Player List, 1908-39

Please scroll down to read the notes on this list.

Player list 1908-38X.xlsx

PLAYER LIST, 1908-39

The box above provides a list of all players known to have appeared for Bedford Town in competitive first team matches from 1908/9 to the beginning of World War 2. Click on the icon at the top right hand corner of the box to expand it.

Here are a few notes on how the list has been compiled. Please bear in mind that especially in the very early days of the Club it has sometimes not been possible to find out much more about a player than his name.

If you can add anything to these lists –for example if you think you’ve spotted a family member-please contact me on

SURNAME shows the player’s surname as it appears on the Results and Teams sheets. Where an initial follows in this column, that initial also follows the player’s name on the team sheets-it means that there are several known players of the same surname, and this player can be distinguished from the others; often, unfortunately, this isn’t possible. It is thus possible that the same player appears more than once on the list-for example the two ATKINS entries for 1909/10 may be in fact the same man-but where I have made assumptions these are noted on the right hand side of the sheet.

FIRST NAME(S), INITIAL(S), NICKNAME ETC-shows whatever else is known about a player’s names. Sadly there are many blank spaces here since it was not at all common for reports to refer to players, even long established ones, by anything except their surnames-and it seems to have been even more common for professionals to be given a plain unadorned surname than amateurs.

POSITION shows the usual position occupied, but limited to goalkeeper (G), full back (FB), half back (HB) or forward (F).

SEASONS PLAYED shows the first and last season of a player’s BTFC career, ignoring any gaps elsewhere. The first two digits only are used, eg “19-23” means someone played from 1919/20 to 1923/4.

KNOWN APPEARANCES/GOALS-these are self-explanatory, except for cases of multiple players of the same name in the same team where it’s not possible to be certain which is referred to. This happened a lot in the early days with the assorted CHAPMANs and SMITHs; where a report doesn’t make it clear which one is referred to, either as an appearance or a scorer, I have tried to distribute appearances and goals between the rival claimants roughly pro rata to their known records.

Please note that in contrast to the usual convention among football statisticians I have included in these figures appearances and goals in all competitive matches that were played to a finish, even if they were later deemed not to have “counted”: eg matches that had to be replayed because of ineligible players, matches involving teams that later dropped out of competitions, and the two matches played in 1939/40 before the declaration of war on 3 September 1939. My view is that for the players taking part in these matches at the time, they were “proper” matches played as such, and shouldn’t be retrospectively removed from their records. [I haven’t of course included matches that were abandoned for weather reasons and later replayed]. Not everyone will agree, but there we are.

OTHER CLUBS, CAREER DETAILS ETC, WHERE KNOWN-these are brief notes about anything else useful I have discovered. For those few players that appeared in the Football League, previous clubs and dates of birth and death are taken from Michael Joyce’s Football League Players’ Records 1888-1939 (Soccerdata, 2004), or “Joyce” for short. Other sources here are the census records up to 1911 and the Birth Marriage and Death data on as well as World War 1 military records in the few cases where these survive, which are also visible on Ancestry. In many cases these spaces are also blank, although if I think there is a case for identifying a player with someone else known, I have added a suitably qualified note.

(In these notes, “BQPR” means Bedford Queen’s Park Rangers, renamed Bedford Avenue in 1945. In the few cases where reference is made to the London Football League club I have referred to [London] QPR).

Finally, please note this is a list of those KNOWN to have appeared-not of everybody who DID appear. Because only some 92% of Eagles' lineups are complete, there are bound to be players omitted from this list. If you know anything about them, please get in touch (see above for details)