Shields, Ralph (Robert)

Birth Date

22nd November 1892

Birthplace

Newbiggin, England

Occupation

Forward

Biographical Text

Shields joined Exeter City from Huddersfield Town in December 1920 as part of the deal that took William Wright in the opposite direction.

The fee for Wright was believed to be £3,000, whilst Shields reportedly cost £500.

He had been on the books at Newcastle United for the 1913-14 season, but didn’t make their league team.

He moved to Huddersfield in 1914 where he scored an impressive 21 goals in 45 league starts.

Shields wasted no time in getting on the score sheet for Exeter either as he netted twice in a reserve team friendly against the East Devon League a couple of days after signing for the club.

His league debut for the Grecians was in the Christmas Day goalless draw at Plymouth Argyle. His stay at St James’ Park proved to be a short one though and the following season he was wearing the colours of Brentford where he scored one goal in eight league games.

Shields then played for Sittingbourne, before returning to his native North East to play for Blyth Spartans. However his time back in the North-East lasted only a season, at which time Shields emigrated to Australia.

As with many footballers during World War I, he signed up to serve and he did so as a bombardier in the Royal Field Artillery.
In October 1927, Ralph and his family emigrated to Australia to build a new life in Concord, New South Wales.
In the course of his service with the Australian Army Service Corps in Malaya during World War II, he was captured by the Imperial Japanese Army and transferred to the Sandakan Prisoner of War Camp in North Borneo and interred as a POW.
He died on 21 November 1944 and is buried at the Labuan War Cemetery in Malaysia.

Appearances

19

Goals

4

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