Riley Harry Image 1 Northampton Town 1936

Riley Harry Image 1 Northampton Town 1936


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Hollinwood, Oldham born inside forward Harry Riley began his football career in the Cheshire County League, first with Altrincham in 1926 and then with Hurst in 1927, for whom he scored both on his debut and on his last appearance, with a total of 11 goals from 22 games in all competitions. After an unsuccessful trial with Manchester United, he joined First Division Birmingham and made his Football League debut on the last day of the 1928-29 season in a 1-0 win away at Leeds United. It proved his only outing for The Blues and Riley soon returned to the Cheshire League with Ashton National before spending the 1930-31 season with Accrington Stanley of the Third Division (North), where he was their joint leading scorer with 18 goals from 33 appearances.

Together with Accrington teammate George Whyte, Riley, described as “small and clever”, then joined Lincoln City in the 1931 close season where he played a key role in their 1931-32 Third Division (North) Championship triumph After one season in the Second Division with Lincoln, bringing his contribution up to 29 goals from 60 games in all competitions, he joined Notts County for a single season, scoring 3 goals in 16 appearances during 1933-34, before spending the rest of his professional career in the Third Division (South). Two years at Cardiff City from 1934 produced 13 goals in 64 appearances, which were followed by another two years at Northampton Town, where he scored 4 times in 21 appearances, and a final spell with Exeter City, where his second season was interrupted by the outbreak of Second World War after 13 goals in 30 outings for The Grecians.

After the War he returned to the Lincoln area where he played for Ruston Bucyrus’ works team. In the 1960’s he was manager of Lincoln City’s reserve team.

Riley also played cricket as a right-handed batsman for Lincolnshire in the 1949 Minor Counties Championship.

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