Rutherford Joe Image 1 Aston Villa 1947

Rutherford Joe Image 1 Aston Villa 1947


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Fatfield, County Durham born goalkeeper Joe Rutherford played for Chester-le-Street Juniors and Fatfield Juniors in 1929 and after a spell with Blyth Spartans on trial in 1931 he played for junior clubs Chester Moor Temperance in 1932, Ferryhill Athletic in 1933, Chester-le-Street in 1934 and Birtley Colliery in 1935 before joining Third Division (North) Southport in October 1936, making his debut in an FA Cup tie at Bristol Rovers the same December. He immediately established himself as Southport’s principal glovesman and was bought by First Division Aston Villa for £2,500 at the end of February 1939, going straight into the first team in place of Fred Biddlestone for his debut in the derby against Birmingham on 4th March, which Villa won 5-1.

He had made 13 first team appearances by the time the outbreak of the Second World War forced the abandonment of the peacetime League programme in September 1939, and during the War he played 19 wartime league matches for Villa and also as a guest for a variety of clubs including Margate, Solihull Town, Nottingham Forest, Lincoln City and Mansfield Town, before returning to Villa Park in 1946, missing only one game in their initial post war League campaign of 1946-47. He continued to play regularly for Aston Villa making his last appearance in a home defeat to Manchester United in October 1951, having made 158 appearances for The Villains, before his retirement, and he subsequently joined non league Bilston United in September 1952.

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