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Players Who Joined Football League Clubs

By Alan Hodgson


At first glance it may seem improbable that so many players from what was essentially a colliery workers’ side should go on to play the game professionally with various Football League clubs.  However, when you consider that Silverwood Colliery employed thousands of people over very many years, and that at its peak had a working ‘population’ equalling or exceeding that of many villages, then perhaps it is not so unusual after all.  The players we know of to date (and from whom we might even form an all-time ‘Silverwood Football League team’) certainly provide proof that some of the lads who turned out for the Colliery XI were to reach a very high standard indeed, with one even gracing the International stage!  They also left behind an intriguing legacy of glory and tragedy stretching from the South Yorkshire coalfields to the Great War battlefields, from Wath to Wembley, and from minor league soccer to the Football League championship itself.


The story begins in 1911/12 when Herbert Lounds and Henry Platts became first two known Silverwood Colliery FC players to join a professional League club - in their case struggling Division Two outfit Gainsborough Trinity.  Platts was to make just one appearance before returning however, and in 1913 signed for Sheffield Wednesday but failed to make the first team there.  Trinity were to finish bottom of the table and lose their League status that season, but Lounds was later to be more successful, albeit first undergoing a somewhat traumatic experience.


After the Great War he joined Leeds City in August 1919 who were at the time managed by Herbert Chapman, a man who was destined to win League Championships with both Huddersfield Town and then Arsenal.  Outside right Lounds played in the opening eight fixtures of City’s 1919/20 campaign but in October 1919 the club was found guilty of making illegal payments to players during the war years and thrown out of the League in disgrace.  To meet the club’s debts the City players were sold off by auction and Lounds was snapped up by Rotherham County for a modest £50!  He then stayed with County until they were relegated to Division 3 (North) in 1922/23 before ending his career at Halifax Town.


1913 saw two more players make the step up as Larrett Roebuck (in March) and Harry Linley (in August) both joined Huddersfield Town.  During the 1913/14 season they were to take the field together on 13 occasions for the Division Two club.  Had it not been for the outbreak of war on August 4th 1914 this total may well have been added to, but Roebuck quickly enlisted in the Army and on October 18th was to be tragically killed in action near Ypres. 


Linley, doubtless due to working as a miner, continued to play for Town throughout the conflict and when normal football resumed in 1919/20 made five more appearances as the club gained promotion to the First Division.  He too was to later finish his playing days with Halifax Town.  During 1914/15


Billy Marshall became the next man to try his luck when he signed for Sheffield United, but the war intervened and he didn’t get a first team game there.  When peace returned he joined Rotherham County turning out just three times.


Jack Ball however was to set new standards for the Silverwood Colliery players to follow when he joined Sheffield United for the 1919/20 campaign.  In doing so he became the first ‘ex-Collier’ to play in the English First Division but made just six appearances in two seasons before moving on to Bristol Rovers.  Jack came home after a year to play briefly for Wath Athletic, but in 1923 he signed for ambitious Division Two club Bury.  Jack then helped the Lancashire side gain to promotion to Division One in 1923/24 and two years later was with them as they finished 4th in the top flight, still a club record final placing. 


October 22nd 1927 though was to be Jack’s finest hour when he became the only ex-Silverwood man so far to play for his country.  Running out for England alongside such legends of the time as Eveton’s Dixie Dean and Arsenal’s Joe Hulme, the match against Ireland in Belfast unfortunately ended in a 0-2 defeat.  He left Bury for West Ham United in 1929 before ending his professional career with Coventry City two years later, having played in 269 League games and scored 110 goals. 


A contemporary of Ball’s was Sam Taylor who, like Silverwood colleague Larrett Roebuck (see above), was signed by Huddersfield Town in March 1913.  Once the Great War was over, Sam broke into the Town first team in 1919/20 and netted a club record 35 League goals as they gained promotion as Division Two runners-up.  He also scored six more as Huddersfield reached the FA Cup Final that season where they were unluckily beaten 0-1 (aet) by Aston Villa at Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge ground.  January 1921 saw him move to Sheffield Wednesday where he remained until 1925.  After spells at Mansfield Town, Southampton, Halifax Town and Grantham Town, he hung up his professional boots at Chesterfield in 1931 with 265 League games and 103 goals to his credit.


The only known ex-Silverwood goalkeeper to make the League grade was John Turner who signed for Stockport County in December 1926.  He then joined Wolverhampton in the summer of 1928 but broke his leg after just seven games with the famous Wanderers.  After a spell at Watford he then joined Rotherham United in April 1930 but played just once before retuning to amateur soccer.  The 1929/30 season was also to see three more Silverwood players enter the Football League as Simeon Raleigh, John Nock and Charlie Robinson tried their luck.  Raleigh never made the Huddersfield Town first team, and so the soon-to-be prolific forward moved on to Hull City and then Gillingham netting 55 times in 114 League matches before injury ended his career.  Nock meantime was to hit 15 goals in 25 games for Rotherham United before a later brief swansong at Accrington Stanley.


