James, Francis

Birth Date

14th June 1888





Biographical Text

James was a junior international. When playing for West Bromwich Albion, he was selected to play England versus Scotland, and was not likely to forget that match in a hurry, for it was the occasion when the English team were in a train accident on the way to Glasgow. None of the players were injured, but they were all shaken up.

His first club was Brownhills Albion, and from there he went to Bloxwich Strollers. A supporter of West Bromwich Albion saw him performing with Bloxwich and recommended him to the management at the Hawthorns, with the result that he joined West Bromwich Albion and became a professional.

He appeared regularly with the Albion Reserves, then moved to Manchester City, for whom, in addition to being the regular centre-forward of the Reserves in 1909-10 season, he played in the Lancashire Cup with the first team, and also in a few League matches. In 1909-10 he scored 26 goals, four of them being in cup ties.

Described as a true centre-forward, ‘as slippery as an eel.’ James played just two Football League matches for Manchester City, against Birmingham City and Barnsley respectively, both in the 1909-10 season. Manchester City were in Division Two and went on to end as Divisional champions.

He made his Exeter City debut against Brentford at St James’ Park on 3rd September 1910 in a Southern League fixture. That season, the only one he spent at Exeter, he went on to make 24 league appearances, scoring six goals.

James was released by the Grecians at the end of the 1910-11 season, we have been unable to ascertain whom he played for after that. It is certain though, that he never played for another Football League club.






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