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Bert Sproston

Leeds United AFC, Tottenham Hotspur FC, Manchester City FC

11 appearances, 0 goals

P 11 W 7 D 0 L 4 F 33: A 20
64% successful

1936-38

disciplined: none
captaincies:
none
minutes played:
990

Profile

Full name Bert Sproston
Born 22 June 1915 in Elworth, near Sandbach, Cheshire [registered in Congleton, September 1915].
Married to Renee A. Day [registered in Chatham, March 1946].
Died 27 January 2000 in Bolton, aged 84 years 220 days [registered in Bolton, January 2000].
Height/Weight 5' 7½", 11st. 2lbs [1936].

Source

Douglas Lammings' An English Football Internationalist Who's Who [1990] & FindMyPast.com

Club Career

Club(s) Began his career with Cheshie League side, Sandbach Ramblers FC, and had a trial with Huddersfield Town AFC, but it was Leeds United AFC who signed Sproston in May 1933. After 130 league appearances and a solitary goal, signed by Tottenham Hotspur FC on 15 June 1938 for £9,500. Returned north five months later and nine league appearances, after failing to settle. Manchester City FC signed Sproston on 4 November 1938 for £10,500. Made appearances for Millwall FC and Combined Services XI during the war. He retired from playing on 28 September 1950, having made 128 league appearances for City.
Club honours Football League Division Two winners 1946-47
Individual honours Football League (four appearances)
Distinctions None

Source

Douglas Lammings' An English Football Internationalist Who's Who [1990].

England Career

Player number One of six players who became the 624th players (625) to appear for England.
Position(s) Right-back
First match No. 205, 17 October 1936, England 1 Wales 2, a British Championship match at Ninian Park, Sloper Road, Cardiff, aged 21 years 117 days.
Last match No. 221, 9 November 1938, England 4 Norway 0, a friendly match at St James' Park, Gallowgate, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, aged 23 years 140 days.
Major tournaments British Championships 1936-37, 1937-38, 1938-39;
Team honours British Championships winners 1937-38, shared 1938-39;
Individual honours England wartime (two appearances)
Distinctions None

Beyond England

Joined Bolton Wanderers FC as their trainer in July 1951 and later scouted for the club well into the 1980's. - An English Football Internationalists' Who's Who. Douglas Lamming (1990). Hatton Press, p.233.

 

Bert Sproston - Career Statistics
Squads Apps Comp.
Apps
Mins. Goals Goals Av.min Comp.
Goals
Capt. Disc.
12 11 5 990 0 0 min 0 none none
Due to the fact that many matches rarely stuck to exactly ninety minutes long, allowing time for injuries, errors and substitutions.  The minutes here given can only ever be a guideline and cannot therefore be accurate, only an approximation.

 

Bert Sproston - Match Record - All Matches
Type P W D L F A GD FTS CS FAv AAv Pts % W/L
Home 4 4 0 0 14 5 +9 0 2 3.50 1.25 100.0 +4
Away 7 3 0 4 19 15 +4 1 0 2.714 2.143 0.429 -1
All 11 7 0 4 33 20 +13 1 2 3.00 1.818 63.6 +3

 

Bert Sproston - Match Record - By Type of Match
Type P W D L F A GD FTS CS FAv AAv Pts% W/L
British Championship 5 2 0 3 10 9 +1 1 0 2.00 1.80 40.0 -1
Friendly 6 5 0 1 23 11 +12 0 2 3.833 1.833 83.3 +4
All 11 7 0 4 33 20 +13 1 2 3.00 1.818 63.6 +3

 

Bert Sproston - Match Record - Tournament Matches
British Championship Competition
Type P W D L F A GD FTS CS FAv AAv Pts% W/L
BC 1936-37 1 0 0 1 1 2 -1 0 0 1.00 2.00 0.00 -1
BC 1937-38 3 2 0 1 7 3 +4 1 0 2.333 1.00 66.7 +1
BC 1938-39 1 0 0 1 2 4 -2 0 0 2.00 4.00 0.00 -1
BC All 5 2 0 3 10 9 +1 1 0 2.00 1.80 40.0 -1
All Competition
Type P W D L F A GD FTS CS FAv AAv Pts% W/L
BC 5 2 0 3 10 9 +1 1 0 2.00 1.80 40.0 -1
All 5 2 0 3 10 9 +1 1 0 2.00 1.80 40.0 -1

