Rigby Arthur Image 3 Blackburn Rovers 1927

Rigby Arthur Image 3 Blackburn Rovers 1927


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West Gorton, Manchester born inside left Arthur Rigby initially started his football career as a goalkeeper until, after a trial with Stockport County, he signed as a winger for Crewe Alexandra after the First World War. In March 1921 he signed for Bradford City for £1,200 when City director Allan Welch took time away from business in Crewe to take him from non-league football to Division One. He made his Football League debut a few days later against Aston Villa and played 13 games, scoring once, in the remainder of the season, before the club was relegated in his first full season, 1921-22. He scored five goals in the club’s first season in the Second Division during the 1922-23 season finishing as the club’s joint top goal scorer. He remained at City for another two seasons, finishing with 22 goals from 126 appearances, before he returned to the top flight when Blackburn Rovers  when they paid £2,500 for his services in April 1925.

He was an ever present during 1925-26 scoring 15 goals, leaving him as the club’s second top scorer, and such was his form at Ewood Park that he was rewarded with an international call up for England in February 1927 when he was a non playing reserve against Wales at Wrexham. He made his international debut in April in a 2-1 victory over Scotland at Hampden Park, a victory that sealed the Home Championship, and went on England’s European summer tour scoring twice against Belgium and once against France, also playing in a big win over Luxembourg. He won his  final cap in November 1927, playing in a 2-1 defeat to Wales at Turf Moor.

He won an FA Cup winner’s medal in 1928 when Rovers defeated Huddersfield Town 3-1 in the FA Cup Final. After 45 goals in 169 appearances, he left Rovers to sign for Everton in November 1929, and while they were relegated in his first season at Goodison Park, he won a Second Division Championship medal in 1930-31 season as Everton bounced straight back, before moving to Middlesbrough in May 1932 having scored 11 times for The Toffees in 44 appearances. He stayed a single season at Ayresome Park scoring 3 goals in 10 appearances and signed for Clapton Orient in the summer of 1933, where he played for 2 seasons, scoring 19 goals in 76 appearances. He finished his career back at Crewe Alexandra, where he was ever present in 1935-36 and retired in the summer of 1937 after 15 goals in 74 appearances.

NB This photograph was taken on Rigby’s England debut at Hampden Park on 2nd April 1927.

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