Limehouse, London born inside right Sydney Puddefoot began his football career with junior clubs Condor Athletic in 1910 and Limehouse Town in 1911 signed for Southern League West Ham United as a 16 year old in 1912, making his debut in March 1913 against Norwich City at Upton Park. He became a West Ham superstar, scoring 35 goals in 61 appearances for them prior to the First World War, playing for them in wartime football when he scored 100 goals in 114 appearances, and his feats were recognised when he played in two England Victory (unofficial) internationals scoring twice in a 4-3 victory over Scotland at Hampden Park in May 1919 and again against Wales in a 2-1 defeat at Ninian Park that October.
When West Ham joined The Football League in 1919 he played in their opening Football League fixture against Lincoln City in August 1919, and scored a further 69 goals in in 111 appearances before signing for Falkirk, where he had been stationed for part of his War service, for a world record £5,000 fee in February 1922, at the time a world record transfer fee.
He scored 49 goals in 113 appearances over the following three years before he returned to England joining Blackburn Rovers in February 1925 for £4,000. He enjoyed 7 years at Ewood Park, the highlight of which was playing in their 3-1 1928 FA Cup Final victory over Huddersfield Town at Wembley. He won 2 England caps while at Blackburn Rovers making his full international debut in a 0-0 draw against Ireland in Belfast in October 1925 and winning his second and final cap the following April in a 1-0 home defeat to Scotland. After 87 goals in 277 appearances for Rovers, he re-joined West Ham in February 1932 already aged 37, retiring in 1933 having scored a further 3 goals in 22 appearances for The Irons, the first 7 of which came in their relegation season of 1931-32 and were the only top flight appearances Puddefoot made for West Ham. He finished his West Ham career having scored 107 in 194 peacetime appearances and 207 goals in 305 games in all competitions for The Irons.
After failing to become the manager at Blackpool, where he had settled with his wife, he was appointed the player-manager in Turkey initially with Fenerbahçe from June 1933 and then with with Galatasaray for the season and was assaulted in a chaotic pitch invasion in a match against Fenerbahçe in February 1934. As a result, 17 of the 22 players who were involved in the match were suspended by the Turkish Football Association. He returned to England, via a brief coaching assignment in Netherlands in the summer of 1934. He worked as an FA instructor to Kent Secondary Schoolboys, replacing Wally Hardinge in the role in 1935, but left when appointed as manager at Northampton Town on 8th March 1935. He managed the club until his resignation on 10th March 1937 over a disagreement of club policy having won 41 of his 94 games in charge, after which he returned to coach in Turkey until the outbreak of the Second World War. He later scouted for Southend United.
As a cricketer he played 8 County matches for Essex in 1922 and 1923 as a right-handed batsman and left arm medium pace bowler. He scored 101 runs with a highest score of 42 at an average of 16.83 and took a single wicket from some 33 overs, with a best performance of 1-34.
NB this image was taken before West Ham’s match at Birmingham on 25th October 1919, a match The Hammers won 1-0.