Football and Remembrance

From L - R: Serjeant James McCormick, Serjeant William Sutherland, Captain Samuel Davis, all of whom played for Plymouth Argyle and served in the First World War.

From L – R: Serjeant James McCormick, Serjeant William Sutherland, Captain Samuel Davis, all of whom played for Plymouth Argyle and served in the First World War. Images © IWM / Andrew Jago.

Many professional footballers served in the forces during the First World War.

Those killed in action included former Tottenham Hotspur player Walter Tull  and Bradford Park Avenue’s Donald Bell – the only professional footballer to be awarded the Victoria Cross.

Equally, on the home front many munitions factories developed their own women’s football teams, including Dick Kerr’s Ladies FC in Preston. Matches drew large crowds, and they continued to enjoy success until women were banned from playing in Football League grounds in 1921.

Discover their stories

Over the course of the 2014 World Cup, which kicks off in just over two weeks, we’ll be highlighting a number of incredible life stories of football players who served on the fighting and home fronts during the First World War, but before that there’s plenty you can be doing to remember those who served from your local team.

Help us to remember their lives

Local history group Plymouth History have already set up a Community page for footballers from Plymouth Argyle FC who served in the First World War. The team included James McCormick, William Sutherland, and Samuel Davis. Could you help us to uncover more about their life stories, or indeed other footballers who served in the First World War? If you’re a Friend of Lives of the First World War, why not set up your own Community page for players that served from your team, or for one of the many ladies football teams.

If you’ve uncovered any interesting stories of footballers (professional or otherwise!) who served on the home and fighting fronts during the First World War share them with us, we’d love to hear from you!

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2 Responses to Football and Remembrance

  1. Alison Styles says:

    Oh come, come Argyle! Where are the basic dates for your players. I’ve done something similar for the Grecians and I have evidence to back up all the dates I have for hatch match dispatch and when they joined/left ECFC.
    I only have the info for one of your players who served during WW1 who had also played for EC reserves. Evelyn Lintott moved on from Plymouth to QPR in 1906 so not sure if you would like the details I have on him

  2. Andrew Jago says:

    Thanks Alison! I have pretty much all the info to hand, just haven’t had time to transcribe it yet, so just for starters I’m adding names and images where possible at the moment. (Quite a few played for both – keep checking back 😉

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