Storer Harry Image 3 Arsenal 1895

Storer Harry Image 3 Arsenal 1895


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Butterley, Derbyshire born goalkeeper Harry Storey began his football career with Ripley Town in 1887, before joining Derby Midland in 1888. He first played a senior match in an FA Cup tie at Notts County in November 1888, in a match that Derby Midland lost 2-1. He joined Derby County in July 1891 but never made their first eleven while on their books, moving to Gainsborough Trinity in 1892 and playing for Loughborough in 1893. He joined Second Division Woolwich Arsenal in May 1894, where he was a near ever present in 1894-95 having made his Football League debut at Lincoln City at the beginning of September 1894.

Storer starred for Arsenal for 18 months in the Second Division, making 41 appearances and he was the first Arsenal player to win representative honours after he was selected for The Football League in a 4-1 victory over The Scottish League in Glasgow in April 1895 before he joined Liverpool for £75 at the age of 25 in December 1895. At Liverpool he replaced Matt McQueen, a versatile player who was just as comfortable in goal as he was in an outfield position. Liverpool Mercury liked the look of Storer: “The new goalkeeper is cool, daring and exceedingly safe with his hands, and these qualities constitute all that is best in a first class goalkeeper.” He played in the last 11 League matches of that season, conceding only eight goals, and helped his new club make a swift return to the First Division as Second Division Champions having played 4 Test Matches.

Storer missed only seven of the next 87 League fixtures before McQueen took over again in goal for two games and then William Perkins for the last five matches of the 1898-99 season. Storer’s absence from the team from late December 1896 to late February 1897 was because he was initially injured with Donnelly taking his place. But, once Storer was fit Liverpool loaned him to Hibernian whose main ‘keeper was out injured. Hibernian had a cup-tie against Rangers coming up and as “the Scottish Cup rules provide for little qualification, membership alone enabling a player to be eligible,” as the Edinburgh Evening News reported, “Liverpool have accordingly assisted the Hibernians out of a difficulty.” Despite Storer’s presence in Hibs’ goal Rangers beat them 3-0.

Storer was the preferred goalkeeper in 1898-99, and Liverpool made the FA Cup semi final, where they came up against Sheffield United. After the first game, a 2-2 draw, Storer kept his place, but after the replay at Burnden Park was drawn 4-4, Storer was dropped, although with Matt McQueen restored in goal they went on to lose the second replay to the eventual winners at The Baseball Ground. Perkins was Liverpool’s number one at the start of the 1899-00 season which took the club into a new century and although Storer did get a run of 11 successive games during the autumn and into the winter of 1899, it was Perkins who finished the season in goal signalling the end of his Liverpool career for the Derbyshire native. Storer’s only fault in the goal was said to be he got a little careless if he hadn’t been busy during the match, far from being the only ‘keeper with that weakness. He would lose concentration and let in a easy goal. In total he made 121 appearances for Liverpool playing his last game on Christmas Day 1899 before eventually leaving the club in 1901,

Harry’s brother Bill, was a footballer for Derby County as well and an excellent cricketer who played six tests for England. Harry was a good cricketer playing six first class matches for Derbyshire during the 1895 season. Harry jr. inherited his father’s football and cricket skills, featuring for Derby County and Derbyshire, and playing football for England, and he later became a football manager in charge of Coventry City, Birmingham and Derby County in the Second and Third Division North from 1931 to 1963.

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