Blyth Billy Image 8 Arsenal 1922

Blyth Billy Image 8 Arsenal 1922


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Dalkeith, Midlothian born inside forward Billy Blyth was a Scottish Junior international who played as a schoolboy for local junior side Wemyss Athletic. In May 1914 he signed for Second Division Arsenal from Manchester City, where he never played a first team game after joining them in 1913, 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, after which peacetime football was suspended due to the onset of the First World War, during which Blyth duly joined the Royal Army Service Corps, serving in France.

He guested 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 side, 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 their 1927 FA Cup Final team 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, his last match coming against former club Arsenal in September 1930 before his retirement in May 1931.

Blyth also starred in one of the first football-related films, the 1930 production The Great Game.

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