Edmonton born wing half Percy Barton played for Tottenham Thursday and Edmonton Amateurs and signed for Second Division Birmingham from Sultan FC in January 1914, making his Football League debut against Notts County the same month. He played most of the 1914-15 season before League football was suspended due to the onset of the First World War. During the War he guested for Tottenham Hotspur when not serving with the Armed Forces.
After the War he returned to play for Birmingham and scored 5 goals as Birmingham were promoted to the First Division winning the Second Division Championship in 1920-21. He made his last first team appearance in September 1928, having played 349 times for The Blues, scoring 15 goals. A fan’s favourite, he was nicknamed “The India Rubber Man” by the St. Andrew’s supporters because of his ability to twist and turn. He was a hard-working player, whose combative style did not always find favour with referees, resulting in him being sent off three times, albeit his sending off against Bolton in September 1922 appeared to be a case of mistaken identity.
He first played for England in a 2-0 win over Belgium in Brussels in May 1921 and went on to win 6 more caps for his country over the next 3 years, winning his last England cap in a 3-1 victory over Ireland at Goodison Park in October 1924. He was also a non playing reserve on 4 occasions. On leaving Birmingham in 1929 he joined Stourbridge of the Birmingham & District League. He retired in 1933.
Barton was the referee for the England women’s international against Belgium at Hall Green Greyhound Stadium in Birmingham on 10th August 1939.
NB in the photograph Birmingham goalkeeper Dan Tremelling punches clear, the Birmingham defender jumping is Percy Barton with Alex McClure obscured in the background (blond hair), and the match/opponents are similarly unconfirmed, although most likely to be Arsenal in December 1922, certainly the opposition players in the photograph, although unidentifiable, would fit with Arsenal players for the strip they are wearing.