Blyth Billy Image 3 Arsenal 1921

Blyth Billy Image 3 Arsenal 1921


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Dalkeith, Midlothian born inside forward Billy Blyth began his football career with Wemyss Athletic from where he joined Manchester City in 1913, spending 1913-14 on their books without ever playing a first team game. He signed for Second Division Arsenal in May 1914, making his Football League debut at Huddersfield Town in November 1914, scoring twice in a season in which they were promoted back into the First Division, but his career was interrupted by the onset of the First World War, during which Blyth duly joined the Royal Army Service Corps, serving in France and Flanders.

He guested in a single game for Third Lanark in 1918 but after the War he returned to Highbury and immediately became a regular in the newly promoted side. An energetic “midfield dynamo”, Blyth usually figured on the left of midfield, as a left half or inside left. He became a mainstay of the Arsenal team becoming club captain in 1925 and led them to runners up place in the League Championship in 1925-26, missing only two games. He was a member of Arsenal’s first ever FA Cup Final team of 1927 that lost to Cardiff City at Wembley in a major cup surprise.

He was also a member of their 1928 FA Cup semi final team that lost narrowly to eventual winners Blackburn Rovers at Filber Street, Leicester. He scored 51 times in 343 matches for Arsenal before transferring to Birmingham City in May 1929, playing 21 times and scoring 4 goals for The Blues before retiring in 1931. Blyth also starred in one of the first football related films, the 1930 production “The Great Game”.

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