 

Bert Sproston - Match History
 Club: Leeds United A.F.C. - 8 full caps

Coach: F.A. International Select Committee - 11 full capsx

Age 21
1 205 17 October 1936 - Wales 2 England 1, Ninian Park, Cardiff BC AL Start rb
Age 22
2 212 23 October 1937 - Ireland 1 England 5, Windsor Park, Belfast BC AW Start 2
3 213 17 November 1937 - England 2 Wales 1, Ayresome Park, Middlesbrough HW Start 2
4 214 1 December 1937 - England 5 Czechoslovakia 4, White Hart Lane, Tottenham Fr HW Start 2
5 215 9 April 1938 - England 0 Scotland 1, Empire Stadium, Wembley BC HL Start rb
6 216 14 May 1938 - Germany 3 England 6, Olympiastadion, Berlin tour AW Start rb
7 217 21 May 1938 - Switzerland 2 England 1, Hardturm Sportplatz, Zürich AL Start rb
8 218 26 May 1938 - France 2 England 4, Stade Olympique Yves-du-Manoir, Paris AW Start rb
 Club: Tottenham Hotspur F.C. - 2 full caps  
Age 23
9 219 22 October 1938 - Wales 4 England 2, Ninian Park, Cardiff BC AL Start 2
10 220 26 October 1938 - England 3 Rest of Europe 0, Arsenal Stadium, Highbury Fr HW Start 2
 Club: Manchester City F.C. - 1 full cap  
11 221 9 November 1938 - England 4 Norway 0, St. James' Park, Newcastle-upon-Tyne Fr HW Start 2
- 222 16 November 1938 - England 7 Ireland 0, Old Trafford, Manchester BC HW withdrew injured

Notes

The footballer Bert Sproston, who has died aged 84, was, for several years before the last war, acknowledged as one of the best defenders in England, a blonde, fast, strongly built (5ft 8in, 12st), hard-tackling right-back.

He forged his way into the national team at the expense of as accomplished a player as Arsenal's George Male, who for years had partnered his clubmate and captain, the left-back Eddie Hapgood, and would regain his place from Sproston in 1939. Curiously, however, neither Male nor Sproston would be chosen for England in their unofficial internationals against Wales and Scotland during the war years.

Born in Sandbach, Cheshire, Sproston made his name with Leeds United, and won the first of his 11 international caps against Wales in Cardiff, in October 1936, a game that England lost 2-1. He was capped seven times the following season, 1937-8, when he became the regular England choice at right-back.

Perhaps the most memorable of these games took place in Berlin in May 1938, against Germany; the Nazi regime very much wanted a home win. Before the game, a reluctant England team, at the behest of Sir Neville Henderson, the appeasing British ambassador, gave the Nazi salute. They then proceeded to play the Germans off the park, winning 6-3.

That season, Sproston had also played all three games in the British international championship. At the end of it, he moved south to Tottenham Hotspur, retaining his place in the England team and appearing against Wales and the Rest of Europe XI, beaten 3-0 at Highbury.

He was unhappy in London, however, and stayed at Tottenham for only a few months before moving back north - this time to Manchester City, a club that had just been relegated to the second division - a single season after winning at the league championship.

Sproston's last international cap came in November 1938, at Newcastle, where England beat Norway 4-0. During the war, he served in the army, eventually playing for Combined Services XIs on the continent, and turning out as a guest player for Millwall, who sometimes used him in the unaccustomed position of inside-right.

The transitional 1945-46 season saw him back with Manchester City, though neither he nor the then England goalkeeper, the celebrated Frank Swift, could save the club from a remarkable humiliation in the FA Cup, revived in 1946 as a two-legged affair. On their home ground at Maine Road, City were thrashed by a Bradford Park Avenue team which scored eight goals, four of them by A H (Jackie) Gibbons, once Tottenham's amateur centre-forward, and by then a professional.

The next season, when league football started, Sproston was a regular member of the Manchester City team which comfortably won the second division championship, and thus returned to the first division. He played on as the regular right-back for a couple of seasons, his last with the club being 1949-50, when he made just five first division appearances. Subsequently, he coached Bolton Wanderers. - The Guardian obituary

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CG