WW2 - Linfield
During WW2 Arthur was at times stationed in Templepatrick near Belfast, Northern Ireland. Although "professional" football was obviously cancelled, football was played in an effort to keep up the morale of public & try to give a bit of relief from "everyday war life" Games were played on a regional basis and players could play for any team near to where they were stationed. It was still "formal" in respect that players had to be registered to play for their "new team" It was during this time that Arthur "signed" for Linfield. The other major event in Arthur's life was that during this time he met a local, Templepatrick girl, Annie Greer,
who later became the future Mrs Wright
Arthur signs for Linfield on
Friday 7th March
However, whether it was the regulations of the time or whether it was a bit of self protection by Arthur, an interesting note below !! Let's hope it was
value for money
By signing on the Friday, Arthur was then eligible to play
the following day,so, as a result makes his Linfield
debut scoring in a 3-2 away win at Distillery.
Following his successful debut, Arthur's next game was an Irish Cup semi - final
on 5th April, funnily enough against the same opponents, Distillery.
The game being played at Celtic Park, Belfast.
Plenty of goals in the game which finishes in a 3-3 draw, with Distillery's first goal coming from a penalty conceded by
a handball by Arthur !!
Arthur misses the replay which Linfield win, so his next game is an Irish cup final, April 1941
we have even managed to find a couple of action pics of the game !!
However, as we can see Linfield
lost the final by the only goal to local rivals Belfast Celtic. We don't know whether the players received
any medals for the game or not.
Next season 1941-42, Arthur's first game was not until Jan 42 and the opponents were Belfast Celtic in what appears to have been a cracking game with Arthur scoring a last minute equaliser !!
The next game on 7th Feb was away to Distillery with Linfield winning 2-0 and Arthur scoring the first goal
Next up is an away game to Derry City on 14 Feb 1942. Linfield win 2-1 with Arthur scoring the first goal with a shot from 18 yards and was "the pick" of the forwards !!
The following week brings a home cup tie against the Inniskilling Fusiliers. Linfield win the game easily 5-1 with Arthur scoring again. This victory puts Linfield into the semi final.
After a four week break, the league resumes on 14 March with Linfield at home to the amateurs of Cliftonville. Linfield run out easy winners 6-2, with Arthur scoring twice and hitting the bar. Only four league games left and Belfast Celtic looking odds on to win the league.
An interesting footnote to the above report. Syd Peppitt was a Stoke City player, however, he and Arthur were previous team-mates, as they both played for England schoolboys and interestingly, one of their games was against N.Ireland boys at Celtic Park back in 1934.....
Then comes Irish Cup semi finals day.
Linfield prove to strong for Distillery, running out 6-0 winners with Arthur missing a penalty !!
Back to the league on 28 March with a potential title decider away to rivals Belfast Celtic.
A great 3-0 win for the Blue's with Arthur scoring the third goal.
Celtic still favourite's with only 3 games to play !!
And it's down to the final league game of the season which for Linfield is also a "cup final rehearsal" against Glentoran, with both teams also having an outside chance of winning the league
In what seems to be a cracking game, the blue's win 4-3 , Arthur scoring again, but Belfast Celtic win their own game and consequently win the league.
And so to the 1942 Irish FA Cup Final
So a disappointing game ends up with a 3-1 victory for the Blue's...................................however, it was war time and commodities were scarce, but 10 years later Arthur & his team-mates received their cup winners medals
The following season, starts but Arthur's only game of the season and his last one for Linfield was on 26 Sept 1942 in
another cup tie, The Gold Cup, against old foes, Belfast Celtic, thankfully he finishes off in another win, scoring the equaliser with a deflected shot.
So, to summarise
13 games played inc 2 Irish FA Cup finals & 10 goals scored.
I cannot leave this page without giving massive thanks to two of the Linfield directors, Andy & Roy for their help, support and promotion of Arthur's Linfield career. A final thank you must also go to the positive messages received from Linfield fans who probably never saw Arthur play. The only piece missing from our Linfield "jigsaw" is a picture/photo of Arthur in the blue shirt, should I ever manage to get one then our page will be complete !!