Boyd Harry Image 1 Third Lanark 1894

Boyd Harry Image 1 Third Lanark 1894


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Born in Pollokshaws near Glasgow, centre forward Harry Boyd spent most of his career in England. He started out with Vale of Clyde in 1889 and joined Northern League club Sunderland Albion in 1890, moving to First Division Burnley in August 1892 when Sunderland Albion folded, where he made his Football League debut at Wolverhampton Wanderers that September. However he only played 4 times for The Clarets, scoring once, before joining West Bromwich Albion in October 1892. But opportunities in the first team were similarly limited at The Hawthorns and after a year of sparing appearances for The Baggies, a single goal in 8 matches to be exact, he moved back to Scotland to join Third Lanark. While at Third Lanark he represented The Scottish League against The Irish League in January 1894, scoring in a 6-0 victory at Celtic Park.

Signing for Woolwich Arsenal in May 1894, Boyd made an instant impact, scoring on his debut in a 3-1 defeat to Grimsby Town in September of that year and scoring another eight goals in the next five matches including a hat-trick against Manchester City. However, a little after a month later he broke his leg in a friendly match against Sunderland on 15th October and he was out of action for over a year. He made a goalscoring return to action in October 1895, scoring against Burton Swifts – the first of 13 goals in 22 appearances that season when he finished the season as Arsenal’s top scorer. Boyd netted 10 times in just 12 matches the following year and was transferred to Newton Heath (now Manchester United) for £45 in January 1897 having scored 32 goals in 41 appearances for The Gunners.

Boyd boasts a better goals to games ratio than anyone who has played more than 30 times for Arsenal. His 32 goals in 41 senior appearances rank him narrowly ahead of the legendary Ted Drake. Boyd spent two and a half years with Newton Heath, scoring three hat-tricks in the 1897-98 season including successive hat-tricks against Lincoln City and Burton Swifts in the opening two fixtures of the season, as he racked up 20 League  goals for the season (becoming the first player to do so in Manchester United history) and was the club’s leading scorer. However the following season, 1898-99, he only played five times (but still scored five goals), and in August 1899 after 32 goals in 60 appearances he left Newton Heath for Falkirk, retiring in May 1900.

NB in the photograph Boyd wears his Scottish League representative shirt and cap.

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