Rhodes Ephraim “Dusty” Image 1 Sunderland 1905

Rhodes Ephraim “Dusty” Image 1 Sunderland 1905


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South Bank, Middlesbrough born right back Ephraim “Dusty” Rhodes began his football career in his hometown at Northern League side South Bank. He earned a move to divisional rivals Grangetown Athletic in 1901, finishing runners-up in the Northern League during the 1901-02 season. His performances earned him a move to reigning Football League Champions Sunderland in the summer of 1902, making his Football League debut at Bury in October 1902. He made only five appearances during the 1902-03 season, but slowly forced his way into the team during the 1903-04 season, making 16 appearances.

Rhodes was a regular during the 1904-05 season, making 28 appearances and scoring a penalty to register his first goal for the club. He made 24 appearances and scored another penalty during the 1905-06 season. Rhodes was a virtual ever present during the 1906-07 season, making 39 appearances and scoring two goals. 1907-08 would be Rhodes’ final season with Sunderland, in which he made only eight appearances, but scored his only goal for the club from open play in a 4-1 win over Sheffield United in February 1908, the game that proved his last appearances. He made 120 appearances and scored five goals, four of which were penalties, in a six season spell with The Rokerites.

Rhodes moved to London to join Southern League Division One club Brentford in 1908. Under manager Fred Halliday, he won the Southern Professional Charity Cup during his debut season, the first silverware of his career. Rhodes became player-manager of Brentford in November 1912, following the departure of Halliday. He left the club in April 1915, due to the suspension of football during the First World War. He served in the Royal Army Pay Corps (Royal Fusiliers) during the First World War. Including wartime matches, he made almost 400 appearances for the Griffin Park club and retired from playing in 1919 after scoring twice in 206 peacetime matches. He also won the London Combination with Brentford in 1918-19. In 1922 Rhodes returned to Brentford, by now members of the Third Division (South), as trainer serving them until 1925.

In 2015 he was inducted into Brentford’s Hall of Fame.

Rhodes’ younger brother Ernie was also a footballer and the pair played together at Grangetown Athletic and Sunderland. He also played for Gravesend United and Crystal Palace.


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