Compton Les Image 1 Arsenal 1934

Compton Les Image 1 Arsenal 1934


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Woodford, London born centre half Les Compton started his football career with Bell Lane Old Boys in Hendon in 1928 joining Hampstead Town in 1929, from where he signed for Arsenal as an amateur in 1931 turning professional in February 1932, and making his Football League debut at Aston Villa that April. He played less than 10 games in Arsenal’s League Championship wins of 1933, 1935 and 1938 but won a League Championship medal after the Second World War making 35 appearances in their title winning season of 1947-48. He also won the FA Cup with Arsenal as they beat Liverpool 2-0 at Wembley in the 1950 Cup Final.

He made his England debut in November 1950 in a 4-2 win against Wales at Roker Park making him, at 38 years and 64 days, the oldest post-war England debutant and the oldest ever outfield player to debut. He won his second cap a week later in a 2-2 draw against Yugoslavia at Highbury. He also made one appearance for The Football League.

He played his last Gunners match in April 1952, and decided to retire from playing football in the 1952 close season; in total he played 273 matches and scored 6 goals. He stayed on at Arsenal for another three years as a coach and scout until February 1956.

Compton also played cricket for Middlesex, playing as wicket-keeper from 1938 to 1956. He appeared 272 times, scoring 5,814 runs (an average of 16.75), and taking 468 catches and 131 stumpings. Together with his younger brother Denis, who also played football for Arsenal, he won the 1947 County Championship title with Middlesex, making them the only brothers ever to have won the national title both in football and cricket. Unlike Denis though, Leslie never played Test cricket for England.

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