THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

D1 170420 RESULTS17 April ~ Leaders for most of the season, West Brom had clinched their first and to date only title a week before with victory over Bradford Park Avenue. Officially the team didn't have a manager – secretary Fred Everiss was in charge, aided by chairman William Bassett who had played in the Albion side that won the 1888 FA Cup. The champions featured six international players including wing-half and captain Jesse "Peerless" Pennington who won 25 England caps and striker Fred Morris, the league's top scorer with a then-record 37 goals.

This was the former Woolwich Arsenal's first season at the top level to which they had been controversially promoted despite only finishing fifth in Division Two in 1913-14. They had claimed that crowds of 70,000 would come to their new stadium at Highbury, although "only" 55,000 turned up for their first match; a reporter wrote that you could "dance jazz" in the spaces on the terracing.

Runners-up Burnley pursued West Brom from a distance throughout the season but their challenge faded with four defeats in their last nine matches. Scottish striker Joe Anderson, signed from Clydebank a month earlier, scored a hat-trick in the defeat of Everton. Third-placed Chelsea were the best-supported team, as they had been for several seasons before the War, with an average crowd of 42,615.

Blackburn saved themselves from relegation on the final day with a 4-0 defeat of Sheffield United in which striker Ernest Hawksworth scored a hat-trick for the second successive match. Notts County, beaten 2-1 at home by Manchester Utd, took the second-bottom spot. Sheffield Wednesday finished 13 points adrift at the foot.

Billy Kirton, who was among Aston Villa's scorers in their win over Sheffield Wednesday, also got the only goal in the FA Cup final to beat Huddersfield at Stamford Bridge. A club called Gnome Athletic played in the Cup this season but were knocked out in the final qualifying round.

Everton's side included the unpronounceable winger Sam Chedgzoy, who went on to be a main supplier to the prolific centre-forward Dixie Dean. Other notable names included Len Smelt (Burnley), Jack Cock (Chelsea), Albert Iremonger (Notts County) and Alf Dolphin (Oldham).

D1 170420 TABLE

Results & table from statto.com
Read the original Weekly Howl

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