Solly Alf Image 2 Dulwich Hamlet 1929

Solly Alf Image 2 Dulwich Hamlet 1929


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An England Amateur international who had joined Dulwich Hamlet in 1924, Alf Solly was good enough to attract the attention of no less a manager than Herbert Chapman and joined Arsenal in August 1931 but never played for their first XI. He joined Newport County in 1932 and played 40 matches for them in the 1932-33 season after making his League debut against Swindon in September 1932. He then spent a season at Portsmouth in 1933-34, however again he never played for their first XI. In May 1935 he made 2 appearances for Aldershot as a triallist which would prove to be his last senior games. He made his debut for England Amateurs against Ireland in Belfast in November 1928, and won a further cap against Wales in February 1929. He also excelled as a cricketer. It was said of him on his departure from Dulwich to Arsenal, that he was the finest batsman Dulwich Hamlet had produced since the war. “We confidently expect him to gain a place in the Surrey County side if given the opportunity.” That did not happen, but he did continue playing for the Dulwich Hamlet Cricket Club for many years. His popularity on and off the field can be seen in the way he is described in various tributes:  mild mannered, charming, modest, cheery, a good sense of humour, an optimistic spirit.

Brother of Bert Solly who also played once for Newport County in December 1932 when Alf was in goal.


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