Denyer Bertie Image 3 Swindon Town 1928

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Description

Plaistow, London born winger Albert “Bertie” Denyer was the first London Schoolboy to be capped for England when he played against Wales at Walsall. He joined West Ham United from his first club side, Isthmian League club Ilford, making his Southern League debut against Exeter City in September 1912 and scoring 18 times in 50 games for The Hammers, where his brother Frank also made 2 appearances in April 1914 in what proved to be Bertie’s final two matches for the club. He then joined Swindon Town beginning a 16 year association with the Wiltshire club, which was almost immediately undone after 10 goals in 19 games by the onset of the First World War forcing the suspension of peacetime football.
 
During the War he served as a sergeant in The Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment), better known as The Sportsman’s Battalion, in France and West Africa. During 1917 he also played in the Scottish League for Heart of Midlothian scoring 7 goals in 18 games, also winning The Rosebery Charity Cup with The Jambos. However a severe wound sustained while serving his country required the removal of half of his intestines and despite being told he would never play football again, he returned to Swindon on resumption of peacetime football and was fit enough to play for the first team again by 1920, scoring 8 goals in Swindon’s inaugural Football League season of 1920-21 and continuing to play and score regularly throughout the 1920’s when Swindon were consistently a competitive side without ever gaining promotion from the Third Division (South).
 
It was in his last season that the most remarkable story of his career comes. Swindon travelled to Old Trafford in the Third Round of the Cup in January 1930 and defeated Manchester United 2-0 in a significant giant killing. So impressed were the Manchester United directors that they asked Swindon how much they wanted for “the kid on the wing”. The “kid” was Bertie who was 36 years old at the time. In total he played 371 times for Swindon scoring 64 goals before joining non league Evesham Town, later playing for West End Sports in 1934.
 
He was the father of the eponymous Bertie Denyer who also played for Swindon Town immediately after the Second World War.

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