Charlie Robinson was to play just a dozen games for Rotherham United in 1929/30 before moving on to Wolves and then to Coventry City.  By September 1932 he was at Stockport County racking up 115 appearances and 11 goals over the next four seasons.  A fruitless spell at Plymouth Argyle followed before he ended his career with Hull City in 1940.  Overall he had made 196 League appearances and netted 15 times. 


Left winger Joe Guest had trails with both New Brighton and Chesterfield, and had also played for Denaby United, before signing for West Ham United in 1936.  His League career was to last just three games but nevertheless he did score once for the famous Hammers.


1935/36 was to see the emergence of Bert Barlow (pictured) who stayed with Barnsley for three seasons before a brief stint at Wolves led to him joining Portsmouth in February 1939.  A month later he scored one of the goals that beat Huddersfield Town 2-1 in an FA Cup semi-final played at Arsenal’s Highbury ground, and then on April 29th 1939 stepped out at Wembley Stadium to face his former club Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Final itself.  Wolves, under canny boss Major Frank Buckley and inspired by England International skipper Stan Cullis, were hot favourites and had reportedly been taking a potion based on monkey glands to boost their energy prior to the game.  However, Pompey manager Jack Tinn countered by wearing his lucky spats as the pre-match ‘mind-games’ reached ludicrous proportions! 

In the event some 99,370 spectators saw Barlow put Portsmouth ahead on 29 minutes and John Anderson made it 2-0 just before the break.  Barlow struck again immediately after the restart, and although Wolves pulled a goal back on 54  minutes, Cliff Parker sealed Portsmouth’s 4-1 victory six minutes from time.  Bert Barlow, a lad from Kilnhurst and a former Silverwood Colliery player, had scored twice in an FA Cup Final and now proudly owned a winner’s medal!  In what would become an old quiz chestnut, Portsmouth would then become the club to hold the FA Cup for the longest time as, when World War Two broke out later that year, the trophy wouldn’t be contested again until the 1945/46 season.

When peace returned Barlow was still at Pompey when the club reached the FA Cup semi-final again in 1949 losing 1-3 to Leicester City at Highbury.  However, back in Division One, the club was to win the League Championship for the first time that season in what was their Jubilee year.  Without a single international in the side, unfashionable Pompey finished three points clear of runners-up Manchester United.  The following two seasons found Barlow at Leicester City before he ended his professional career at Colchester United in 1954.  In all he had made 268 League appearances and scored 73 goals.


Thrybergh-born Jackie Stamps was to make just one start for Mansfield Town during the 1936/37 season and soon moved on to New Brighton.  With war on the horizon he was transferred to Derby County in 1938 and remained there until 1953/54 scoring exactly a century of League goals for the Rams.  Shrewsbury Town were to be his last port of call and when he retired at the end of that season he had scored a career total of 109 goals in 271 League games.


Another Silverwood man whose professional career started on the eve of war was Harold Bodle.  After a brief spell with Rotherham United in 1938/39 he moved to Birmingham City and would remain there for ten years.  During 1948/49 he was sold to Bury and stayed with the Shakers until 1952 after which he had a brief period back at semi-pro level before joining Stockport County during 1952/53.  The following season saw him playing for Accrington Stanley, and in 1954/55 the club finished as runners-up in Division 3 (North).  He left Stanley and retired from the game in 1957 having amassed a grand total of 345 League games and 91 goals.


Between 1946/47 and 1959/60 the most regular name on the Rotherham United team sheet was to be that of Maltby-born half back Danny Williams (left).  Very much a ‘one-club-man’ Danny was to play in a club record 461 League matches for the Millers scoring 22 goals.  United were Division 3 (North) runners-up for three successive seasons from 1946/47 to 1948/49, and in 1950/51 at last gained promotion as Champions of that section.  When he hung up his well-worn boots in March 1960 Williams continued at the club as reserve team/player coach, later becoming manager until 1965.  A true Rotherham legend, in 1955 he became one of the first footballers ever to open a sports outfitters’ shop which he ran for some 30 years in the town.  Despite his obvious Yorkshire roots, his surname reputedly once caused some confusion in that the club was approached by the Welsh FA about the possibility of Danny representing Wales!


