Sunday, February 3, 2013


As the year progresses, I am making headway on my project to collect original cards of the 100 greatest FOOTBALL LEAGUE players. As of today, I have obtained 86 % of the list. The hardest ones to find are the pre-war issues. But I did score on one of late.
It may seem like a small achievement when looking at Harry Hibbs' trophies, but the former Birmingham goal keeper accomplished more than just an F.A. Cup runners up medal in his career..
1935 Churchman Cigarettes caricature
In an age when the England National Team selection was done by committee rather than a Manager, Hibbs made an astonishing 25 appearences for his country. On 10 of those occasion he shutout his opponents.
1931 Lambert & Butler illustration
While 25 caps can be earned today in 2 World Cups and 2 Qualifying seriess, it was not so before World War II.
A closer look at England's goal keepers from 1920 up to the years before the war, Hibbs surpasses all his rivals and dwarfs almost all others. Sam Hardy was England's No. 1 through March 1920. However, 21 England goalies stood between the posts before Harry Hibbs debut in November 1929. He was a cousin of Harold Pearson* who also kept goal for England.
Sam Hardy - 21 caps (last cap March 1920)
Jack Brown - 6 caps
Ted Hufton - 6 caps
Jack Hacking - 3 caps 
Benjamin Olney - 2 caps
Dan Tremeling - 1 cap
Albert  McInroy - 1 cap
George Ashmore - 1 cap
Ted Taylor - 8 caps
Richard Pym - 3 caps
Howard Baker - 2 caps
Freddie Fox - 1 cap
Harry Hardy - 1 cap
James Mitchell - 1 cap
Ronald Sewell - 6 caps
Ernest Williams - 2 caps
Jack Alderson - 1 cap
Jerry Dawson - 2 caps
Teddy Davidson - 1 cap
Harold Gough - 1 cap
Bert Coleman - 1 cap
Jack Mew - 1 cap
Harry Hibbs - 25 caps (first cap Novemeber 1929)
1934 Ardath Cigarettes portrait
This revolving door continued after even after Hibbs last international match (February 1936). The singular mainstay was Vic Woodley, with 19 appearences, until the halt of international football in 1939.
Hugh Turner - 2 caps
Harold Pearson - 1 cap*
Frank Moss - 4 caps
Ted Sager - 4 caps
Henry Holdcroft - 2 caps
George Tweedy - 1 cap
Vic Woodley - 19 caps
Harry Hibbs held the England record for appearences for a goalkeeper until it was broken by Ron Springett in 1962. Harry Hibbs played 358 league games with the club. The club shows its best run in the pre-wars years staying in Division 1 his entire career. During this time, Birmingham reached its only pre-war F.A. Cup Final in 1931.

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