twenty professionals !


TOLE Oscar Desmond F 
Born : Potterspury, Northants 19 May 1917 Died : Hayling Island, Hants 5 December 1988, aged 71
PLAYING CAREER
Wolverton - SWINDON TOWN (trial 9 Dec 1936 pro 19 Jan 1937)

Oscar scored twice on his debut as a trialist, in an 8-0 win for the reserves against Chippenham. Soon after signing as a pro he netted four against Welton Rovers and then hit a double hat-trick in a 12-1 rout of Paulton. But Oscar failed to make the grade and was released in April 1938.


TOPPING Harry FB 
Born : Kearsley, Lancs. 21 September 1913 Died : Torquay 21 March 2001, aged 87
PLAYING CAREER
Horwich RMI - SWINDON TOWN (18 May 1933) - Hull City (trial Jun 1934) -
Tranmere Rovers (20 Aug 1934) - Charlton Athletic (trial Oct 1934) -
Barrow (trial Nov 1934) - Bath City (trial Aug 1935) - Manchester City (Sep 1935) -
Exeter City (May 1937) - New Brighton (Jul 1938) - Stockport County (Mar 1939) -
Bristol Rovers (Jul 1939) - Stockport County (guest Nov 1941) - Oldham Athletic (guest Sep 1943) -
Bolton Wanderers (guest Nov 1944) - New Brighton ( Jul 1946) -
Prescot Cables (cs 1947)

When Bernard Harris was dropped midway through the season, Harry's chances of stepping up to the first team were scuppered by the signing of Tom Duckworth - who like Harry was born and brought up near Bolton. Harry went on to manage both Feijenoord and PSV Eindhoven in Holland after the War.


WAKEFIELD Fred (Frederick) John FB 
Born : Swindon 21 November 1902 Died : Stratton St Margaret 4 June 1972, aged 69
PLAYING CAREER
Garrards FC - Swindon Victoria - SWINDON TOWN (am Dec 1921) -
Trowbridge Town (cs 1927)

A painter in the Carriage and Wagon works by trade, Fred was only 19 when he made his debut for the reserves. Although never a regular for the 'stiffs', he made the squad photo for the first-team in 1926/27 !


WALKER George Charles CF 
Born : Swindon 4 June 1917 Died : Stourbridge 18 December 1968, aged 51
PLAYING CAREER
High Street WMC - Swindon GWR Corinthians - SWINDON TOWN (am Aug 1936) -
Trowbridge Town (Jun 1937) - Stanton Fitzwarren - Gorse Hill United

Despite bagging 15 goals in just 20 reserve appearances, George missed out on a pro contract at the County Ground. He remained a Town fan after hanging up his boots, the last game he saw being the League Cup semi-final replay at The Hawthorns. Taken ill during the train journey home, he was dead on arrival at Stourbridge hospital.


WOODBRIDGE Bill (William) Henry CH 
Born : Highworth 12 August 1915 Died : Oxford 22 June 1944, aged 28
PLAYING CAREER
Highworth Town - SWINDON TOWN (am 1 Mar 1934)

Bill made just one Western League appearance, when Town defeated Warminster 4-0 in March 1934. Ten years later, while serving as a lieutenant in the Reconnaissance Corps in France, he was badly wounded and shipped home where he died.


WOODMAN Jack (John) Albert Edward IF 
Born : Bristol 9 July 1914 Died : Bristol 16 January 1984, aged 69
PLAYING CAREER
Melrose FC - Bristol Rovers (May 1935) - Preston North End (Jul 1937) - SWINDON TOWN (23 May 1938) -
Wrexham (23 Jun 1939)

A 100 signing, Jack averaged a goal every other game in the Combination but was unable to displace an in-form Ben Morton before being given a free transfer.