Noble Alan Image 1 Leeds United 1922

Noble Alan Image 1 Leeds United 1922


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Southampton born right winger Alan “Smiler” Noble began his football career as an amateur on the books of Third Division (South) Southampton in 1920-21 without making a first team appearance, and then joined Boscombe FC of the Southern League, who were soon to be known as Bournemouth and Boscombe Athletic (now AFC Bournemouth), for whom he made his senior footballing debut in an FA Cup tie at Swansea Town in December 1921. From there he joined Leeds United in May 1922, making his Football League debut on the same day as Percy Whipp against West Ham United in November 1922.

Having soon established himself in the first team with 31 appearances in his maiden season at Elland Road, he played exactly half of United’s games in their 1923-24 Second Division Championship campaign. He had stiff competition for his first team spot initially from Walter Coates, and later John Armand and ‘Cud’ Robson, but the acquisition of Bobby Turnbull to bolster Leeds’ team for the top flight saw him transferred to Brentford in May 1925 after 4 goals in 63 appearances. At Griffin Park he successfully converted to right half playing 44 times over the next two seasons for The Bees before he was allowed to go to Millwall in May 1927. However he only played four games for The Lions in the autumn of 1927, being sent off on his debut at Brighton & Hove Albion. Unable to get a place in their team that would eventually win the Third Division (South) Championship at the end of the season, he retired from professional football.

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