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The PL League Boss
Apr 28, 2006
PL Headquarters Hullbridge
Further to my Memory Lane post on Sheffield United cup games I've had an enquiry about one of players Walden (don't know his first name yet) which is amazing, it means someone has read my post :smile:

Anyway I'm doing some research into the player and thought I would post it up for all to read:

In 1919-20 the first season after the First World War Southend were fortunate to have two good wingers in George Nicholls and Jack Young with Billy Bridgeman in reserve. Nicholls and Bridgeman had both been signed from Chelsea, while Jack Young had been with Southend before the Great War.

For the first nine matches the wing positions were shared between these three, but with Nicholls and Young preferred, but in the ninth match at home to Brentford on the 4th October 1919 Nicholls sustained a serious injury. "Nicholls raced down the wing and was tackled strongly but fairly but it was immediately obvious that he was seriously injured. Two doctors, present at the ground, attended him and it was clear that his leg was broken and was put in splints before being carried from the pitch by the V.A.D. men (Voluntary Aid Detachment). The delay lasted a good ten minutes".

The Brentford players and trainer have sent Nicholls a handsome hamper of fruit and flowers with a letter wishing him a speedy recovery. This kindly act is much appreciated as Nicholls broke his leg playing against the club.
From the Southend Standard 30th October 1919

In subsequent matches Bridgeman was out of favour and several players were played out of position without much success, and with the Cup not far away a cartoon in the Southend Standard asked “What about the Right Wing?”
However on the 27th November the Standard announced “The United team against Swansea has not been definitely selected, but it is probable that a new centre-forward and right-winger may be seen out”. The new Centre-forward did not materialise but the new right-winger did in Walden signed from Clapton FC, but he had played for Clapton in the previous cup-round (and had scored twice) and was therefore cup-tied and couldn’t play for Southend in the cup but he could play league games and went straight into the first team.

Saturday 29th November 1919

It was a wild and miserable day, with a heavy night’s rain followed by another downpour in the morning and this no doubt was an important factor in only 3,500 spectators attending such an attractive game. By the end of the game it was very gloomy and the last fifteen minutes saw just shadows racing about in semi darkness. A lively start saw chances at both ends but after sixteen minutes a poor clearance from Emblem was returned goal wards with a “daisy cutter” which gave the Southend Keeper no chance. Southend were under a cloud for some time after this. With twenty eight minutes gone the Blues equalised when Upex got the ball out to Walden who beating the half back centred to Burrill who got his toe to the ball and put in out of reach of the goalkeepers reach. Before half time a moment’s hesitation from Emblem enabled Swansea to retake the lead. In the second half. Upex had been injured before Swanseas second goal and didn’t resume after the break although he later reappeared as a passenger on the left wing. A pretty movement by Walden saw him pass on to Burrill who neatly steered the ball along the ground and into the net to bring the scores level for a second time. Walden then came close to giving the Blues the lead but his shot went into the side netting, Later in the game Young was knocked out and had to leave the field so Blues finished with only nine fit men.
Team: Emblem; Reid and Marshall; Wileman, Bollington and, Evans; Walden, Burrill, Upex, Jones and J. Young.

Walden had made an impressive debut but it was with disappointment for the Southend enthusiasts that he would not be able to play in the coming Cup game.

To be continued after further research............