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Frank Bradshaw; from goal scoring to defending, Arsenal after the WWI

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The Christmas gift for the fan with (almost) everything

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By Tony Attwood

Continuing the review of Arsenal’s team as it took up its duties in the first division at the start of the 1919/20 season.

Frank Bradshaw joined Arsenal in 1914 and played 29 league games and scored ten goals as a number 10 (inside left).

He was born in Sheffield on 31 May 1884, and was a silversmith by trade and is recorded as playing for Oxford Street Sunday School (honest!), Sheffield Wednesday, Northampton Town, Everton and finally Arsenal.

Frank was the youngest of eight children, and was described in the 1901 census as a “holloware buffer”.

He became a pro with Wednesday in 1904 and in 1907 won the cup with the team – he also played for England the following year, when he scored a hat trick.

He played 87 games and scored 37 goals for The Wednesday, before moving to Northampton in 1910, but only stayed there for just over a year – although during this time he and his wife had a child, who sadly died.   The Cobblers then sold Frank on for £250 to Everton, where he played 66 league games and scored 19 goals.

He moved to us for the start of the 1914/15 season, and then during the war played a further 125 wartime games, and it was during this period, when all players would take on whatever role was required, that he moved to left back and became a regular player playing 33, 21, 32 and 17 games in each of the next four years – and even managing to notch up four goals during that period from the full back position.

He then became manager of Aberdare Athletic of the 3rd division south, but left them in April 1924, despite having taken them to a solid mid-table position.

Aberdare had entered the league in 1921/2 and finished 8th that year.  They later merged with Aberaman Athletic, who as the reserve team of the combined club played in the Welsh League.

However, in the next season the club finished just one above bottom in the third division south, and Frank’s ability to take the club back up to 12th the following year was quite an achievement for a new manager.

Frank probably left because the club had no money, and the next season they were back down to five from bottom.  They recovered a little but in 1926/7 they were bottom and were thrown out of the league in favour of Torquay.

Soon after the two sides of the club split, and despite attempts to reform, the club has failed to last.  Aberaman Athletic however does continue in Welsh football.

No further references to him have been found – as always if you know what happened to Frank, please do tell.

Arsenal after the first world war

1: The opening game, and Ernie Williamson our first post-war international

1 comment to Frank Bradshaw; from goal scoring to defending, Arsenal after the WWI

  • Jon Bradshaw

    Hi Tony

    Thank you for writing this. Frank was in fact my grandfather and it’s really interesting to read some of his history – much of which I wasn’t even aware of. My father passed away some years ago but I do know some of his history and have some of his medals, including the FA cup medal he won with Sheffield Wednesday. Frank passed away in the early 60’s before my mother met him so again I have little knowledge on what happened after his playing days were over. I understand that he moved to Taunton where my grandmother came from and tried his hand at farming (unsuccessfully) and then became a pub landlord at the Cross Keys Inn. I believe he died from complications as a result of a fall.

    We have quite a lot of memorability which I’d be happy to scan and share with you.

    Thanks gain for researching him – a real pleasant surprise!

    Regards

    Jon Bradshaw

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