Goalkeeper Sandy “Cody” Mutch was born in Inverurie, Aberdeenshire, and began his football career with Inverurie Locos, before joining Aberdeen in June 1906 for whom he made his debut at Heart of Midlothian in a 3-3 draw the same August. In his first two seasons at Pittodrie he was understudy to the well established Rab Macfarlane and only made a handful of appearances but when Macfarlane moved on at the end of the 1907-08 season Mutch became Aberdeen’s first choice glovesman, missing only one game and attracting considerable attention for his performances and his excellent attitude to the game, which had made him a popular figure at Pittodrie.
He joined newly inaugurated Second Division club Huddersfield Town for £400 in May 1910 making his Football League debut at Bradford Park Avenue that September in Huddersfield’s inaugural League fixture and playing both sides of the War at Leeds Road, being very much first choice for most of his 12 years at Leeds Road. In April 1920 Mutch received £794 in the club’s first player benefit.
In 1920 he helped Huddersfield into the Football League First Division playing 35 times as they were promoted as Second Division runners up. While playing for The Terriers, he played in two FA Cup Finals at Stamford Bridge, in 1920 they lost 1-0 to Aston Villa after extra time and in the 1922 Cup Final which they won 1-0 against Preston North End. However this turned out to be one of his last appearances for the club, his final appearance of 252 for Huddersfield being their 1-0 FA Charity Shield victory over League Champions Liverpool that May.
He then was transferred to Newcastle United for £850 that August, even though he was already nearly 38 years old, making his Newcastle United debut was on 26th Aug 1922 against Everton and quickly becoming a popular figure with the Geordie supporters. In 1924 he was in their team that progressed once again to the FA Cup Final but shortly before Newcastle’s 2-0 victory over Aston Villa he suffered a bad knee injury, after having played in all of the earlier rounds including the FA Cup semi final, which left Bill Bradley with the gloves for the Final. He only played twice more in autumn 1924 and the knee injury eventually led to his retirement as a player after 43 appearances in total for The Toon. After coaching for a time at St James’ Park, he took on the job of groundsman and remained so until his retirement in 1958.
In the photograph Mutch catches the ball despite the attentions of Manchester City’s Tommy Johnson. It was taken at Hyde Road, Manchester on 28th April 1923, the match finished a 0-0 draw.