Friday, 22 May 2015

Luton Town's Footballers Disperse

Bob Hawkes, Luton Town's first English international player [Wikimedia]

Saturday 22nd May 1915: Since the end of the football season Luton Town’s players have dispersed. As the Football League is to be suspended next season it is not yet known when the club will reassemble.[1] We heard in December how eight players had joined the Footballers’ Battalion but had been released to play for the club until the end of the 1914/5 season. Seven of these continue to train with the battalion but the eighth, Robert William Frith, has been admitted to the infirmary to have two toes amputated.[2] Other players have returned to their previous trades. Mitchell, Potts and Macfarlane are all doing Government work; Mitchell and Potts have remained in Luton, at Kent’s and the Diamond Foundry respectively, and Macfarlane has gone to Tyneside. Robinson and Rollinson have both returned to their old trade at Sheffield. R. Abbott, Chipperfield, Sidney Hoar, Bob Hawkes and Fred Hawkes are all still in Luton.[3] Billy Lawson, the club’s trainer and the source of our information, is doing massage work and would be happy to obtain more.

Source: Luton News 13th May 1915

[1] According to the club's 1919-20 Handbook only friendly games were played in the first half of the 1915-1916 season. [Source: Luton WW1: Great War Stories]

[2] Frith’s remaining war service included munitions work and a long term posting at the Regimental depot at Aldershot, suggesting that he was left unfit to serve overseas. He also never played football again for Luton. [Source: Luton WW1: Great War Stories]

[3] Hoar subsequently joined the Bedfordshire Regiment. He recovered from being gassed in August 1917 to play again for Luton in 1919. [Source: Luton WW1: Great War Stories]

No comments:

Post a Comment