Spratt Walter Image 2 Brentford 1911

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Description

Born in Birmingham, full back Walter Spratt served in the Royal Navy aboard HMS Boscawen III. before he began his career at Midland League club Rotherham Town in 1910, joining from local club Meadow Hall. A year later, he signed for Southern League First Division club Brentford, scoring once in 119 appearances for the club and remaining at Griffin Park until early 1915.

In February 1915, Spratt joined Football League First Division club Manchester United. He initially joined on a month’s trial after being released by Brentford (along with all their other professional players). Despite this, Brentford demanded Manchester United pay a fee to sign Spratt; United initially refused, but an Inter-League Board inquiry later ruled that they pay a fee of £175. He made his Football League debut on 6th February, playing at right back in a 1-0 defeat to Sunderland. He made a total of 12 appearances during the remainder of the 1914-15 season.

After peacetime football was suspended due to the onset of the First World War, Spratt joined the Royal Naval Reserve in February 1915 and served on communications bases at Crystal Palace and on the Isle of Grain. Due to the ongoing War, Spratt did not make another competitive appearance for The Red Devils again until the 1919-20 season. During the War, he played for Manchester United in the wartime leagues, as well as making guest appearances for Clapton Orient. He was injured while playing for Clapton Orient and was not discharged from hospital until September 1919. He made his comeback from injury in a Manchester United reserve team game in January 1920, before making final appearance for the club a month later in a 1-0 home defeat to Arsenal on 28th February.

Spratt returned to Brentford in June 1920 for the club’s first season in the Third Division South. He made just four appearances, his final game coming in a 2-0 defeat to West London rivals Queen’s Park Rangers on Christmas Day 1920. Spratt departed Griffin Park at the end of the 1920-21 season, moving to non league club Sittingbourne before returning to Yorkshire in 1922 to finish his career with Elsecar Main.

While working as a despatcher for Mosers during the Second World War, Spratt was one of 35 people killed in a V-2 rocket attack on Southwark, London, on 22 January 1945.

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