Darwen, Lancashire born left back Sam Wadsworth is a classic 1920’s footballer who captained England and won 9 international caps between 1922 and 1926 despite a difficult War ridden start to his professional football career. He commenced his career with junior side St Cuthbert’s, moving to hometown club Darwen in 1913 and then joining Blackburn Rovers for a season prior to World War One without ever making an appearance for them. In the First World War he was wounded in the fighting, on resumption of peacetime having been given a free transfer by Rovers, he signed for Nelson in May 1919 before being bought by Herbert Chapman’s Huddersfield Town in April 1921 for £1,600, making his debut a few days later against Chelsea.
He made his England debut in April 1922 against Scotland at Villa Park and was a regular England player over the next 4 and a half years earning nine caps in total. He first captained England in his 6th international against Ireland at Goodison Park in October 1924 and captained them on each of his remaining 3 caps. He also played 6 times for The Football League between March 1922 and October 1926.
He won the FA Cup with Huddersfield in 1922 as they beat Preston North End at Stamford Bridge in the Final, and three successive League Championships between 1924 and 1926. He also played in their first two 1928 FA Cup semi final matches, eventually won in a second replay against Sheffield United, but didn’t play in either that game or the Final, where they were beaten by Blackburn Rovers. He also played in the 1929 FA Cup semi final where they lost to eventual winners Bolton Wanderers at Anfield. He played 313 games for Huddersfield, scoring 4 times, all but one from penalties, before joining Burnley in September 1929.
His time at Burnley saw only 7 first team games in 2 seasons because of injury before he retired from professional football joining non league Lytham in December 1931. He went to Holland to coach soon thereafter and went on to manage PSV Eindhoven in two separate spells either side of World War Two (1935-38 and 1945-51), among other Dutch clubs, finishing his football career in 1956.
NB in this image he is photographed training with team mate Billy Smith c.1921.