Church, Lancashire born centre half Arthur Chadwick started his football career playing in his native county for junior club Church in 1893, before signing for non league Accrington in 1894 for whom he made his senior debut in an FA Cup tie at Sunderland in January 1894, and he then joined Second Division Burton Swifts in July 1895, for whom he made his Football League debut at Leicester Fosse that September and for whom he scored 8 times in 63 appearances over the next two seasons. When he signed for Southern League Southampton in May 1897, little was known about him. He travelled to Southampton for a trial accompanied by Bob Brown of Burton Wanderers.
He initially played at right half, but was not a great success until he was converted to a centre half in which position his career took off. Described in Holley & Chalk’s The Alphabet of the Saints as “a powerful and efficient defender, Arthur reached his peak at the turn of the century”, he helped Saints to win the Southern League Championship in 1897-98 and again in 1898-99 and to the FA Cup Final in 1900, defeating three top flight clubs along the way, but they were comprehensively beaten 4-0 by Bury in front of 69,000 spectators at The Crystal Palace. By then he had been rewarded with two England caps, against Wales and Scotland in March and April 1900 at The Cardiff Arms Park and Celtic Park, Glasgow respectively.
In January 1899, in a match at Sheppey United, Chadwick had the somewhat dubious honour of becoming the first Saints player to be sent off in a League match. Southampton again won the Southern League title in 1900-01 before Chadwick decided to move on. In his four seasons with Southampton, he made a total of 96 appearances, scoring six goals. In May 1901 he moved to local rivals, Portsmouth, and was part of their side that won the Southern League Championship in 1901-02. After 12 goals in 70 appearances for Pompey, he moved on to Northampton Town in the 1904 close season, and then returned to Accrington Stanley in 1906 before joining Exeter City as player-manager in July 1908, scoring on his debut in the 3-2 home win over Norwich City in September 1908, where he finished his playing career in 1910 after 6 goals in 41 appearances.
He was the first manager of Exeter City, a post he held for 12 more years until December 1922. When he first joined Exeter, they had recently joined the Southern League, and in 1920 Exeter City were invited by the Football League to become founder members of the Third Division, which Chadwick oversaw. In January 1923, he was appointed to the helm of Reading, where he guided the club through two seasons in the Third Division (South). When the manager’s job at Second Division Southampton became vacant in October 1925, Chadwick resigned his post at Reading to take charge at The Dell, thus becoming the first ex-player to become Saints’ manager. He is credited with signing most of the players that won promotion to Division Two in 1926, he had left the club 5 games into their Championship season.
He found immediate success by guiding the Saints to the semi-final of the 1927 FA Cup, defeating Newcastle United on the way. In the semi-final, played at Stamford Bridge on 26th March 1927, Saints were defeated 2-1 by Arsenal with Saints’ goal coming from Bill Rawlings. In this match, Saints came up against their former star full-back Tom Parker who had had a nightmare in Saints’ previous semi-final appearance two years earlier. This time Parker was on the winning side as Arsenal moved on to Wembley, before losing to Cardiff City in the Final.
Shrewdly Chadwick bought several new players, including forward Willie Haines from Portsmouth and by the end of the 1928-29 season he had taken Southampton to fourth place, their then best ever position in Division Two. Soon after, Saints embarked on a policy of selling their best players to survive financially, and Chadwick grew disillusioned with both the club in particular and the game of football in general and he resigned on 16th April 1931, thereby ending a long association with the game. He left Hampshire and settled in Exeter, where in 1936 he collapsed and died whilst watching a match at Exeter’s St James’ Park ground.
His cousin, Edgar Chadwick also played for England as well as for Everton and Southampton. He also had a brother, Albert who was also with Everton, making five appearances between 1888 and 1892.