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NUFC 1938/39-Squad

All images are copyright Piotr Jozefowicz
B Ancell: 46-1
R Birkett: 26-3
R Bowden: 31-2
G Bradley: 1-0
B Cairns: 33-20
J Carver: 11-0
H Clifton: 33-17
B Craig: 9-0
J Denmark: 34-0
D Fairhurst: 3-0
A Frost: 5-1
A Garnham: 8-0
J Gordon: 28-2
D Kelly: 1-0
T Mooney: 42-12
J Park: 15-1
B Pears: 2-0
T Pearson: 6-2
J Richardson: 34-0
T Rogers: 5-0
W Scott: 9-2
A Stubbins: 24-4
T Swinburne: 31-0
C Theaker: 15-0
J Woodburn: 8-0
D Wright: 46-1

KEY: [Appearances-Goals] [Age at 31/12/98] [Positions Played]


Tom Swinburne [31] [23] [1]

Preferred to Tapken and McPhillips (who were both allowed to leave)-Swinburne was in pretty good form during the first half of the season, but was dropped in January. Returned for another short run in the side later in the season.

Clarence "Cam" Theaker [15] [26] [1]

Having failed to persuade Grimsby to part with their first-choice custodian Tweedy United agreed to sign their reserve, Theaker. He was handed his debut in the Cup Tie at Cardiff in January and kept his place for most of the remaining games.


Joe Richardson [34] [30] [2]

Despite his advancing years was still regarded as first choice. He had a couple of spells out with injury.

Bob Ancell [46] [27] [3]

Now in his third season at the club he was in very impressive form and played in every game.

Benny Craig [9] [2]

Signed from Huddersfield in November (when Richardson was injured) he provided experienced cover for the Bedlington back and played in the last seven games.

Dave Fairhurst [3] [32] [2]

Now in his 11th season at the club, but was rarely used, his last appearance coming in the 4-0 home drubbing by Coventry.


Gordon [28-2] [23] [4]

Broke his leg in the home match against Southampton in September and was out of action for over three months.

James Denmark [34-0] [25] [5]

First-choice centre-half, he played in most games. Suffered a fractured cheekbone against Chesterfield in January.

Duggie Wright [46-1] [6]

Signed from Southend in May, he made an excellent start to his United career. He played in every game and was selected for the England side that took on Norway at St. James'.

Jesse Carver [11] [27] [5]

His wife’s poor health had led him to ask for a transfer but he had to wait until April to get a move to Bury.

Woodburn [8-0] [21] [4, 6]

Took over from Gordon (after he broke his leg) but suffered an embarrassing injury when he fell over and hurt his wrist whilst visiting Denmark in a nursing home. A couple of days later he slipped during a reserves match and broke a bone in the same wrist.

Garnham [8-0] [24] [4]

One of a number of players who deputised for Gordon, he got a short run in the side. He was made available for transfer in April.

George Bradley [1-0] [22] [4]

Joined from Rotherham United in November and made his debut (and only appearance) in the 3-0 defeat at Blackburn a couple of weeks later.

Pears [2-0] [20] [4]

Made his debut at Bury in April.

Dominic Kelly [1-0] [21] [5]

Signed in November from Leeds where he was a reserve the tall and heavy youngster made his only appearance for the club in the disastrous home defeat against Coventry in February. Was involved in a fight with Park.


Ralph Birkett [26-3] [26] [7]

A big money signing from Middlesbrough during the summer. He played in the first 19 games but rarely featured after that.

Ray Bowden [31-2] [29] [10, 9, 8]

Took over as captain and retained the inside-left spot until he fractured his cheekbone in February. His goal-return was disappointing.

William Cairns [33-20] [26] [9, 8, 10]

In the first four months of the season centre-forward Cairns seemed unstoppable and was top scorer in the country with 17 goals in 18 games. In the New Year his form dipped dramatically and he only scored 3 more times and was "rested" on a number of occasions. Illness and injury did not help his cause. Despite being top scorer Newcastle were prepared to let him go later in the season.

Harry Clifton [33-17] [24] [8, 10, 9, 7]

Signed from Chesterfield for £8,500 in June, he was the leading scorer in Division 2 in 1937/38 and accompanied the England team on their German tour in the summer (although he didn't play). Injured in the fourth game of season at West Brom when he also found himself having to take over in goal for the second-half. Proved his worth with an average of a goal every two games. Surprisingly United were prepared to sell him to Leicester on deadline day but he turned down the move.

Mooney [42-12] [28] [11]

Had an excellent season and was often the most potent attacker

Albert Stubbins [24-4] [19] [8, 10]

Highly promising youngster who played regularly at inside-right in the first-half of the season and played in a number of different positions later on.

William Scott [9-2] [22] [8, 9]

Signed from Aberdeen in September but soon after broke his leg in a Reserves match. Made his debut in the FA Cup tie at Brentford in January.

Park [15-1] [25] [7, 9]

Played three times at centre-forward at the start season and then used at outside-right from February. He got involved in a fight with young centre-back Kelly.

Pearson [6-2] [25] [11, 7]

Mooney’s excellent form meant he struggled to get game time and he requested a transfer in March.

Rogers [5-0] [29] [7]

Had a short run in the side during December, but with Birkett and Park ahead of him he was transfer-listed in April and moved to Swansea in May.

Frost [5 -1] [23] [9]

Signed from New Brighton at the start of March he scored on his debut against Sheffield Wednesday.

1930s Squads