Walter Anthony (footballer)

Walter Anthony (21 November 1879 – 26 January 1950) was an English professional footballer who made 155 Football League appearances playing as an outside forward for Nottingham Forest and Blackburn Rovers,[2] with whom he won the 1911–12 Football League title and the 1912 FA Charity Shield. He also played in the Southern League for Brighton & Hove Albion.

Walter Anthony
Personal information
Full name Walter Anthony
Date of birth (1879-11-21)21 November 1879[1]
Place of birth Basford, England
Date of death 26 January 1950(1950-01-26) (aged 70)[1]
Place of death Basford,[1] England
Height 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)[1]
Playing position Outside left
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
Heanor Town
189?–190? Newstead Byron
190?–1904 Arnold
1904–1905 Nottingham Forest 6 (0)
1905–1908 Brighton & Hove Albion 80 (8)
1908–1915 Blackburn Rovers 149 (11)
1915–19?? Stalybridge Celtic
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Life and career

Anthony was born in Basford, Nottinghamshire.[2] He was the younger brother of George and Henry Anthony, who both played cricket for that county.[1] He began his football career at local level with clubs including Osmaston, Heanor Town,[2] Newstead Byron[3] and Arnold before signing for Football League First Division club Nottingham Forest in February 1904 for a fee reported as £25.[4]

He made six league appearances for Forest, but was reportedly not thought strong enough for top-class football, and moved on to Brighton & Hove Albion of the Southern League in May 1905. He worked on his physical conditioning at his new club, and became a regular at outside right in the first team with 13 goals from 119 appearances in all competitions over two-and-a-half years. Described by club historian Tim Carder as "a tricky little ball-player, noted for the accuracy of his crosses with either foot", he attracted attention from bigger clubs.[1] After Brighton eliminated First Division Preston North End from the 1907–08 FA Cup after two replays,[5] Blackburn Rovers were convinced to sign Anthony and two teammates, Dick Wombwell and Joe Lumley, for "a substantial sum",[6] widely reported as £750.[7] The Football Association had recently imposed a rule forbidding more than £350 to be paid for any single player, and it was understood that Anthony was the primary target and Lumley and Wombwell were makeweights in the circumvention of that maximum.[8][9]

Anthony soon established himself at outside left in Blackburn's first team.[5] He made 149 league appearances,[2] was part of the 1911–12 Football League-winning side, and played in the Charity Shield, in which Blackburn beat Southern League champions Queens Park Rangers 2–1 in aid of the Titanic Disaster Fund.[10] He appeared only once in 1913–14[11] as Rovers again finished as champions. At the end of the season, the Football League gave Rovers permission to pay Anthony a lump sum in lieu of the benefit match for which he qualified after five years service.[12] He moved on in January 1915, to Stalybridge Celtic of the Lancashire Combination.[13]

Anthony served in the Army in the First World War, and then worked in the mines. He spent 18 years in the dispatch department of a Nottingham car parts supplier, working until two days before his death in Basford in January 1950 at the age of 70.[14]


Blackburn Rovers


  1. Carder, Tim; Harris, Roger (1997). Albion A–Z: A Who's Who of Brighton & Hove Albion F.C. Hove: Goldstone Books. p. 15. ISBN 978-0-9521337-1-1.
  2. Joyce, Michael (2004). Football League Players' Records 1888 to 1939. Nottingham: SoccerData. p. 10. ISBN 978-1-899468-67-6.
  3. "Notts. and District League". Nottingham Evening Post. 11 January 1902. p. 3.
  4. "Sporting Notes". Nottingham Evening Post. 20 February 1904. p. 6. Nottingham Forest have signed a promising young local forward in Walter Anthony, the outside left of the Arnold club. Anthony has been a most consistent performer in Notts. League football, and many good judges who have seen him play prophesy a great future for him. The Arnold club, we understand, have received a cheque for £25 in connection with the transfer.
  5. "All time greatest F A cup giant killings Number 72: Brighton & Hove Albion 1–0 Preston North End". The Giant Killers. Steve Porter. Retrieved 31 August 2018.
  6. "New players for Blackburn Rovers". Sheffield Independent. 15 February 1908. p. 9.
  7. "Brighton players for Blackburn". The Globe. London. 14 February 1908. p. 3.
  8. 'TAM' (19 February 1908). "From the field. The Southern raid on the Football League". Bognor Regis Observer. p. 3. I have indicated all along how the law relating to the limitation of transfer fees may be evaded, and we have not had to wait long for a demonstration. Here we have Blackburn Rovers paying Brighton and Hove £750 for three players—Anthony, Wombwell, and Lumley. I do not suppose that Blackburn Rovers wanted all three men. They probably wanted only Anthony, but they had to take the others—and pay the price.
  9. Carder; Harris. Albion A–Z. p. 268. First Division Blackburn Rovers signed [Wombwell] along with Joe Lumley and their main target, Walter Anthony...
  10. Russell, Steve (19 July 2012). "QPR v Blackburn Rovers – The 1912 Kinnaird Shield match in aid of the Titanic Disaster Fund". Independent R's. Retrieved 31 August 2018.
  11. "Football League Reviewed: Blackburn Rovers". Star Green 'Un. Sheffield. 9 May 1914. p. 2.
  12. "League Management". Daily Gazette for Middlesbrough. 25 April 1914. p. 6.
  13. "Football League meeting". Yorkshire Post. 12 January 1915. p. 10.
  14. "Death of former Forest star". Nottingham Journal. 27 January 1950. p. 3.
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