Alf Common

Last updated

Alf Common
Alf Common.jpg
Personal information
Full nameAlfred Common
Date of birth(1880-05-25)25 May 1880
Place of birth Millfield, England
Date of death 3 April 1946(1946-04-03) (aged 65)
Place of death Darlington, England
Height 6 ft 8 in (203 cm)
Position(s) Forward
Senior career*
YearsTeamApps(Gls)
1900–1901 Sunderland 18 (6)
1901–1904 Sheffield United 67 (21)
1904–1905 Sunderland 20 (6)
1905–1910 Middlesbrough 168 (58)
1910–1912 Woolwich Arsenal 77 (23)
1912–1914 Preston North End 35 (9)
Total385(123)
National team
1904–1906 England 3 (2)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Alfred Common (25 May 1880 in Millfield, Tyne and Wear – 3 April 1946 in Darlington) was an English footballer who played at inside forward or centre forward. He is most famous for being the first player to be transferred for a fee of £1,000 on his transfer to Middlesbrough from Sunderland in 1905. [1]

Contents

Club career

Common played for South Hylton and Jarrow in North East England before joining Sunderland in 1900. Sunderland finished Division One runners-up in 1900–01, after which Common transferred to Sheffield United in October 1901 for £325. Neither Sunderland nor Sheffield United had cause to regret the deal in the sense that Sunderland finished as Division One Champions in 1901–02, and Common scored the first goal in United's 1902 FA Cup Final win over Southampton. [2]

Common became a regular member of Sheffield United teams, and won the first of his three international caps in 1904, but in May of that year he refused to re-sign for United because he wished to return to Sunderland where he was reported to have 'business interests'. [3] United failed to persuade Common to change his mind and in the summer of 1904, he returned to Sunderland. The deal also took United's reserve goalkeeper Albert Lewis in return for a new record fee of around £520. [2]

In February 1905, little more than six months after this move, he broke the transfer record again by moving to Middlesbrough for £1,000. Middlesbrough had purchased Common in an attempt to avoid relegation to the Second Division. His first game for Middlesbrough was on 25 February 1905, away to his former club Sheffield United. Middlesbrough won 1–0, with Common scoring from a penalty after 50 minutes, it was their first away win for nearly two years. Consequently, the team, who had so far been battling against relegation that season, survived the drop. He played 168 league games for Boro and scored 58 goals. [2]

Alf Common with The Three Lions Alf Common the World's first PS1000 footballer.jpg
Alf Common with The Three Lions

At the age of 30, Common moved to Woolwich Arsenal in 1910. He made his debut on 1 September 1910 against Manchester United. After starting out at inside forward, he took on a more attacking role in his second season and was the club's top goalscorer with 17 goals in 1911–12, missing just two league games. However, he didn't score a single goal in the first half of the Gunners' 1912–13 season, before he was sold to Preston North End in December 1912 for £250. Altogether he played 80 times and scored a sum of 23 goals for Arsenal. [4] [2]

At Preston, he helped the club to win the Division Two title that season, although they were relegated the following 1913–14 season. [4] [2]

Common retired from football in 1914, and went on to run pubs in Darlington until 1943. [1] He died in 1946 aged 65. [5]

In 1998, he was selected as one of the Football League's 100 Football League Legends. His keepsakes, England caps and cup winners medals etc. were auctioned by Graham Budd Auctions in London in November 2011. [6]

International career

Common won his first England cap, against Wales on 29 February 1904. In all he won three caps, scoring two goals. [7]

Career statistics

LeagueFA CupTotal
ClubSeasonDivisionAppsGoalsAppsGoalsAppsGoals
Sheffield United 1901–02Division 120693299
1902–03Division 118700187
1903–04Division 129830328
Total67211237924
Middlesbrough 1904–05Division 110400104
1905–06Division 13619524121
1906–07Division 12912213113
1907–08Division 134910359
1908–09Division 13310103410
1909–10Division 126411275
Total1685810717865
Woolwich Arsenal Total7723308023

Honours

Sunderland [2]
Sheffield United [2]
Preston North End [2]

References and notes

  1. 1 2 Proud, Keith (18 August 2008). "The player with the Common touch". The Northern Echo. Newsquest Media. Archived from the original on 1 November 2012. Retrieved 28 May 2010.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 "Alf Common". Spartacus Educational.com.
  3. A Sensational Transfer. Sheffield United matchday programme. 21 September 1985.
  4. 1 2 "Alf Common". Arsenal.com.
  5. Proud, Keith (18 August 2013). "The Player with the Common Touch". The Northern Echo. Archived from the original on 11 December 2013. Retrieved 7 September 2013.
  6. Henderson, Tony (8 November 2011). "Keepsakes of record breaking footballer Alf Common go to auction". the Northern Echo. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 7 September 2013.
  7. "Alf Common". England Football Online.com.

Related Research Articles

The 2002–03 season was the 123rd season of competitive football in England.

The 2004–05 season was the 125th season of competitive football in England.

Kevin Richardson is an English former footballer who played as a midfielder. Richardson featured for English clubs Everton, Watford, Arsenal, Aston Villa, Coventry City, Southampton, Barnsley and Blackpool. He also had a spell in La Liga with Real Sociedad. He was also capped for the England national football team. During October 2009 he was appointed as the assistant manager of Darlington. Richardson is currently a coach at Newcastle United's academy.

1840s – 1850s – 1860s – 1870s – 1880s – 1890s – 1900s – 1910s – 1920s – 1930s – 1940s – 1950s – 1960s – 1970s – 1980s – 1990s – 2000s – 2010s

The 1995–96 season was the 116th season of competitive football in England.

The 1997–98 season was the 118th season of competitive football in England.

The 1999–2000 season was the 120th season of competitive football in England.

The 1930–31 season was the 39th season of The Football League.

Alexander Fraser Cochrane, known as Sandy or Alex Cochrane, was a Scottish footballer who scored 68 goals from 318 appearances in the Football League while playing for Middlesbrough, Darlington, Bradford City, Chesterfield, Northampton Town and Swindon Town. He began his career with Shawfield Juniors, played in the Scottish League for Alloa Athletic, East Stirlingshire and Dumbarton, and spent time with Welsh club Llanelly.

George Holley was an English professional footballer who spent most of his career as an inside forward with Sunderland, helping them claim the Football League title in 1913. He was also joint top scorer in the First Division in 1911–12 and represented England ten times, scoring eight goals.

The 1969–70 season was the 71st completed season of The Football League.

The 1973–74 season was the 75th completed season of The Football League.

The 1974–75 season was the 76th completed season of The Football League.

The 1991–92 season was the 93rd completed season of The Football League.

The 1986–87 season was the 88th completed season of The Football League.

The 1904–05 season was the 17th season of The Football League. Woolwich Arsenal were the first London club to feature in the top flight of English football since its inception in 1888–89.

The 1935–36 season was the 44th season of The Football League.

The 1948–49 season was the 50th completed season of The Football League.

Dick Healey (footballer) English footballer

Richard Healey was an English footballer who played as an inside right or centre forward in the Football League for Sunderland, Middlesbrough and Darlington.

Tommy Winship English footballer

Thomas Winship, generally known as Tom or Tommy Winship, but also referred to as Wee Winship because of his small stature, was an English footballer who played as an outside left. He scored 25 goals from 224 appearances in the Football League playing for Woolwich Arsenal and Fulham before the First World War and for Darlington and Crewe Alexandra after it.