Bluff Edgar Image 1 Sheffield United 1907

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Attercliffe, Sheffield born inside right Edgar Bluff began his football career with High Hazels, and played Army football while serving with The Yorkshire Light Infantry from March 1900 during which time he had a brief spell with Southern League Reading in 1902, also playing Army football for The First Army Corps in 1903, where he was spotted by Southampton, who were seeking a replacement for the ageing Harry Wood. The Southampton directors were so impressed that they paid for his discharge from the Army in April 1904, in time for Southampton’s summer tour of South America, during which they played teams representing Argentina (when he scored four goals) and Uruguay, winning 8-0 and 8-1 respectively.

He made his Southern League debut on 24th September 1904 and soon formed an exciting partnership with Fred Harrison. According to Holley & Chalk, “his army discipline and training served him in good stead” and “he displayed a natural goal-scoring ability”, his heading being “a strong feature of his game”. In his first season at The Dell he was joint top scorer with George Hedley with ten League goals, plus a further three in the FA Cup. His form earned him a call-up to the England international squad when he was first reserve for a match against Ireland at Ayresome Park in February 1905, however this was the nearest he came to an England cap.

In the summer of 1905 the Southern League introduced a wage limit which resulted in the transfer of several players, including Bluff who reluctantly moved back to Yorkshire to join hometown First Division club Sheffield United, who signed him for a £300 transfer fee. He made his Football League debut against Sunderland that September but he was never quite able to re-capture the form he had shown at Southampton for The Blades, although he did score eleven goals in 1906-07, helping United to finish fourth in the League Championship. After 17 goals in 68 appearances for Sheffield United, he moved on to Birmingham in December 1907, where he stayed for six months, but after their relegation in May 1908 he was released and he drifted into non league football with a spell at Lancashire Combination club St Helens Town, joining them in September 1909 before his eventual retirement.

 

 

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