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Robert Blanthorne

Robert Blanthorne
Robert Blanthorne
Bth 08/01/84 Rock Ferry Lancashire
P/H Centre Forward 6’ 1”
Jnd 04/05/08 Grimsby £350
Deb 02/09/08 Bradford C D1
Dep 01/11 Hartlepool
A/G 1

Built on substantial lines, Robert Blanthorne was one of the "Lifeguardsmen" of League football, standing 6ft 1in tall and scaling at 12st 2lb.

For four seasons he played centre-half-back for Rockferry, and after a season with Birkenhead he was associated with Liverpool before moving to Grimsby. He scored the majority of their goals in 1907/08.

When Grimsby Town opposed Newcastle United, in the fourth round of the English Cup in 1905/06, Blanthorne gave a stylish performance alike in dribbling and marksmanship, and this fine effort clearly influenced the Newcastle United to secure his services as their new pivot upon the departure of Appleyard.

Blanthorne caused a sensation by refusing to sign-on again for Grimsby at the end of the 1907/08 season despite being offered the maximum wage. A few days later Newcastle offered Bill Appleyard plus an additional payment for him, however it was a straight cash deal in the end.

His footballing abilities and gentlemanly conduct, both on and off the field, had made him a firm favourite with “the Fisherman’s” supporters many of whom believed he was the finest centre-forward in the country.

He was big enough to bustle but he was also clever and had a greater knowledge of the real arts of the game than Appleyard.

Blanthorne impressed in the practice games, but on his debut he broke both bones in his right leg just above the ankle leg after 71 minutes. He was sent to Dr. Martin’s private hospital on Eslington Terrace which he left in October.

Blanthorne scored a hat-trick in his comeback game for the reserves in January 1910; a 3-1 win over Blyth Spartans in the Newcastle Infirmary Cup.

The Magpies had splashed out on a new centre-forward - Albert Shepherd - in his absence but he was signed on again for 1910/11 and took part in the practice games.

However, although he scored regularly in the reserves, which indicated his recovery was complete, he was sold to Hartlepools United in January 1911.


Painting by Piotr