Syd Puddefoot

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Syd Puddefoot
Syd Puddfoot.jpg
Puddefoot as a West Ham United player
Personal information
Full name Sydney Charles Puddefoot
Date of birth (1894-10-17)17 October 1894
Place of birth Limehouse, England
Date of death 2 October 1972(1972-10-02) (aged 77)
Place of death Essex, England[nb 1]
Playing position Forward
Youth career
Condor Athletic
 –1912 Limehouse Town
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1912–1922 West Ham United 158 (102)
1922–1925 Falkirk 113 (45)
1925–1932 Blackburn Rovers 250 (79)
1932–1933 West Ham United 22 (3)
Total 543 (229)
National team
1925–1926 England 2 (0)
Teams managed
1933 Fenerbahçe (coach)
1933–1934 Galatasaray
1935–1937 Northampton Town

Cricket information
BowlingLeft arm medium
Domestic team information
Career statistics
Competition FC
Matches 8
Runs scored 101
Batting average 16.83
100s/50s 0/0
Top score 42
Balls bowled 198
Wickets 1
Bowling average 105
5 wickets in innings 0
10 wickets in match 0
Best bowling 1/34
Catches/stumpings 2/–
Source: Cricinfo, 16 February 2011
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Sydney Charles Puddefoot (17 October 1894 – 2 October 1972) was an English footballer who played for West Ham United, Falkirk and Blackburn Rovers. He played mainly as a centre forward or inside right.[1] He was also a cricketer for Essex. He went on to coach at Fenerbahçe, and manage Galatasaray and Northampton Town.

Playing career[edit]

Early years and West Ham United[edit]

Puddefoot was born in Limehouse in the East End of London. He was a pupil at Park School in West Ham and played junior football with Condor Athletic and Limehouse Town before being spotted by West Ham United in a London Juniors match against Surrey Juniors. He initially joined the Hammers as an amateur but signed on as a professional before the start of the 1913–14 season.[2] Under the tutelage of coach and future manager Charlie Paynter, he quickly developed into a formidable force and scored 28 goals in 55 Southern League appearances for the club. He broke the club record for most individual goals scored in an FA Cup match, landing five (including a hat-trick in seven minutes) in an 8–1 mauling of Chesterfield in a first-round game on 10 January 1914. The record remains to this day and is also West Ham's biggest victory in the competition.[1][3]


Puddefoot worked at a munitions factory for most of World War I and was not called up for service until late on in the conflict. He made 126 appearances in the wartime London Combination and scored nearly 100 goals, including seven against Crystal Palace in November 1918 (a record for the competition).[2] On 8 September 1917, he played against QPR in their first game at Loftus Road, scoring a hat-trick.[4][5]

During his service, he was stationed at Bridge of Allan and guested for Falkirk during his time in Scotland.[6]

After the war and Falkirk[edit]

After the end of the war, Puddefoot played in the newly enlarged Football League Division Two for the 1919–20 season.[7] He scored 21 goals for West Ham that season, and was selected to play for England in three Victory International games (he scored in all three).[8] He then scored 29 goals in the 1920–21 season and 14 in 1921–22.[9]

When will this folly on the part of football clubs come to an end? — The Football Post, on Puddefoot's transfer to Falkirk.[6]

Puddefoot's exploits made him much sought after and Falkirk, who had witnessed the player first-hand, won the battle for his transfer on 7 February 1922. The fee of £5,000 was a world football transfer record, and represented the only time a Scottish team has broken the record. So eager were the Falkirk supporters to land their man that they themselves set up a public fund to raise money for the purchase.[10][11][12] Puddefoot himself earned a £390 fee for agreeing the transfer.[13] His younger brother Len followed him to Falkirk at the start of the following season for a month's trial, but only made a single appearance.[6][nb 2]

The record would last less than a month, however, as Warney Cresswell was transferred from South Shields to Sunderland for £5,500 on 3 March 1922.[14]

Puddefoot spent three seasons at Brockville Park, scoring 45 goals in 113 league appearances.[15][13]

Blackburn Rovers[edit]

Puddefoot joined Blackburn Rovers on 3 February 1925 for £4,000,[6][15] making his debut at Arsenal on 7 February 1925.[2] He won the FA Cup with Blackburn in 1928. He set up the opening goal in the first minute of the match when he shoulder-charged Billy Mercer, the goalkeeper of opponents Huddersfield Town, with Jack Roscamp following-up to score.[16]

In 1929, Puddefoot was among the first to take advantage of the new FA rule that allowed for personal hearings for disciplinary matters, after his sending off against Bolton Wanderers.[17]

He left Blackburn, having scored 87 goals in 267 appearances in all competitions.[2]

Return to West Ham United[edit]

On 26 February 1932, ten years after leaving his boyhood club, and at the age of 37, Syd returned to east London to help with the ultimately doomed effort to avoid relegation in the 1931–32 season. He made seven appearances that season without return, and managed three goals in 15 appearances the following season. He played his 192nd and final game for West Ham on 6 March 1933, scoring the last of his 107 goals for the club.[2]

Cricket career[edit]

Puddefoot played cricket for Essex and had shown promise before leaving for Scotland.[13] He appeared in eight first-class matches in 1922 and 1923, travelling back to Essex during summers while he was with Falkirk.[6][18]

Coaching career[edit]

