Tommy Roberts (footballer, born 1898)

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Tommy Roberts
Personal information
Full nameWilliam Thomas Roberts
Date of birth(1898-11-29)29 November 1898
Place of birth Handsworth, England
Date of death 13 October 1965(1965-10-13) (aged 66)
Height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m) [1]
Position(s) Centre forward
Senior career*
Soho Villa
1914 Leicester Fosse 0 (0)
1919–1924 Preston North End 199 (118)
1924–1925 Burnley 49 (28)
1926–1927 Preston North End 55 (39)
1928 Tottenham Hotspur 4 (2)
Dick, Kerr's
National team
1923–1924 England 2 (2)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

William Thomas Roberts (29 November 1898 – 13 October 1965) was an English professional footballer who played for Soho Villa, Leicester Fosse, Preston North End, Burnley, Tottenham Hotspur, Dick, Kerr's, Chorley and England at international level. [2]


Football career

Roberts began his career at non League Soho Villa and later Leicester Fosse.

After World War I he joined Preston North End and made his debut against Blackburn Rovers in 1919. [3] The high scoring centre forward was top scorer in his first season with 29 goals. Roberts featured in 199 matches and scored 118 goals between 1919–1924.

In 1924 he signed for Burnley where he scored a further 28 goals in 49 matches.

He returned to Deepdale for his second spell at the club in 1926 and once again top scored with 30 goals in 55 matches.

Roberts broke an arm in a motor vehicle accident in 1927 [3] and suffered injury problems before joining Tottenham Hotspur in 1928. He scored twice on his Lilywhites debut in a 4-1 victory over Oldham Athletic at White Hart Lane in August 1928 in the old Second Division. [4] He made three more appearances, but never found the net again for the Spurs. [5]

After leaving London Roberts played for the Dick, Kerr's XI and finally ended his playing career at Chorley.

International career

Roberts played twice for England. His first match was against Belgium in November 1923 and played in the following game against Wales. He scored in both matches but was never capped again. [6]

After football

Roberts worked as a publican for 30 years in the Preston area. [3]

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  1. Pavo (20 August 1923). "Prospects of the clubs in the First Division of the League. Preston North End". Athletic News. Manchester. p. 5.
  2. Joyce, Michael (2004). Football League Players' Records. soccerdata. p. 223. ISBN   1-899468-63-3.
  3. 1 2 3 Roberts' fact file Archived 18 March 2009 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 14 July 2009
  4. "Tottenham Football/ Premier League debut scorers".
  5. A-Z of Tottenham Hotspur players Retrieved 14 July 2009
  6. Roberts' international stats Retrieved 14 July 2009