Russell Moses Image 5 Plymouth Argyle 1924


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New Tredegar, Monmouthshire born full back Moses Russell started with Welsh sides Ton Pentre in 1911 and Merthyr Town later the same year. In the summer of 1912, Russell signed for Southport Central but the club was suffering from financial problems and he returned to Merthyr in February 1913. He made his debut for Wales against Scotland in March 1912 and would win two further caps before signing for Plymouth Argyle for £400 in May 1914 with whom he would win a further 20 of his 23 caps for Wales between 1912 and 1928, all of which came in the Home Championships, which Wales won three times during his time in the side. His haul remained a Plymouth club record for nearly 80 years until being usurped by Tony Capaldi’s 21st cap for Northern Ireland, ironically against Wales, in February 2007.

His debut for Argyle came in a Southern League game against Brighton & Hove Albion in September 1914, already aged 26. During his first season at Home Park he played at full-back, centre-half and left-half but the outbreak of War put his career on hold. During the conflict he served with the Army Service Corps and played as a guest for Swansea Town. His muscular style and unique look often made him a target for fans at away grounds but he was an incredibly effective defender. Despite being just 5ft 8in tall he was a superb header of the ball, but it was his determined tackling and uncompromising approach that made him the player he was.

Although his Argyle career was interrupted by World War One, he became a stalwart defender for The Pilgrims when football resumed after the War, initially he played at right back, forming an excellent partnership with Septimus Atterbury. When Atterbury retired he switched to left back, where he spent the next five seasons. The Argyle handbook stated that his “happy association” at full back with Billy Forbes would “defy comparison with any in the country”. Russell went on to become club captain and led the side to the runner-up position in Division Three (South) in six consecutive season from 1921 to 1927.

The arrival of Fred Titmuss saw Russell return to the right back position, and he remained a fixture in the first team until the beginning of the 1929-30 campaign. He played his last game for Argyle in February 1930, at the age of 41, having made his final international appearance in November 1928. He also represented the Wales FA on their 1929 Tour of Canada. At the end of the 1929-30 season, when Plymouth finally won the Third Division (South) Championship (after so many near misses, and in a season in which he only made 7 appearances) he left Home Park having scored 6 goals in exactly 400 appearances for the club, signing for newly elected (and briefly existent) Division Three (South) side Thames Association, where he spent two years making a further 14 appearances before retiring after a brief stint with Llanelli.

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