Rowley Walter Image 1 Bolton Wanderers 1920

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Rowley Walter Image 1 Bolton Wanderers 1920


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Little Hulton born centre half Walter Rowley started playing football with junior clubs Farnworth Wednesday in 1907, Walkden Wednesday in 1908 and Little Hulton Wednesday in 1909 before joining First Division Oldham Athletic in 1910 spending 1910-11 at Boundary Park without making a first team appearance. He joined Bolton Wanderers in 1912 and made his Football League debut against West Bromwich Albion in February 1913. The Trotters finished 8th in 1912-13, 6th in 1913-14, and 17th in 1914-15, playing in their FA Cup semi final when they lost to eventual winners Sheffield United at Villa Park.

During the First World War he played two games for Port Vale in 1919 in the War League, before returning to Burnden Park and re-establishing a regular place in the first eleven. Wanderers also won the FA Cup, though Rowley missed the 1923 FA Cup Final against West Ham United because he was serving a six-week suspension for being sent-off against Huddersfield Town. He retired through injury in May 1925, and joined the club’s coaching staff. He made 191 appearances for the club, scoring seven goals.

After spending many years as part of Bolton’s back-room staff, he was appointed as manager in August 1944. He spent six years in charge before retiring due to ill health. He was made a life member of the club for his 37 years of service as player, coach and manager. He coached Middlesbrough from June 1952 but ill health again forced him to resign in March 1954. His final management role was at Shrewsbury Town from July 1955 until June 1957.

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