Peel Harold Image 1 Bradford Park Avenue 1922

Peel Harold Image 1 Bradford Park Avenue 1922


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Bradford, Yorkshire born inside or outside left Harold Peel began his football career with Calverley, from where he signed for hometown First Division club Bradford Park Avenue in July 1921, making his Football League debut in a defeat at Arsenal in April 1922, also playing in the return fixture a week later which ended in defeat as Park Avenue were relegated at the end of the season. Peel established himself as a first team regular from October 1921 but he couldn’t prevent Bradford suffering back to back relegations at the end of 1921-22, and from October 1922 he was more often employed on the left wing as Bradford finished runners up in the Third Division (North), narrowly missing out on an immediate return to the second tier.

Peel was an ever present in 1923-24 and 1925-26, missing just two matches in 1924-25, as Park Avenue went consistently close to promotion, finishing twice in fifth place and latterly again as runners up, and his consistency was sufficient for First Division club Arsenal, led by their legendary manager Herbert Chapman, to sign him for £1,750 in December 1926, Peel having scored 41 goals in 223 appearances for Bradford Park Avenue. Introduced immediately to the Arsenal first eleven in a defeat at Cardiff City, he was generally occasionally used during his four seasons at Highbury and wasn’t selected for their shock 1927 FA Cup Final defeat by Cardiff despite being in the League team at the time.

1928-29 saw Peel play more than half of his matches for The Gunners, but in December 1929 he was sold to Second Division club Bradford City for £1.125 after 6 goals in 52 appearances for Arsenal. A regular for Bradford City thereafter, he scored 10 League goals for the only time in his career during their 1931-32 campaign, missing only 3 matches in the two seasons thereafter. By the time he played his final match for The Bantams in January 1936 he had scored 27 goals in 199 appearances for them, retiring already aged 36.

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