Skiller Len Image 1 Swindon Town 1910

Skiller Len Image 1 Swindon Town 1910


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Madron, Cornwall born goalkeeper Len Skiller played for amateur clubs South Weald in 1903 and Leytonstone in 1904 before joining Southern League club Leyton in 1905, spending four years in East London. He joined First Division Aston Villa in May 1908 as understudy to Billy George, making his Football League debut against Nottingham Forest in January 1909, also playing an FA Cup tie at Forest a week later. Both games were lost.

In May 1909 Skiller joined Southern League Swindon Town where he was known as “The Cap” due to the huge flat cap he wore whilst playing. He was the first choice keeper at Swindon for over ten years, over a period when they reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup twice, and also won the Southern League Championship twice in 1910-11 and 1913-14. They also contested the 1911 FA Charity Shield but were beaten by Manchester United in an 8-4 thriller at Stamford Bridge. Skiller was noted for his excellent positioning and quick reflexes, which were kept sharp in training by having tennis balls thrown at him by his team-mates.

Skiller’s time at Swindon was interrupted by the First World War, during which he served in the Armed Forces, and afterwards he didn’t return to The Robins until 1920 – in time for the Town’s first season in the Football League, Skiller keeping goal in their inaugural Football League fixture at Southampton that August. After making 70 League appearances over the next two years, taking his Swindon Town total to 340, he was dropped for the last few games of the 1921-22 season, his place being taken by Ted Nash, and when the season ended, Skiller decided to retire.

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