Southwell, Nottinghamshire born goalkeeper Ted Hufton joined First Division Sheffield United as Harold Gough’s understudy in August 1912 for £20 from Atlas & Norfolk Works, making his Football League debut at Manchester City in February 1913. He played 13 times that season but only made three more appearances in the next two seasons before the First World War forced the suspension of peacetime football at the end of the 1914-15 season.
With the outbreak of the War he joined The Coldstream Guards and was wounded in France. On recovering he played regularly for West Ham United as a wartime guest player and eventually transferred to The Hammers permanently after the end of the conflict for £350 in March 1919. It proved money well spent. He played in West Ham’s inaugural Football League fixture against Lincoln City in August 1919 and made 402 appearances for West Ham over the next 13 seasons, including being in their goal for the 1923 “White Horse” FA Cup Final defeat to Bolton Wanderers at Wembley, in the same year as West Ham were promoted to the First Division. He was noted for his record when facing penalty kicks – it’s said that he saved 11 of 18 when playing for The Irons.
His first England cap came in a 2-2 draw against Belgium in Antwerp in November 1923, and he won 5 more caps between October 1927 and May 1929, when he was already aged 36. Famously he was in goal when Scotland won the “Wembley Wizards” match at Wembley in March 1928, but he was one of the few players from that team to play again, his last 3 caps coming on England’s summer tour to France, Belgium and Spain the following May.
He was released in April 1932 by West Ham on a free transfer and joined Watford that June playing twice for them in November 1932 before his retirement in the summer of 1933, in so doing becoming the first England capped goalkeeper to play for the club. He later returned to West Ham United becoming a press room steward after the Second World War.