Charlton, Stan

Birth Date

16th November 1900


Little Hulton, Lancashire



Biographical Text

A stylish full-back who was selected to tour Australia with a FA XI in 1925, Stan Charlton played for Exeter City between 1923 and 1928 and was a mainstay of the team for several seasons. He joined the club from Rochdale, having earlier been with Oldham Athletic, and later played for Crystal Palace. His son Stan, a successful player of the 1950s, was briefly on the books of Exeter City before playing for Arsenal.

Son of a miner, Stan (senior) began playing with St Paul’s Peel in Bolton before switching to Williams Temperance in the Leigh and District League. He signed for Oldham Athletic in 1920 and, after playing six league matches, moved to Rochdale where he won a regular place and played 38 times. 

On signing for Exeter City in the summer of 1923, Stan was described as a 'quiet but purposeful, a left back with freckles and a businesslike foot.’ Making his debut against Merthyr Town in August 1923, he proved to be a great success and missed very few games thereafter playing 39, 30, 34 and 42 over the next four seasons before playing less-regularly in 1927/28. Whilst at Exeter Stan had the honour of being selected to tour with the Football Association team that went to Australia in 1925 and was captain in all five games. 

Stan eventually left the Grecians in 1928 signing for Crystal Palace where he made 122 appearances before having a single season with Newport County in 1932-33.

He was the father of Stan Charlton who played for Exeter City reserves in the early 1950s and became an England amateur international with Bromley before playing for Leyton Orient, Arsenal and managing Weymouth.

Stan Charlton senior died in Croydon in 1971.

Soccer In Australia


Friday, September 4th. 1925. 

Exeter City's home programme in connection with the Football League will open with a flourish tomorrow, with Bournemouth United as the visitors, for Stanley Charlton, Exeter's popular captain and full-back, who had charge of the English team in their fifth and last test match with Australia, will reappear in the Grecians' colours after his brilliant performances on the F.A. tour, and in addition the Mayor of Exeter, Mr A. N. Pitts, and the Sheriff, Mr J.Dunsford, will honour the match. This is particularly appropriate, as the Deputy Mayor this year is Mr M. J. McGahey, Chairman of Exeter City Football Club.

Stanley Charlton and the F. A. Tour.

"There are so many English people in Australia, and they made such a point of turning up to see the matches whenever it was possible that it seemed like a home from home. But while the crowds in Australia. were mainly English, it was not the same with the grounds. And the ground on which we played the last test was easily the best, in its condition, for it was the only really English style ground of the lot, you know, ankle deep in mud. "The Australian goalkeeper, Robinson, played a great game in that test. I don't know how he came to be left out of the other tests. He was about the best goalkeeper we met. Well, we had three penalties. Batten took the first, and missed. Then there came the second, and a lot of fellows were clamouring to take it. Graham was particularly anxious because he had not scored out there. I said I would take it myself and I got it in, although it only just missed hitting the goalkeeper. When we had a third penalty I let Graham take it, and he shot over the bar. "It will take the Australians ten years at least to reach anything like the English standard of play. Soccer has something to overcome out there in the 'Australian game, which is played 18 a-side, with no fixed positions for any of the men. It is mostly a wild scramble all over the field, and a sort of mixture of Rugby and Soccer. "We knew if we lost any matches on this tour it would be on the Sydney Show Ground, which was in a terrible state, very hard and very bumpy. It was there we played the second test, which we won 2-1. I believe I played a decent game in that match. I was hurt in the last few minutes before the finish. We played an exhibition game in Sydney, too, our players being mixed with Australians into two sides. I captained the losers. "Several of the matches were played on very spacious cricket grounds and at such times boys stood by the touch-lines with reserve balls, ready for the throw-in whenever the match ball was kicked out. "Jack Elkes was the comedian of the party, both on and off the field. Very clever with his feet, he performed all sorts of fancy tricks and often had the crowd in a roar of laughter. Occasionally one of the Australian players would try to copy him with his fancy footwork, and it was funnier still because the Australian usually fell over. "We were a very happy crowd, and everybody pulled together very well. I doubt whether it would be possible to get a set of men who worked together better. And Mr Lewis and Mr Frowde were champion."
Stanley Charlton upon his return from across the other side of the world is the same cheery, frank, unspoiled sportsman as when he left Exeter for the big excursion last April. His admirers will observe tomorrow, when he takes his accustomed place in the Exeter City team, that he has not bronzed at all. But if he is as pale as ever, he has physically developed a good deal, and looks as fine a specimin of an athlete as anyone could wish to see. Charlton captained the English team in the last test. The others had been in the hands of Simms (two), Spencer, and Graham. Playing in nineteen or twenty of the total of twenty-six games, the Exeter captain had every opportunity of studying the quality and tactics of the Australian exponents of the game. Until recently all the Australian schoolboys played the local eighteen-a-side game, but now they have nearly all switched over to Soccer, and it is catching on like wildfire. While the Australians were lacking in the finer points of the game, however, the handicap against them was reduced, because unlike their English opponents, they are accustomed to playing on hard grounds and with a light ball. The Australians were very keen on playing substitutes in place of men injured in the course of matches, but this the tourists' manager, Mr John Lewis, refused to allow, taking the view that the games had to be played under English F. A. laws, and that the practice followed in England must be adhered to. On the outward voyage the tourists were unlucky. It rained heavily at Toulon, Naples, and Colombo. The shipping strike caused a deal of anxiety when the time came for the return trip. At Freemantle the ship arrived five hours late, and when everything was in readiness for sailing the crew struck. There was a delay of only twelve hours, however, as the captain settled matters off his own bat. On the way home there was a glorious day at each of the ports of call, Colombo, Port Said, Naples, and Toulon.
The one big regret of the tour was that Whittaker, of the Arsenal, was very badly injured in his knee, and it appears rather doubtful that he will ever play again. An Australian critic, commenting on the last test match, picked out Charlton for special praise, remarking that he was the best defender on the field.







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