Westcott Dennis Image 2 Wolverhampton Wanderers 1938

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Description

Wallasey, Cheshire born centre forward Dennis Westcott began his football career with Wallasey Grocers in 1933 and played for Leasowe Road Brickworks in 1934. After trials with Everton and West Ham United he signed for Third Division (North) New Brighton in January 1936, making his Football League debut against Mansfield Town the same month, scoring the winner in a 1-0 victory at Sandheys Park. He scored 10 goals in 18 appearances before the end of the season before First Division Wolverhampton Wanderers stepped in for his signature in July 1936 for £200.

He scored on his Wolves debut in a 6-2 fifth round FA Cup victory in February 1937 and scored 22 goals in 1937-38 as Wolves finished as runners up in the League Championship, with Westcott scoring an FA Cup hat-trick at Swansea Town in January 1938 and 4 goals in a 10-1 thrashing of Leicester City in April 1938. But that was a mere taster for what he was capable of producing. In 1938-39 he scored 43 goals during the campaign including 11 in Wolves’ run to the 1939 FA Cup Final, where he had to settle for a runners’ up medal as Wolves were beaten 4-1 by Portsmouth at Wembley. In the League he scored hat-tricks against Chelsea, Grimsby Town and Brentford, and he was at it again against Grimsby Town in the FA Cup semi-final when he scored 4 times in a 5-0 demolition at Old Trafford.

However his career was then severely interrupted by the advent of the Second World War depriving Westcott of several years in his prime. During the War he scored for Wolves as they won the 1942 War Cup Final against Sunderland, he also guested for Cheltenham Town, Liverpool and Brentford and played four wartime internationals for England scoring five goals.

When competitive football resumed in 1946, Westcott continued his goalscoring exploits, setting another club record in the 1946-47 season with 38 goals (which stood until Steve Bull passed it over 40 years later) which also made him top-scorer in the Football League. He scored on his only representative appearance for The Football League in March 1947. His total included back to back four goal salvos at eventual champions Liverpool and against Blackburn Rovers in December 1946, his four goals at Anfield only being equalled as a goalscoring feat for a visiting player by Andrey Arshavin for Arsenal in April 2009. Despite his goals, Wolves’ 3-3 home draw to Blackburn Rovers on the final day saw them finish third in the League Championship.

Having scored 125 goals in 147 peacetime appearances for Wolves, in April 1948 he signed for Blackburn Rovers during the month prior to the club’s relegation to the Second Division, where he scored 37 goals in 66 appearances over the following two seasons, in both he was the club’s top goalscorer. In February 1950 he was sold to Manchester City for £12,500 and although they were relegated three months later, he top scored for the club with 25 goals in 1950-51 as they won the Second Division Championship at the first time of asking. After a season in the First Division, having scored 37 goals in 75 appearances for The Citizens, he joined Chesterfield, and had a single season for The Spireites in the Third Division (North), top scoring with 23 goals in 43 appearances before joining non league Stafford Rangers in 1954.

In 2017 he was inducted into the Wolverhampton Wanderers Hall of Fame.

His older brother Ronnie was also a footballer most notably with Arsenal, with whom he made two appearances before suffering a career ending knee injury.

 

 

 

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