A team-mate of Danny Williams on many occasions with Rotherham during the 1950s was Lol Morgan. Lol (short for Lawrence) began his career as an amateur with Sheffield United before joining Huddersfield Town in March 1949.  With his opportunities limited at Leeds Road he was transferred to Rotherham United in August 1954 and was to play in 291 League games for the club over the next ten years.  Highlight of his time at Millmoor was without doubt the inaugural Football League Cup Final of 1960/61.  United, then a Division Two side, were up against top-flight Aston Villa in a tie played over two-legs.  After the Millers won the first leg 2-0 at home before 12,226 fans, they then crashed 0-3 at Villa Park in the return leg (att. 27,000) to lose 2-3 on aggregate.  Lol later played for Darlington and was to see them gain promotion as Division Four runners-up in 1965/66 before retiring.  His career total stood at 328 League games plus one substitute appearance.  No goals!


Lining up alongside Lol Morgan in that memorable FL Cup Final of 1961 was Ken Houghton.  As a schoolboy he was with Sheffield United but, after a spell at Silverwood Colliery, signed up with Rotherham United and turned professional in May 1960.  A regular goal-scorer, he was to eventually leave Millmoor in January 1965 for Hull City.  Here he developed into a strong left-sided attacking midfielder and in 1965/66 helped steer the Tigers to the Division 3 championship.  Ken remained on Humberside until June 1973 when he moved to Scunthorpe United, but after a season with the Iron he joined non-League Scarborough as player-coach.  Overall, his League record read 435 games played and some 140 goals scored.  The Seadogs were to reach the FA Trophy Final in 1975 where Ken was part of the team that lost 0-4 to Matlock Town at Wembley.
The above players are not necessarily the only former Silverwood Colliery FC men to have played in the Football League.  If you know of any others please let us know so that they may be researched and added to the list.

FRITH, Frank Silverwood Colliery August.20 Chesterfield  1921 Shirebrook
 TOOKEY, J T Silverwood Colliery Sept 1920  forward Chesterfield  Rotherham Town 1920









From Season

To Season




League Goals


LOUNDS Herbert






Gainsborough Trinity










Leeds City










Rotherham County










Halifax Town











Gainsborough Trinity










Sheffield Wednesday



  ROEBUCK, Larrett 1889 Jump LB 1913/14   Huddersfield Town 17 0  
  † 18/10/1914 - killed in action during World War One (Lance-corporal, 2nd Battalion, York & Lancaster Regiment)  
  LINLEY, Harry n/k Sheffield LH/CH/RH 1913/14 1919/20 Huddersfield Town 48 1  
          1920/21   Halifax Town 23 1  
  ● 1919/20 - with Huddersfield Town, Division 2 runners-up  

MARSHALL, William Henry

1896 Kilnhurst OL 1914/15   Sheffield United 0 0  

(known as 'Billy')

