Wellington, Shropshire born centre forward “Happy” Harry Hampton is an Aston Villa great, indeed he’s still Villa’s all time leading League goalscorer, netting 215 League goals in 341 League appearances for Villa between 1904 and 1920 and totalling 242 goals in all of his 373 games.
He began his playing career with Shifnall Juniors and the Lilleshall Iron Works team in 1901, joining Wellington Town in 1902, and he signed for Aston Villa for £120 from Wellington Town in April 1904, making his Football League debut at Manchester City that November. In his first season at Villa Park he became a national sensation scoring both goals in the 1905 FA Cup Final win over Newcastle United at The Crystal Palace, and 7 goals in his 6 matches during the Cup run. He was also part of the 1910 League Championship winning team, when he bagged 26 League goals, and he was the top scorer in the First Division with 25 goals in 1912-13 and part of the 1913 FA Cup winning team, when they beat Sunderland 1-0 at The Crystal Palace in the Final, in a season when he notched 30 goals for the only time in his career. He scored five goals when Aston Villa beat Sheffield Wednesday 10-0 in a First Division match in October 1912. He was a runner up in the League Championship four times (1908, 1911, 1913 and 1914), and Aston Villa’s top scorer in nine of his eleven seasons before peacetime football was suspended in 1915 due to the advent of the First World War.
The effects of mustard gas while serving with the Royal Army Medical Corps in the First World War meant he wasn’t the same player after the War, and he moved to Birmingham in February 1920 after only 7 more peacetime outings for Villa. Nonetheless he managed an impressive 31 goals in 59 games for The Blues over the next two seasons scoring 16 goals as they won the Second Division Championship in 1921, and having a season back in the First Division in 1921-22, before leaving Blues in September 1922 to join Newport County and finishing his playing career with 15 games and 2 goals for The Ironsides during 1922-23, then after being released in the summer of 1923 he re-joined non league Wellington Town in January 1924, retiring in 1925. He subsequently coached Preston North End in 1925 before leaving professional football.
He was awarded 4 caps for England between March 1913 and April 1914, scoring 2 goals in his first 2 games, making a scoring debut in a 4-3 win over Wales at Ashton Gate and scoring in a 1-0 win over Scotland a month later. He also made 3 representative appearances for The Football League.
NB the photograph shows Hampton’s second goal in the 1905 FA Cup Final against Newcastle United at The Crystal Palace.