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Albert YOUNG

Few footballers who began their careers prior to the last War are still around to tell the tale. But Albert Young, who turned professional with Arsenal in 1938, outlived most of them.

He spent four years at the County Ground between 1946 and 1950, making over 130 appearances at full-back and - having been born in 1917 - at 95 was the oldest surviving former Swindon Town player at the time of his passing.

Albert was brought up in Caerleon near Newport. At school, he played both football and rugby, the oval ball game bringing him a Welsh schoolboy international cap in 1932. On leaving school he took a job in the nearby Ponthir Star Brickworks.

Prior to joining the senior ranks at Highbury, he was despatched to Kent, to Arsenalís nursery club at Margate, where he spent the 1937/38 season. Playing in the forward line, Albert scored on his debut against Cray Wanderers.

He went on a tour of Belgium, Sweden and Denmark with Arsenal in May 1939, but the War spoilt his chances of breaking into the first team. Albert joined the Army and was stationed in Northern Ireland, where he turned out for Glentoran and was also chosen to represent the Irish League in 1941.

By the end of the War, Albert had appeared more times as a guest for clubs in and around London than he did for his own. Crystal Palace, Watford, Chelsea and Tottenham were all added to Albertís CV before he first came to Swindon in March 1946.

Although the hostilities were then over, the guest system was still in operation and Albert played in a 4-0 victory over Aldershot.

Town completed his transfer in June 1946 and he soon teamed up with former Highbury goalkeeper Frank Boulton, who followed Albert to the County Ground two months later.

When Billy Lucas joined Swansea Town in March 1948, Albert was handed the captaincy. He also used his earlier experiences in handling a ball to prove a capable deputy in goal when the need arose.

On one occasion at Notts County, when Boulton was stretchered off with a dislocated ankle, Albert was left to face a penalty from Tommy Lawton. He dived to get a hand to the ball to push it on to a post before the former England centre-forward tapped in the rebound.

By then Frank and Albert had became housemates as well as teammates. The Boultons and the Youngs - Albert and Cicely - shared an end terraced house in Broad Street where two of their children, Ray and Geoffrey, were born.

At the end of the 1949/50 season, Albert was put on the transfer list and in the August joined Chelmsford City in the Southern League. He then had a short spell with Clacton Town before hanging up his boots in 1954.

But he settled in Chelmsford where he worked for Crompton Parkinson and English Electric and lived there with his son Ray.