Blood Bobby Image 1 Stockport County 1925

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Description

Harper Hill, Derbyshire born centre forward Bobby Blood played for Buxton in 1912, Buxton Lime Firms in 1913 and Leek Alexandra in 1914 before the outbreak of the First World War. In March 1915, he volunteered to serve the 16th Battalion Sherwood Foresters. On 5th June 1916, he was injured during a raid on the Béthune Front, and nearly lost his leg. Upon his recovery he was drafted into the 7th Battalion Sherwood Foresters and returned to France in March 1917. He also represented British Army in football matches against Belgium and France, and won both the Divisional Cup and the Brigade Cup with the 7th Sherwood Foresters. He rose to the rank of Sergeant Major and returned to Buxton after the Allies declared victory on 11th November 1918, and, determined to become professional footballer, managed to strengthen his leg by spending many hours kicking a ball against a steep slope next to Harpur Hill cemetery.

He returned to Leek Alexandra, and played at centre forward, scoring 11 goals in the first two months of the 1919-20 season, putting five goals past Goldenhill Wanderers and another four past Stafford Rangers. He soon joined Second Division Port Vale for a £50 fee in November 1919 and made his Football League debut for Port Vale in November 1919 against South Shields and he scored an impressive 25 goals in 30 games in his debut season including a hat-trick against Nottingham Forest and 4 goals against Rotherham County, and had already scored another 21 goals in 30 games for the Valiants the following season when West Bromwich Albion stepped in waving a cheque for £4,000 in February 1921, then a club record fee, with Blood scoring a penalty on his debut in a 3-1 win over Tottenham. Blood was by now renowned for his fierce shot, which had broken the wrist of an unfortunate Bristol City goalkeeper when saving his penalty playing for Vale.

In four years at The Hawthorns his opportunities were limited but he still managed an impressive goals to games ratio for The Baggies with 26 goals in 56 games. In December 1924 he joined Stockport County for £3,000, he scored seven goals in 25 Second Division games during the 1924-25 campaign, though his eight goals in 16 League matches could not prevent County suffering relegation in last place in 1925-26. and altogether he scored a further 16 goals in 45 games before finishing his professional career in 1927, joining non league Winsford United and going on to play for Mossley in 1928, Buxton in 1929 and Ashton National in 1930 before his retirement. He later scouted young talent for West Bromwich Albion.

 

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