Lane Joe Image 1 Birmingham City 1920

Lane Joe Image 1 Birmingham City 1920


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Hereford born centre forward Joe Lane had been on Southern League Watford’s books and had also played in Hungary for Ferencvaros before joining First Division Champions Sunderland in 1913, making his Football League debut that September against Aston Villa, playing once more the following month against Manchester City before a transfer in November to Second Division Blackpool for £400.

He made his Seasiders debut on 22nd November 1913, in a 2-2 draw at home to Leeds City, scoring one of Blackpool’s goals. He went on to make a further 26 appearances during the 1913-14 campaign, scoring ten more goals. The following season, 1914-15, he was an ever-present in Blackpool’s 38 league games and one FA Cup tie. He scored 28 goals, including two hat-tricks: one in the second league game of the season, a 3-1 victory at Hull City on 5th September 1914, and all of the goals in Blackpool’s 3-0 victory against Glossop at Bloomfield Road on 21st November. Despite Lane’s goal haul, Blackpool still only managed a tenth-placed finish after losing almost as many games as they won. With peacetime football suspended due to the onset of the First World War, Lane served in Egypt with the Hertfordshire Yeomanry during the conflict.

When the Football League resumed in 1919-20, with Blackpool’s new manager, Bill Norman, in his second season in charge, Lane continued where he had left off, netting 27 goals in 32 appearances. He scored one hat-trick, in a 6-0 whitewash of Lincoln City at Bloomfield Road on 8th September 1919. However he left Blackpool with two months of the season remaining, joining Birmingham City for a Blackpool club-record fee of ₤3,600 after 66 goals in 98 games. He quickly got in the groove with Birmingham scoring a penalty against Lincoln City on his debut, two against Nottingham Forest next match, then another hat-trick against hapless Lincoln in his third game, against whom he’d suddenly scored 8 goals in 4 games that season! He bagged another 15 goals for Birmingham in 1920-21 as they won The Second Division Championship but he quickly fell down the pecking order with the emergence of the likes of Joe Bradford and Johnny Crosbie, and he joined Millwall in the summer of 1922.

His two seasons at The Den saw only 6 goals in 25 appearances and he joined Barcelona in 1924, and non league Birmingham club Bournville Athletic a year later, his last known club before his eventual retirement.

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