Wellingborough, Northamptonshire born right winger Fanny Walden was a remarkable sportsman and something of a cause celebre, standing 5 foot 2 inches he is still arguably the smallest player ever to represent England (Jackie Crawford being the other contender), winning two international caps either side of World War One in 1914 and 1922. He started playing football with junior clubs White Cross in 1905, All Saints in 1906 and Rodwell in 1907. He joined Wellingborough in 1908 and then Southern League Champions Northampton Town in 1909, helping them to finish runners up in 1910-11. He signed for First Division Tottenham Hotspur for £1,750 in April 1913 making his Football League debut two weeks later against Arsenal.
Walden won his first of two England caps in a defeat against Scotland at Hampden Park on 4th April 1914, and waited nearly eight years for his recall, playing in a 1-0 win over Wales at Anfield in March 1922. He represented The Southern League three times early in his career while at Northampton Town, also playing once for The Football League in a 2-1 victory over The Southern League at Highbury in October 1914.
He played for Spurs either side of the First World War, during which he served as a mechanic in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, the Royal Naval Air Service and the Royal Air Force. and won the Second Division Championship with Spurs in 1920, but he missed out on their 1921 FA Cup Final triumph due to injury, having been injured in January 1921 he didn’t return to the side until the following season. A year later he was a member of Tottenham’s 1922 FA Cup semi final team that lost 2-1 to Preston North End at Hillsborough. He played his last first team match for Spurs in April 1924, but stayed on their books for a further two seasons in the reserves. He returned to Northampton Town in the summer of 1926 after scoring 25 goals in 236 appearances for Spurs, playing 21 further matches and scoring twice for The Cobblers in 1926-27 before retirement.
He played County Cricket for Northamptonshire between 1910 and 1929 both as a batsman, scoring 7,538 runs, and as a slow right-hand bowler taking 119 wickets in 258 matches,.and he subsequently became a Test Match standard cricket umpire, standing in 212 First Class matches between 1930 and 1939 and 11 Test Matches from 1934 (England v Australia at Old Trafford) until 1939 (England vs West Indies at Lord’s). He stood with Frank Chester at The Oval in 1938 during England’s record Ashes victory of an innings and 579 runs.
NB in the photograph Walden stands in the centre between Tottenham goalkeeper Bill Jacques (left) and right back Tommy Clay (right).