Mr E Bateup (16 May 1881 – 29 April 1939)
Why the formality with the name? Because there is disagreement as to his name, as with almost everything else about this player’s life.
The first name was either Edward (Arsenal, the Football Facts) or Edwin (Arsenal.com, wikipedia), and he was also known as Teddy. The dates of birth vary too – Arsenal.com has those dates above, Arsenal the Football Facts has him born in 1886.
Arsenal.com has him playing for Croydon Glenrose, and the Dragoon Guards, while the book goes for Faversham as the opening club. But all sources seem to agree that he joined Woolwich Arsenal at this point.
Then it was off to New Brompton (the club that became Gillingham) followed by Woolwich Arsenal again (although Arsenal.com misses out on this move) before a final trip to Port Vale where he stayed as the first choice keeper until (according to Wikipedia) until September 1916, followed by a couple of years in the reserves and then retirement in 1918.
Now this last bit looks a bit odd too, because the leagues all came to a halt in 1915 (the 1914/15 season was played despite the outbreak of war, but the leagues then all stopped), so having details of him being first choice and then reserve choice during the rest of the war years needs some explanation. Football was played at this time, but it was minor stuff.
The other point to note, before we return to matters Arsenal, is that Port Vale were in severe financial problems after 1907 and the club left the football league, not returning to the league until October 1919, when they took over Leeds City’s fixtures. So Bateup may well have played at Port Vale as an amateur – indeed given what is said below about the end of his career at Arsenal, this is very likely.
Unfortunately the playing record of E Bateup doesn’t help us much either. Here is the list of seasons when he was with Woolwich Arsenal and the number of league games played
- 1905/6 (1) – Bateup was third choice keeper after Ashcroft and McDonald
- 1906/7 (3) – he had clearly moved up to second choice playing when Ashcroft was injured
- 1907/8 (2) – as with the previous year – he got games when Ashcroft was out. McDonald got no games.
- 1908/9 (0). McDonald was now number one keeper and present at every match, so we can’t really draw any conclusions.
- 1909/10 (0). McDonald did get injured this season and Fisher played in goal. This could be the New Brompton year for Bateup.
- 1910/11 (28). Bateup’s year, and he was ever present until 11 March at which point Burdett took over. Bateup did appear once more, on 25 March for the 3-0 win over Bristol City, but that was it.
So it looks like an injury, with an attempt to come back for one game, but the injury recurred, so he left, took a while to recover, and then played for Port Vale outside the Football League, probably as an amateur.
It’s hardly a definitive statement, but it is the best that can be done. The following season Burdett held on to his position as number 1 in the side.