Thomas Spilsbury

Last updated
Thomas Spilsbury
Personal information
Full nameThomas John Spilsbury [1]
Date of birth 1874
Place of birth Stoke-upon-Trent, England
Date of death 1947 (aged 7273)
Playing position Left-back
Youth career
Dresden United
Senior career*
1897–1901 Burslem Port Vale 41 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Thomas John "Spill" Spilsbury (1874–1947) was a footballer who played 57 games at left-back for Burslem Port Vale (25 in the Midland Football League, 16 in the Football League).

Association football Team field sport played between two teams of eleven players with spherical ball

Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played with a spherical ball between two teams of eleven players. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies, making it the world's most popular sport. The game is played on a rectangular field called a pitch with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by moving the ball beyond the goal line into the opposing goal.

In the sport of association football, a defender is an outfield player whose primary role is to prevent the opposing team from scoring goals.

Port Vale F.C. association football club

Port Vale Football Club is a professional association football club based in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, England. The team compete in League Two, the fourth tier of the English football league system. Port Vale is one of the few English league clubs not to be named after a geographical location, their name being a reference to the valley of ports on the Trent and Mersey Canal. They have never played top-flight football, and hold the records for the most seasons in the English Football League (108) and in the second tier (41) without reaching the first tier. After playing at the Athletic Ground in Cobridge and The Old Recreation Ground in Hanley, the club returned to Burslem when Vale Park was opened in 1950. Outside the ground is a statue to Roy Sproson, who played 842 competitive games for the club. The club's traditional rivals are Stoke City, and games between the two are known as the Potteries derby.


Playing career

Spilsbury played for Dresden United, before joining Burslem Port Vale in February 1897. [1] His debut match could hardly have gone better; an 8–0 romp over Grantham Rovers at the Athletic Ground. [1] He was a regular until January 1899, and was a member of the 1898 Staffordshire Senior Cup winning side during his run. [1] He played 15 Second Division and two FA Cup games in the 1898–99 season, but featured just once in the 1899–1900 season and retired at the end of the 1900–01 campaign. [1]

Dresden United Football Club was a football club based in the Dresden area of Stoke-on-Trent who were active at the end of the nineteenth century.

The Athletic Ground also known as Cobridge Stadium was a football stadium and greyhound racing stadium, located in Cobridge, Stoke-on-Trent.

Staffordshire Senior Cup

The Staffordshire Senior Challenge Cup is a football cup tournament based in the county of Staffordshire in England first competed for in 1877–78. Organised by the Staffordshire Football Association, it is competed for by a mix of clubs from Staffordshire and the surrounding areas. Both professional and amateur clubs may enter. In the modern age however professional teams such as Stoke City and Port Vale, the main clubs in Staffordshire, usually field a reserve team as they place more prestige on their respective leagues and professional cup competitions. This has left the door open for non-league sides to have more success in the cup as it is classed as a bigger achievement for them to win it.


Source: [2]

ClubSeasonDivisionLeague FA Cup Total
Burslem Port Vale 1896–97 Midland League 900090
1897–98Midland League16050210
1898–99 Second Division 15020170
1899–1900 Second Division100010


Port Vale

Related Research Articles

Frank Stokes was an English professional footballer who played as a full back. He made more than 250 appearances in the Football League playing for Burslem Port Vale and Small Heath / Birmingham between 1898 and 1910. In between these two spells he spent 1901 to 1903 at Reading, and helped the club to finish second in the Southern League in the 1902–03 season. He played in several England trials but was never selected.

William Levi Draycott was an English footballer who played as a right half for Burslem Port Vale, Stoke, Burton Wanderers, Newton Heath, Bedminster, Bristol Rovers, Wellingborough, and Luton Town in the 1890s and early 1900s.

Herbert Birchenough was an English football goalkeeper. He played 167 league games in the Football League for Burslem Port Vale, Glossop, and Manchester United between 1898 and 1903.