After the end of his playing career, Puddefoot travelled to Turkey to coach at Fenerbahçe, where he teamed up with József Schweng, the club's first foreign manager. He saw early success with the club, winning the 1932–33 Istanbul Football League championship. However, he had a poor relationship with the Hungarian manager and he moved to Istanbul rivals Galatasaray for the 1933–34 season.[2]

In February 1934, he was involved in an incident in which he was manhandled while trying to calm down players during a game. Play had to be suspended and police were called in when the crowd invaded the pitch.[19] As a result, 17 of the 22 players who were involved in the match were suspended by the Turkish Football Association.[20]

Puddefoot returned to England in 1934 for the birth of his child.[21] He played twice for St. Annes FC of the Ribblesdale League in June 1934. He worked as an FA instructor to Kent Secondary Schoolboys, replacing Wally Hardinge in the role in 1935, but left to take on the managers role at Northampton Town. He joined the East Midlands club on 8 March 1935 and stayed for two years, resigning on 10 March 1937 after a disagreement over club policy.[15] He left the club having won 41 of his 94 games in charge.[22]

During World War II, he worked as a War Reserve Constable for the Blackpool Borough Police and went on to become a civil servant with the Ministry of Pensions.[7] He joined Southend United as a scout in 1967.[15]

Personal life[edit]

He died in October 1972 after a three-week battle against pneumonia, just before what would have been his 78th birthday.[15] He was survived by his wife, Lillian (née Frankland), and daughter, Susanne Puddefoot (1934–2010), a journalist who edited the Times Women's Page in the 1960s.[21]

International career[edit]

Puddefoot's three Victory International games did not count as official appearances. He did, however, gain official caps when he played twice for England in the British Home Championship, once in 1925 and once in 1926.[23]

# Date Venue Opponent Result Competition Scored
1 26/04/1919 Goodison Park  Scotland 2–2 Victory International 1
2 03/05/1919 Hampden Park  Scotland 3–4 Victory International 2
3 11/10/1919 Ninian Park  Wales 2–1 Victory International 1
4 24/10/1925 Windsor Park  Northern Ireland 0–0 British Home Championship 0
5 17/04/1926 Old Trafford  Scotland 0–1 British Home Championship 0

Managerial statistics[edit]

Club From To P W D L Win%[nb 3] Honours Notes
Galatasaray Jan 1933 Sep 1934 31 16 7 8 051.61 Istanbul Kupası [24]
Northampton Town Mar 1935 Mar 1937 98 43 16 39 043.88 [22]


  1. ^ England Football Online lists the place of death as 22 Bewley Court, Southend-on-Sea, and registered in Rochford, December 1972. War Hammers (Belton, 2014) puts the place of death at Rochford Hospital.
  2. ^ Sources including Who's Who of West Ham United (Hogg, 2005) state that the move was part of the same deal.
  3. ^ Win% is rounded to two decimal places


  1. ^ a b Blows, Kirk; Hogg, Tony (2000). The Essential History of West Ham United. Headline. pp. 43–44. ISBN 0-7472-7036-8.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Brian Belton (2014). "Chapter 9: Puddy". War Hammers: The Story of West Ham United during the First World War. History Press Limited. pp. 160–169. ISBN 978-0-7509-5601-7.
  3. ^ "West Ham 8–1 Chesterfield". Retrieved 3 October 2017.
  4. ^ "QPR celebrate Loftus Road century". BBC. Retrieved 10 September 2017.
  5. ^ "Queens Park Rangers 0–3 West Ham". Retrieved 10 September 2017.
  6. ^ a b c d e Ferguson, Ed (13 December 2016). "When Falkirk broke the world transfer record". The Scotsman. Retrieved 1 October 2017.
  7. ^ a b Hogg, Tony (2005). Who's Who of West Ham United. Profile Sports Media. p. 170. ISBN 1-903135-50-8.
  8. ^ "England – War-Time/Victory Internationals". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 2 October 2017.
  9. ^ "Syd Puddefoot". Retrieved 3 October 2017.
  10. ^ Simpson, Paul; Hesse, Uli (2013). Who Invented the Stepover?. pp. 89–90. ISBN 9781847658425.
  11. ^ "Football Transfers Through The Ages". Headstuff. Retrieved 2 October 2017.
  12. ^ "A Brief History: Part 4". better meddle. Retrieved 2 October 2017.
  13. ^ a b c Hannan, Martin (13 June 2009). "The £136m odd couple". The Scotsman. Retrieved 2 October 2017.
  14. ^ "Warney Cresswell". England Football Online. Retrieved 1 October 2017.
  15. ^ a b c d e "Syd Puddefoot". England Football Online. Retrieved 22 December 2014.
  16. ^ "In pictures: Huddersfield Town's 1928 FA Cup final with Blackburn Rovers — from above!". Huddersfield Daily Examiner. 10 September 2014. Retrieved 30 June 2015.
  17. ^ "The Trial of Syd Puddefoot". The Courier and Advertiser. 8 November 1929 – via England Football Online.
  18. ^ "Syd Puddefoot". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 23 April 2018.
  19. ^ "Syd Puddefoot Mauled". The Falkirk Herald. 28 February 1934 – via England Football Online.
  20. ^ "17 Players Suspended". The Courier and Advertiser. 5 March 1934 – via England Football Online.
  21. ^ a b "Susanne Puddefoot". The Times. 11 December 2010. Retrieved 19 September 2017.
  22. ^ a b Syd Puddefoot management career statistics at Soccerbase
  23. ^ "England – International Results 1920–1929". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 2 October 2017.
  24. ^ "Syd Puddefoot".

External links[edit]