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Albert Walmsley

Albert Walmsley



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Albert Walmsley was born in Blackburn on 21st October 1885. He played local football for St. Peter's and Darwen before joining Blackburn Rovers in 1907.

Robert Middleton appointed the former Preston North End star, Bob Holmes, as trainer. This had a good impact on the team as they obtain 4th place in the 1908-09 season. Billy Davies scored 19 goals in 27 league appearances. This included four goals against both Bristol City and Everton. Ellis Crompton (10) and Edwin Latheron (9) added to the impressive number of goals scored that season. Blackburn also won the Lancashire Cup and the East Lancashire Charity Cup that season.

Blackburn continued their good form the following season and by October 1909 they became leaders of the First Division of the Football League. They lost their position in January 1910 and finally finished in 3rd place behind Aston Villa and Liverpool. Blackburn's 45 points was the best total they had ever accumulated in a season.

Blackburn's defence was outstanding that season. In goal was England international Jimmy Ashcroft. Bob Crompton and Arthur Cowell were a formidable full-back pairing. George Chapman played at centre-half whereas Walmsley and Billy Bradshaw were the wing-halfs.

An injury to Billy Davies caused the club serious problems in front of goal. Wattie Aitkenhead was top scorer with 14 goals and the consistent Edwin Latheron added 10 more.

Ellis Crompton, who had the impressive record of scoring 20 goals in 35 games, joined Tottenham Hotspur in 1910 in order to get first-team football. Blackburn's away form that season was disastrous with their only win coming on the last day of the season. Although they won 12 games at home they could only finish in mid-table. This was very disappointing considering their 3rd and 4th positions in the previous two seasons. Top scorers were Billy Davies (16), Wattie Aitkenhead (13) and Edwin Latheron (11).

In 1911 Robert Middleton signed Jock Simpson from Falkirk for a fee of £1,800. He joined a foward line that included at different times in the season, Edwin Latheron, George Chapman, Walter Anthony, and Wattie Aitkenhead. Middleton also signed Alf Robinson as Blackburn's new goalkeeper. The defence now looked very strong with players like Albert Walmsley, Bob Crompton, Arthur Cowell, Percy Smith and Billy Bradshaw in the side.

The 1911-12 season began badly with Blackburn Rovers losing two of its first three games. Robert Middleton decided to move George Chapman from centre-half to centre-forward. This was a great success and Blackburn's form gradually improved and the team went on an unbeaten run that lasted three months. This took them to the top of the league.

Despite being defeated by Bolton Wanderers and Arsenal, Blackburn went on another good run and by the end of the season they had three more points than main challengers, Everton. It was the first time in Blackburn's history that they had won the Football League title. Top scorers were Wattie Aitkenhead (15) and George Chapman (9). Alf Robinson played well and Blackburn only conceded 43 goals league goals. Only Everton let in fewer goals that season.

Blackburn started the 1912-13 season very well and were undefeated until December. This was followed by five successive defeats. In an attempt to regain the championship, Robert Middleton broke the British transfer record by buying Danny Shea from West Ham United for £2,000. Patsy Gallagher, described Shea as "one of the greatest ball artists who has ever played for England... his manipulation of the ball was bewildering."

Robert Middleton also purchased another forward, Joe Hodkinson for £1,000. Shea scored 12 goals but it was not enough and Blackburn finished 5th that season. Edwin Latheron (14), Wattie Aitkenhead (13), George Chapman (10) were the club's other top scorers. The defence played well and conceded only 43 goals league goals. Only Manchester City had a better defensive record that season.

In July 1913, Alec Bell, the Scottish international left-half, joined Blackburn from Manchester United for £1,000. Bell was recruited as cover for the half-back line of Albert Walmsley, Percy Smith and Billy Bradshaw.

In the 1913-14 season Blackburn once again won the league title. Danny Shea was in great form scoring 27 goals. Edwin Latheron also did well that season with 13 goals. Both men also won international caps for England that season. They joined other Blackburn players, Billy Bradshaw, Jock Simpson, Bob Crompton and Joe Hodkinson in the England team. The defence also performed well and only let in 42 league goals that season.

The following season Blackburn broke the transfer record again when they bought Percy Dawson for £2,500 from Heart of Midlothian. Blackburn Rovers scored 83 goals in 1914-15 season. However, their defence was not as good and Blackburn finished 3rd behind the champions, Everton. Dawson was top scorer with 20 goals. He was followed by Edwin Latheron (17), Danny Shea (13), George Chapman (9) and Wattie Aitkenhead (8).

Walmsley returned to the Blackburn Rovers team after the First World War. By the time he left the club in 1920 Walmsley had played in 272 games for the club. He joined Stockport County and played 80 league games before retiring in 1922.


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