Challis, Stan

Birth Date

22nd April 1918


Lympstone, Devon



Biographical Text

Stan Challis made first-team appearances for Exeter City in both the 'emergency' 1945/46 season and during the subsequent first 'official' season after the Second World War. Making his final first-team appearance in 1947, but remaining on the club's books until 1949, he later played for Barnstaple Town. Locally-born, and havig previously played for Lympstone, he continued to live in the Exeter area for the rest of his life.

Aged twenty-one on the outbreak of war in 1939, Stan lost an important part of his football career to the hostilities but managed to play for his battalion team and guest for Crystal Palace.

Returning home at the end of the war, he signed for Exeter City in July 1945 aged twenty-seven and made his debut against Aldershot in the 'emergency' Division Three South (South of the Thames) League on 5 September 1945. He went on to make 16 appearances, scoring eight times, in the competition that lasted until the new year before making a couple of appearances in the Division Three South Cup (Southern Section) that was hastily-organised for the second half of the season. 

With 'normal' football resuming in August 1946, Stan made his Football League debut in a goalless Third Division South fixture against Ipswich Town on 16 November 1946. Although much had been expected of him he was only to feature in three more league games against Bristol Rovers, Cardiff City and Walsall (against whom he scored from the penalty spot in the final game of 1946/47). 

After two further seasons with Exeter City he signed for Barnstaple Town in December 1949 before moving on to Minehead and later playing for Torrington and Lympstone.

Stan died aged ninety in October 2008.

[see below for memories of Stan received from Debbie Cram, his grand-daughter, shortly after his death].


Exeter City league games only






Paul Farley

Debbie Can you pop in sometime to the museum at the club? 

Debbie Cram, grand-daughter of Stan Challis, following his death in 2008

" I thought I would reply to your thread I am very lucky & very proud to have been Stan Challis's grandaughter. Grandad was born in Lympstone on 22nd April 1918 and played for the village football team. He married his wife, Iris, of 67 years on 26th Dec 1940. A few days later he was sent away with the Royal Marines. On return to this country he was stationed in London and often guested for Crystal Palace regularly being the only amateur on the pitch. On one occasion, Crystal Palace's game was called off so the team went to watch the Arsenal game. He met up with Cliff Bastin who introduced him to Stanley Matthews. What an honour!! On his return to the Westcountry after the war, grandad signed for City. I still have his signing on papers! I think he only played for two seasons 1945-47. His squad number was either 7 or 11. The cartoon book says he could score on either foot - I wish I could have been there to see it! One of his photos shows him and Digger Ebdon building the turnstiles behind the old grandstand.After City he played for Minehead and Torrington but he has followed City all his life. On Wednesday( the evening before he passed away) he was recalling scoring a winning penalty shooting towards the away fans. City was in his heart and will definitely always be in mine. My husband and I are trust members and our two boys belong to the Red Army. On Wednesday my youngest son was lucky enough to have been chosen to be mascot on November 1st against Chester. Grandad was very proud to hear this news.My boys have now had their ity shirts printed with his name on the back and will be really proud to be wearing them at his wake next Friday, and Matthew will be proudly wearing it as mascot at the Chester game. The tears are rolling down my face now and I can hardly see. I have lots more information if you need any."

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