Melksham Town 1-2 Winchester City

Ted Drake

on Sun 22 Mar

Other than life vice president Terry Paine another famous name to begin his career with Winchester City was Ted Drake. Amongst the Winchester City faithful are those whose favourite Premiership teams are either Southampton, Arsenal or Chelsea and Ted made his mark as a player with the first two named and as a manager with the last named.

Ted was born in Southampton, but played for Winchester while working as a gas meter reader before joining his home town club in June 1931. Winchester had reached the 4tyh qualifying round of the F A Cup in 1929/30. Ted made his debut for the Saints in November 1931 and went on to score 48 goals in 74 games for the club (netting 20 or more in both 1932/33 and 1933/34) before signing for Arsenal in March 1934 at a fee of £6500 which was a lot of money in those days.

In Ted's first full season with the Gunners he scored 42 goals in 41 league games which remains to this day the best haul in a single season by an Arsenal player and his goals helped Arsenal win the football league championship that season.

Ted had scored four goals on four separate occasions in the record breaking 1934/35 season, but he surpassed those achievements in December 1935 when he scored all seven goals in Arsenal's 7-1 win against Aston Vila which remains to this day the highest number of goals scored by one player in soccer's top flight and is a record unlikely to ever be broken. Even in Leicester's 9-0 victory against Southampton earlier this season no individual player scored more than three times. In that historic game against Aston Villa Ted had another effort which hit the cross bar and which he had thought had crossed the line, although the referee disagreed. Later in the 1935/36 season Ted would go on to score the only goal in the F A Cup final against Sheffield United.

Ted was Arsenal's top scorer from 1934/35 to 1938/39 inclusive although the second world war somewhat curtailed his playing career. Nevertheless he also scored six goals in five full international appearances for England and helped Arsenal win the football league championship again in 1937/38. Ted's record of 139 goals in 184 goals for the Gunners, puts him joint fifth in the Arsenal all time list, but Thierry Henry, Ian Wright, Cliff Bastin and John Radford the four players above him all had a lower average of goals per game than Ted.

When his playing career ended Ted began his managerial career with the likes of Hendon and Reading before becoming manager of Chelsea in the summer of 1952. Ted begun to recruit players from the lower leagues and the amateur game and in his third season Chelsea were division 1 champions for the first time in their history and Ted himself again made history by becoming the first person to win soccer's top flight as both a player and a manager.

For all the flamboyance of the teams managed by Tommy Docherty and Dave Sexton who were the next two managers of Chelsea after Ted it was a further 50 years when aided by the money of Roman Abramovich that Chelsea would win soccer's top flight again. Ted was unable to replicate his early success with Chelsea during the remainder of his career, but there his no doubt he made a great contribution to the game of football. He died in May 1995 at the age of 82.

Ted was also a keen cricketer and played 16 matches for Hampshire. Iin the first of which he scored 45 runs in which he shared a stand of 95 with Phil Mead.

Few if any clubs in the lower division of the Southern League can say they began the careers of such high profile names as Terry Paine and Ted Drake. Will any of our current or future players go on to have playing careers as illustrious as these two gentlemen.

 

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