      1919/20   Rotherham County 3 0  
  BALL, John 29/09/1899 Hazel Grove R/IL/CF 1919/20 1920/21 Sheffield United 6 0  
  (known as 'Jack')       1921/22   Bristol Rovers 22 4  
          1922/23   Wath Athletic      
          1923/24 1928/29 Bury 203 93  
          1929/30   West Ham United 15 9  
          1930/31   Coventry City 23 4  
          later played for Stourbridge)          
  ● 1919/20 - with Huddersfield Town, Division 2 runners-up.  Scored a club record 35 League goals that season and played for Town in the FA Cup Final losing 0-1 (aet) to Aston Villa atStamford Bridge, London.● 1930/31 - with Chesterfield, Division 3 (North) Champions  
  TAYLOR, Samuel James 17/09/1893 Sheffield IL/IR/CF 1913/14 1920/21 Huddersfield Town 61 39  
  (known as 'Sam')       1920/21 1924/25 Sheffield Wednesday 120 36  
          1925/26   Mansfield Town      
          1926/27 1927/28 Southampton 69 17  
          1928/29   Halifax Town 13 3  
          1928/29   Grantham Town      
          1929/30 1930/31 Chesterfield 24 8  
          (later played for Llanelly)          
  TURNER, John Allan n/k Swallownest GK (previously with Dalton Brook)          
          1926/27 1927/28 Stockport County 38 0  
          1928/29   Wolverhampton Wanderers 7 0  
          1929/30   Watford 13 0  
          1929/30   Rotherham United 1 0  
  later played for Winchester City and Southampton Borough  
  RALEIGH, Simeon 1909 Rotherham CF/IL 1929/30   Huddersfield Town 0 0  
          1930/31 1931/32 Hull City 31 21  
          1932/33 1933/34 Gillingham 83 34  
  ROBINSON, Charles 20/08/1905 Rotherham RH previously with Parkgate Church Lads)          
  (known as 'Charlie')       1929/30   Rotherham United 12 0  
          1929/30 1930/31 Wolverhampton Wanderers 0 0  
          1930/31 1931/32 Coventry City 0 0  
          1932/33 1935/36 Stockport County 115 11  
          1936/37   Plymouth Argyle 0 0  
          1937/38 1939/40 Hull City 69 4  
  NOCK, John Edwin 13/01/1909 Rotherham CF (previously with Rotherham YMCA and Dinnington Athletic)          
          1931/32 1932/33 Rotherham United 25 15  
          1932/33   Scarborough      
          1933/34   Bacup Borough      
          1934/35   Accrington Stanley 1 0  
  later played for Rossendale United)  
  GUEST, William R. 08/02/1913 Denaby OL 1932/33   New Brighton trial only    
  (known as 'Joe')       1934/35   Chesterfield trial only    
          1934/35   Denaby United      
          1936/37   West Ham United 3 1  
  BARLOW, Herbert 22/07/1916 Kilnhurst IR/IL 1935/36 1937/38 Barnsley 58 12  
  (known as 'Bert')       1938/39   Wolverhampton Wanderers 3 1  
          1938/39 1948/49 Portsmouth 107 35  
          1949/50 1950/51 Leicester City 42 9  
          1952/53 1953/54 Colchester United 60 16  
  later played for Crittall's Athletic and Long Melford)  
  ● 1938/39 - with Portsmouth, FA Cup winners, scoring twice in a 4-1 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers at Wembley, London ● 1948/49 - with Portsmouth, Division 1 Champions and FA Cup semi-finalists  
  STAMPS, John David 02/12/1918 Thrybergh CF/IR/IL 1937/38   Mansfield Town 1 0  
  (known as 'Jackie')       1938/39   New Brighton 12 5  
          1938/39 1953/54 Derby County 236 100  
          1953/54   Shrewsbury Town 22 4  
  (later played for Burton Albion)  
  BODLE, Harold 04/10/1920 Adwick-le-Street IL/LH/RH (previously with Ridgehill Athletic)          
          1938/39   Rotherham United 9 0  
          1938/39 1948/49 Birmingham City 94 32  
          1948/49 1951/52 Bury 119 40  
          1952/53   Betteshanger Welfare      
          1952/53   Stockport County 29 6  
          1953/54 1956/57 Accrington Stanley 94 13  
  ● 1954/55 - with Accrington Stanley, Division 3 (North) runners-up  
  WILLIAMS, Daniel 20/11/1924 Maltby LH/RH 1946/47 1959/60 Rotherham United 461 22  
  (known as 'Danny')                  
  ● 1946/47, 1947/48 and 1948/49 Division 3 (North) runners-up, 1950/51 Division 3 (North) Champions  
  MORGAN, Lawrence 05/05/1931 Rotherham FB 1948/49   Sheffield United 0 0  
  (known as 'Lol')       1949/50 1953/54 Huddersfield Town 7 0  
          1954/55 1963/64 Rotherham United 291 0  
          1964/65 1965/66 Darlington 30 + 1 sub 0  

● 1960/61 - played for Rotherham United in the FL Cup Final losing 2-3 to Aston Villa on aggregate (2-0 home and 0-3 away)

● 1965/66 - with Darlington, Division 4 runners-up

  HOUGHTON, Kenneth 18/10/1939 Rotherham Midfield 1960/61 1964/65 Rotherham United 149 56  
  (known as 'Ken')       1965/66 1972/73 Hull City 253 + 11 sub 79  
          1973/74   Scunthorpe United 33 5  

later played for Scarborough and Bridlington Town)

● 1960/61 - played for Rotherham United in the FL Cup Final losing 2-3 to Aston Villa on aggregate (2-0 home and 0-3 away)

● 1965/66 - with Hull City, Division 3 Champions

1974/75 - played for Scarborough in the FA Trophy Final losing 0-4 to Matlock Town at Wembley, London

  Key to Positions  
  Gk = Goalkeeper, FB = full back, LB = left back, LH = left half, RH = right half, CH = centre half, IL = inside left, IR = inside right, OL = outside left, CF = centre forward




  Many thanks to Alan for the above article and player stats of Silverwood Colliery F. C.

Huddersfield Town F. C.  are preparing a centenary celebration in 2008. The Publication Committee are seeking information on past players of the club for inclusion in a tribute.

We now have two players from Thrybergh listed with Huddersfield and it is thought that there may be others from the area who also played with Huddersfield. Information sought  on the players includes Birth, Place of Birth, Death, place of Death, Parents, and any relevant information regarding their football careers.

If you have any information regarding the above please contact Alan Hodgson

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