Holdcroft Harry Image 1 Preston North End 1937


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Norton-in-the-Moors, Staffordshire born goalkeeper Harry Holdcroft played for local clubs, Biddulph and Norton Druids in 1924, and Whitfield Colliery in 1925 before joining Port Vale as an amateur in August 1926, signing professional forms the following month. He made his Football League debut in February 1927 against Hull City and had only played ten Second Division games for the Vale before being handed a free transfer to Third Division North club Darlington in May 1928. He was the firm first choice for Darlington and played 85 games in his three years at Feethams.

In the summer of 1931 he was signed by Everton of the First Division. The Toffees won the League Championship in 1931-32, however Holdcroft failed to get into the first team at Goodison Park with Ted Sagar a near ever present, and he moved to Second Division Preston North End a year later. He didn’t dislodge incumbent George Wolf until December but then went on to play in 172 consecutive League and Cup matches for The Lambs. He helped the club to win promotion out of the Second Division as runners up in 1933-34.

He won his first international cap when Holdcroft was selected to play for England against Wales at Ninian Park on 17th October 1936. The following month he won a second international cap against Ireland.

However he missed out of the 1937 FA Cup Final defeat to Sunderland when his deputy, Mick Burns, took over the gloves with Holdcroft injured in early April, however Holdcroft played in the 1938 FA Cup Final victory over Huddersfield Town at Wembley, keeping a clean sheet over 120 minutes in a 1-0 win. However the Second World ended his Preston career after 293 appearances for them.

During the War he guested for Accrington Stanley, Barnsley, Burnley, Bury, Oldham Athletic, Manchester United and Southport, and after the War he played 6 times in the 1945-46 FA Cup for Barnsley. before finishing his career with non league clubs Morecambe in 1946, Chorley in 1947 and Leyland Motors in 1948.


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