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Harry Warren


No ⭐
Oct 27, 2003
The wilds of Kent
I called Harry an unremarkable manager, but an interesting man.

His father, Ben, was more interesting...

His father Ben had played 22 times for England, but his tale is a tragic one. Ben died when he was just 37, Harry being 14. When Harry was just ten, his father was certified insane, leaving Harry’s mother Minnie to look after him and his three siblings...‘The Courier’ reported in September 1912 that Ben Warren was found wandering in Derby Road in Nottingham, smoking a cigarette and wearing absolutely nothing except a collar and tie. He was reported to be running along playing an imaginary game of football and when challenged told onlookers he was on his way to Trent Bridge where he was needed for a game. It was duly explained that poor Ben had been committed to an asylum which he had escaped from.

During his playing days Harry Warren’s dad had sustained bad head injuries at Chelsea who he had signed for in 1908. Footballers then of course weren’t earning a King’s ransom and with the Warrens struggling financially a Benefit Match between the South and the North for the financial well-being of the family was staged at Stamford Bridge in April 1914. A crowd of 12,000 watched players from Chelsea, Arsenal, Spurs, Crystal Palace and Millwall beat a side consisting of players from Derby, West Brom, Birmingham, Oldham, Notts County, Preston, Blackburn and Manchester United. Derby County also took part in another Benefit Match for the Warren family, the legendary Steve Bloomer being one of the players in a game against Newhall Swifts.

Ben Warren had been a very well-known figure in the game. In 22 games for England, he’d tasted defeat just once, at Hampden Park against Scotland. He had scored as England walloped Austria 11 (Eleven) – 1 in Vienna in 1908 and got another goal against the same opposition in the same city a year later, this time in an 8-1 win. In 1911 he was still playing international football, just a year before being certified.

- https://www.ccfc.co.uk/news/2020/june/supremos-a-profile-of-former-manager-harry-warren/

Harry himself had quite an average playing career - and opted for the administrative side of football at Folkestone, then Chlemsford. When Southend decamped to Chelmsford for WW2, Harry took on both Chelmsford and Southend, and focussing on Southend post-1945. He stayed with us until 1956, before moving to Coventry. You can read the article above to see what happened there.

In those days, he was club secretary and manager. He made some astute signings - Hollis, McAlinden, French, Stubbs, Anderson. He presided over the first game at Roots Hall. But, apart from one excellent season when we came 3rd, with Wakefield scoring 28 in 1949/50, we never troubled the promotion places. Harry was thought of as quite dour and not really a man-manager.