Tom Manley (footballer)

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Tom Manley
Tom Manley, Brentford F.C. footballer, 1949.jpg
Manley while a Brentford player
Personal information
Full name Thomas Ronald Manley [1]
Date of birth 7 October 1912
Place of birth Northwich, England
Date of death 4 July 1988(1988-07-04) (aged 75) [1]
Place of death Brentwood, England
Height6 ft 1+12 in (1.87 m) [2]
Position(s) Utility player, outside left
Youth career
1927–1928 Brunner Mond
1928–1929 Norley United
Senior career*
1929–1930 Northwich Victoria
1930–1939 Manchester United 188 (40)
1939–1952 Brentford 116 (8)
Managerial career
1954 Northwich Victoria
*Club domestic league appearances and goals

Thomas Ronald Manley (7 October 1912 – 4 July 1988) was an English professional footballer who made over 300 appearances in the Football League for Manchester United and Brentford as a utility player. He later managed hometown club Northwich Victoria.


Playing career

Early years

Manley began his career with junior clubs Brunner Mond and Norley United, before joining Cheshire County League club Northwich Victoria in 1929. [3] He remained at Drill Field until September 1930. [3]

Manchester United

Manley was brought to First Division club Manchester United by scout Louis Rocca on an amateur basis in September 1930. [3] At the end of the 1930–31 season, after the club's relegation to the Second Division, he signed a professional contract. [3] Manley broke into the team over the course of the 1932–33 and 1933–34 seasons and scored 15 goals in United's 1935–36 Second Division title-winning campaign. [4] After suffering relegation straight back to the Second Division at the end of the 1936–37 season, he helped the team to an immediate return to the top-flight one season later. [4] 1938–39 was Manley's final season at Old Trafford and he finished his Manchester United career having made 195 appearances and scored 41 goals. [4] Predominantly an outside left, he also performed the role of a utility player at Old Trafford by also playing in half and full back positions. [4]


Manley joined First Division club Brentford for a "substantial fee" in August 1939 and was immediately named captain. [5] Just three matches of the 1939–40 season were played before the season was abandoned and competitive football was suspended for the duration of the Second World War. [5] Manley's duties with the RAF meant that he appeared sparingly for the club during the war, making just 36 appearances and scoring six goals by the end of the 1945–46 season. [6] Competitive football resumed for the 1946–47 season and Manley would go on to make 122 appearances and scored 8 goals for the club before making his final appearance in September 1950. [7] [5] He remained as Griffin Park as a reserve team player for the 1951–52 season (playing one match as a goalkeeper) before retiring at age 39 in May 1952. [5] Manley was awarded a joint-testimonial with Ted Gaskell versus a Tommy Lawton XI in April 1954. [5]

Management career

Manley managed Cheshire County League club Northwich Victoria, with whom he began his career as a player, between March and October 1954. [5]

Personal life

Manley served in the RAF during the Second World War. [5] After his retirement from football, he became the licensee of a pub in Northwich. [5]

Career statistics

Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
ClubSeasonLeagueFA CupTotal
Manchester United 1931–32 [4] Second Division 300030
1932–33 [4] 19000190
1933–34 [4] 30220322
1934–35 [4] 30910319
1935–36 [4] 3114313415
1936–37 [4] First Division 31500315
1937–38 [4] Second Division21710227
1938–39 [4] First Division23300233
Brentford 1946–47 [7] First Division900090
1947–48 [7] Second Division27020290
1948–49 [7] 42340463
1949–50 [7] 33200332
1950–51 [7] 520052
Career total3044813131749


Manchester United

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  1. 1 2 "Tom Manley". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  2. "Manchester United. Weak positions improved". Sunday Dispatch Football Guide. London. 23 August 1936. p. v via
  3. 1 2 3 4 "Manley Tom Manchester United 1938". Vintage Footballers. Retrieved 13 December 2017.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 "Tommy Manley". Retrieved 13 December 2017.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Haynes, Graham; Coumbe, Frank (2006). Timeless Bees: Brentford F.C. Who's Who 1920–2006. Yore Publications. pp. 99–100. ISBN   978-0955294914.
  6. White 1989, p. 375-378.
  7. 1 2 3 4 5 6 White, Eric, ed. (1989). 100 Years Of Brentford. Brentford FC. pp. 378–381. ISBN   0951526200.