Harwood Alf Image 1 West Ham United 1907


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Bishop Auckland born centre forward Alf Harwood first joined hometown amateur club Bishop Auckland in 1899 before playing for Crook Town in 1900. He won an FA Amateur Cup winner’s medal in 1901 when they beat Kings Lyn 3-0 in a replay at Ipswich after the first game was drawn. He returned to Bishop Auckland in 1901 and reached the Amateur Cup final again. This time he was on the losing side as Old Malvernians beat the Bishops 5-1 at Headingley. He also made his senior debut in an FA Cup 1st round proper tie against Burnley in December 1901. His achievements in the amateur game included representing the Northern League, winning Durham Cup medals and a Northern League Championship.

He turned professional when he joined Southern League Fulham in 1903 and spent three years at Craven Cottage, scoring twice in 28 appearances. The Cottagers won the Southern League in 1906, shortly after which Harwood joined Leeds City. He was the regular centre-forward for the reserves but his only senior game for Leeds, indeed his only career Football League appearance, came on 2nd March 1907 against Burnley, when he deputised for Billy McLeod. He scored in a 2-1 victory, netting in the first few minutes from a Parnell cross. Nimrod in the Mercury: “Harwood made his first appearance with the League team, and by no means disgraced himself. He swung the ball out nicely to his wings, and, had he shown a little more nerve in challenging the Burnley defence, he would have been wholly successful.”

With opportunities limited, he left at the end of the season to join Southern League West Ham United. He made his debut for the Hammers at Reading in November 1907 playing at left-back, but couldn’t lay claim to a regular place making 12 appearances in his two seasons in East London, and left for non league Spennymoor United in August 1909. He later returned to Bishop Auckland in 1913 where his career ended following the outbreak of World War One in 1914.

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