Clayton James Image 1 Wolverhampton Wanderers 1937

Clayton James Image 1 Wolverhampton Wanderers 1937


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Sunderland born centre forward James (sometimes known by his middle name Gordon) Clayton began his football career with Shotton Colliery Welfare in 1931 from where he was signed by Major Frank Buckley’s Wolverhampton Wanderers in October 1932, during the season in which they won promotion to the First Division. Clayton made his Football League debut at Newcastle United in April 1934 and remained an occasional performer for Wolves’ first team until he broke into the team in September 1936, when he scored 29 goals in 39 appearances and was Wolves’ leading goalscorer as they finished fifth in the League Championship, his tally including 4 goals as Wolves thumped Everton 7-2 in February 1937 and a hat-trick against Grimsby Town in April.

However despite making a bright start to the following season with all three goals in a win over Manchester City in August, he was sold to Aston Villa in October 1937 after 39 goals in 55 appearances for Wolves. He helped them to win the Second Division Championship despite struggling for first team opportunities but stayed only 12 months at Villa Park before joining Burnley in October 1938 after a single goal in 11 matches for Villa.

He scored a hat-trick for The Clarets in a 3-1 win over Tranmere Rovers in November 1938 but lost his place immediately into the New Year and only played three times more for Burnley before the outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939 forced the abandonment of peacetime football, by when he had scored 10 goals in 18 appearances and having guested for Swansea City during the War he joined Southern League club Barry Town in 1945 before his eventual retirement.

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