Sam Gleaves was an English football manager, noted for being the secretary of Burslem Port Vale for nine years at the turn of the 20th century, from 1896 until May 1905. During his time at the club, Vale won re-election from the Midland Football League into the Football League Second Division in 1898–99, reached the Birmingham Senior Cup final in 1899 and 1900 and the Staffordshire Senior Cup final in 1900, and won the Staffordshire Senior Charity Cup in 1897.

Tommy Clare Professional footballer and manager

Thomas Clare was an English international footballer, who played at right-back, and football manager.

James Peake was a footballer who played inside-left for Burslem Port Vale and Millwall Athletic.

Thomas McFarlane was a Scottish footballer who played at full-back for Hibernian, Burslem Port Vale and Middlesbrough in the 1890s and 1900s.

Jim Beech Footballer

James Beech was an English footballer who played as a centre-half for Burslem Port Vale between 1894 and 1902, making 151 appearances in the Football League.

Thomas J. Lander was an English footballer who played for Burslem Port Vale at the turn of the 20th century.

Billy Heames Footballer

William Henry Heames was an English footballer who played in the Football League for Burslem Port Vale and Stoke. A left-winger, he had an eleven-year career, scoring 28 goals in 249 games in all competitions. His sole honour was a Staffordshire Senior Cup win with Vale in 1898.

Adrian Capes Footballer

Adrian Capes, was an English footballer. A forward, he scored a total of 135 goals in 340 league and FA Cup games in a 17-year career with Nottingham Forest, Burton Wanderers, Burton Swifts, Burslem Port Vale, and Stoke. He also played cricket for Staffordshire in the 1900 Minor Counties Cricket Championship. After retiring in 1911, he worked behind the scenes at Port Vale from 1911 to 1934. His brother, Arthur, was also a professional footballer.

Edward McDonald was an English footballer who played at left half for Stoke, Burslem Port Vale, Notts County, and Portsmouth.

Richard Evans was an English footballer, who played at outside-right, spending most of his career with Burslem Port Vale as well as a two-year spell at Southampton where he won two Southern League championships.

Danny Simpson (early footballer) Footballer

Daniel Simpson was an English footballer who scored 53 goals in 151 competitive games for Burslem Port Vale between 1896 and 1903. A centre-forward, he was twice the club's top-scorer, and scored the only goal of the 1898 Staffordshire Senior Cup final.

Lucien Boullemier Footballer and ceramic artist

Lucien Emile Boullemier was an English footballer and ceramic designer. A right-half, he played competitively for Stoke, Burslem Port Vale, Philadelphia Hibernian, Northampton Town, and Northern Nomads. He was the younger brother of Leon Boullemier, also an accomplished sportsman.

Thomas Davies was an English footballer who played 65 league and cup games at left-back for Burslem Port Vale between 1899 and 1903.

Frank Whitehouse was an English footballer who played in the Football League for Burslem Port Vale, Glossop and Stoke.

John Edward Evans, also known as "Jammer", was an English footballer who played in the Football League for Bury, Burslem Port Vale and Stoke.

1898–99 Burslem Port Vale F.C. season

The 1898–99 season was Burslem Port Vale's fifth season of football in the Football League; it followed a two-season absence, which the club spent in the Midland Football League. A solid return to the Football League, they finished in mid-table. They had the strongest defence in the division as they conceded less goals than any other team in the division. It was instead a lack of firepower in front of goal that prevented a push for promotion.

1899–1900 Burslem Port Vale F.C. season

The 1899–1900 season was Burslem Port Vale's second consecutive season of football in the Football League. Another season of charging to the summit of the Second Division table, only to fall into mid-table obscurity, this time the club suffered from low support and subsequently poor finances. Once again the team maintained a decent defensive record, only to fail miserably in front of goal – the second lowest total in the league.


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 Kent, Jeff (1996). Port Vale Personalities. Witan Books. p. 277. ISBN   0-9529152-0-0.
  2. Thomas Spilsbury at the English National Football Archive (subscription required)