Barnsley born football manager Arthur Fairclough had a lengthy managerial career which began with newly elected hometown Second Division club Barnsley in May 1898, guiding them through their first three Football League seasons before leaving the club in April 1901, when he was replaced by John McCartney. When McCartney left in May 1904, Fairclough returned as manager later that summer, and he achieved perhaps his most notable feats by guiding Barnsley to the 1910 FA Cup Final, where they were beaten by Newcastle United in a replay, and then to the 1912 Final, where they beat West Bromwich Albion to win Barnsley’s only major honour in its history, again in a replay.
After his success at Barnsley, he was persuaded to join Huddersfield Town in the 1912 close season where he laid the groundwork for the success to be achieved by Herbert Chapman during the 1920’s, being replaced by Ambrose Langley in December 1919 half way through their 1919-20 promotion season. When Huddersfield chairman Hilton Crowther decided that a Leeds-based team would be a better vehicle for his attentions, he persuaded his manager to move with him, and so Fairclough took over from Dick Ray as Leeds United manager for the club’s first full season in the Football League.
Fairclough put together a useful team, and in 1923-24 he saw his side win promotion to the First Division as Second Division Champions. The following year saw the signing of the goal-scoring talents of Tom Jennings and Russell Wainscoat, to stand alongside the defensive abilities of Ernest Hart and Tom Townsley. Despite Jennings’ astonishing haul of 35 goals in 42 matches, 1926-27 saw the side relegated and Fairclough resigned in the close season. He briefly returned to management with Barnsley in May 1928, but resigned after two seasons in the job in May 1930, by when his managerial career had spanned 22 short of 1,000 matches.