South Shields, County Durham born right back Warney Cresswell had been an England schoolboy international in 1911 and began his professional football career during the First World War playing in the Scottish League where he appeared for Morton, Heart of Midlothian, where he played one first team match against Dumbarton in November 1915, and for Hibernian and St Bernard’s in 1917, also guesting for Tottenham Hotspur. He returned to play in England in 1919 joining Second Division South Shields, making his Football League debut at Fulham in August 1919, before joining Sunderland in March 1922 after 104 games, for a then world record £5,500 fee, becoming Sunderland’s club captain in January 1924.
He first played for England while still at South Shields in a 0-0 draw against Wales in Cardiff in March 1921 and won a total of 7 England caps through to his final cap against Ireland at Windsor Park, Belfast in October 1929. He is South Shields’ only England international. He also won The Charity Shield in 1923 when he played for The Professionals in their win over The Amateurs, and played 5 times for The Football League.
He made 190 appearances for Sunderland finishing in the top three of the League Championship in four of his six seasons on Wearside, before joining Everton for £7,000 in February 1927 where he helped them narrowly avoid relegation at the end of the season. Over the next nine years he played 308 times for The Toffees, scoring his one and only career goal in a 4-2 home defeat against Manchester United in April 1929. His spell at Everton was during a period of success at Goodison Park which saw him win the League Championship in 1928 and 1932, and, after their relegation in 1930, the Second Division Championship in 1931. The same year his chances of FA Cup glory seemed to have passed him by when, for the first time in his career, he made it to the FA Cup semi final, where Everton narrowly were beaten by eventual winners West Bromwich Albion at Old Trafford, but two years later he won the FA Cup, already aged 35 when they beat Manchester City in the 1933 Final at Wembley,
Having made well over 600 career appearances (which is a huge number for the day), he finished his playing career with Everton in 1936, and became the manager at Port Vale that May, staying a season before becoming manager of Northampton Town in May 1937 until the suspension of peacetime football due to the outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939. He later managed Southern League club Dartford from 1945 to 1947.
NB The photograph was taken at the home match with West Ham United on 25th August 1923, which ended 0-0.