Bassett, Spencer





Biographical Text

As a boy Bassett played for the Earl Street School, which was situated close to the ground of Woolwich Arsenal.

On leaving school he joined North Kent United who competed in the East London Thursday and East Wickham League.

Bassett then played for Eltham United in the West Kent League and helped them win the Kent Senior Cup and the Thames and Medway League.

He was signed on professional forms by Maidstone at the age of 18, playing at centre-half for one season.

Joining two of his team mates who made the same move, Bassett realised one of his ambitions by signing for Woolwich Arsenal.

For the four seasons prior to linking up with Exeter City, Bassett played regularly in the Gunners reserve team at Plumstead and made just one Football League appearance for them.

Signing for Exeter City in the summer of 1910, he quickly settled into the Grecians team after making his debut against Brentford in the Southern League at St James’ Park. He became an ever present in the City side during 1911-12, with speed and pluck noted as his exceptional attributes.

Bassett joined Swansea Town for the 1913-14 season and for Southend United the season after, but Bassett's heart remained in City; he often returned to visit teammates and reignite footballing chemistry.

The half-back's career halted by 1915 as a result of war, where he joined the Royal Garrison Artillery and was sent to the Western Front. Here, he was killed on 11th April 1917, and buried at the Pozieres War Cemetery.

Exeter Footballer's Tribute to His Dead Comrade
“Another letter has reached Exeter from somewhere in France written by Tom Griffiths, R.G.A., the former popular Exeter City professional footballer. In this letter he supplements what has previously written home (it was published in these columns at the time) about the death of his old athletic colleague at Exeter, Spencer Bassett, who was killed in France while serving with the R.G.A. "It was shock,'' Griffiths now writes. "to learn about poor Spencer. The Huns had been shelling a village, where he was billeted, all day and night. It happened about one in the morning. A shell dropped into Spencer's billet, and you may guess he was not the only one hit. A few of our lot were called out to give a helping hand, and when I got there Spencer had been taken away. His last words were, 'Tell Griffo' (the nick-name Griffiths was always known at Exeter) 'that I have been hit.' Just to think I missed seeing my old pal only a few minutes. . . was loved by all the boys, and was one of the finest fellows that ever stepped in two shoes."
Western Times - Friday 8 June 1917






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