Dave Roberts (English footballer)

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Football biography

David A. Roberts was an English footballer who played as a forward in the Football League for Walsall and in the League of Ireland for Bohemians and Fordsons during the 1920s.[1][2]

Playing career

English career

Roberts was born in Tipton, Staffordshire.[1] He spent two seasons with Birmingham & District League club Shrewsbury Town.[3] Described as a "thrustful" player, he was Shrewsbury's top scorer[4] before joining Walsall of the Third Division North at the end of the 1921–22 season.[3] He scored freely for the reserve team,[5] but when he got a chance in the first team, he had little success. He made his Football League debut on 16 September 1922, playing at inside right away to Chesterfield. According to the Sheffield Daily Telegraph, "both in attack and defence the middle line was streets below Third Division standard, and although Archer and Roberts (the old Shrewsbury Town player) tried hard to get the attack going, they received very little support", as Walsall lost 6–0.[6] Roberts played twice more in Third Division matches before moving to Ireland.[1]

Bohemians

Roberts joined Bohemians during the 1922–23 campaign,[2] and finished as the League of Ireland's top scorer in 1923–24 season. His 20 goals in 17 appearances helped Bohs win their first ever League title, which included a run of 15 successive league wins. Other members of the team included Bertie Kerr, Johnny McIlroy, Billy Otto, Christy Robinson, Jack McCarthy and Johnny Murray. In all competitions during the 1923-24 season, Roberts scored 25 goals in 27 games.[7][8][9]

In 1925, Roberts was sentenced to a month's imprisonment for desertion of his family, failing to pay a maintenance order and leaving his two children chargeable to the Poor Law Guardians.[10]

Fordsons

Roberts played for Fordsons during the 1925–26 and 1926–27 seasons, scoring 20 goals in League competition,[2] and helped them win the 1925–26 Free State Cup. In the final Roberts scored the opening goal, a header from a free kick, as Fordsons beat Shamrock Rovers 3–2.[11]

League of Ireland XI

Roberts played three times for the League of Ireland XI.[1] While a Bohemians player, he scored twice in a 3–3 draw with a Welsh League XI on 9 February 1924 at Dalymount Park. In March 1925 he also played in a 2–1 defeat against the same opponents. His teammates while playing in these games included fellow Bohs players Bertie Kerr, Johnny McIlroy, Christy Robinson and Johnny Murray as well as Frank Collins and John Joe Flood.[11]

Honours

Bohemians

Fordsons

Individual

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Joyce, Michael (2004). Football League Players' Records 1888 to 1939. Nottingham: SoccerData. p. 222. ISBN 978-1-899468-67-6. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Ryan, Seán; Burke, Stephen (1987) (PDF). The Book of Irish Goalscorers. Irish Soccer Co-op. pp. 180-186. http://www.historical-lineups.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/1959-60-to-1968-69.pdf. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 "New players for Walsall F.C.". Birmingham Gazette: p. 7. 28 June 1922. "Roberts, an inside or outside-left forward, who has played for two seasons with Shrewsbury, has been engaged by Walsall F.C." 
  4. "Football". Sheffield Daily Telegraph: p. 8. 15 September 1922. 
  5. "No title". Athletic News (Manchester): p. 3. 3 September 1922. "Walsall have a useful understudy for Reid, their Irish centre-forward, in Roberts, formerly of Shrewsbury Town, who scored five goals in a Walsall Senior Cup-tie last week." 
  6. "Chesterfield's record win". Sheffield Daily Telegraph: p. 9. 18 September 1922. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 Canny, Julian; DeLoughry, Sean (29 November 2018). "Ireland – List of Topscorers". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation (RSSSF). http://www.rsssf.com/tablesi/iertops.html. Retrieved 24 February 2019. 
  8. Template:Cite magazine
  9. 9.0 9.1 Burke, Stephen (4 July 2008). "Tracking the record runs". Bohemian F.C.. Archived from the original on 1 August 2008. https://web.archive.org/web/20080801224542/http://www.bohemians.ie/index.php/history/runrec.htm. 
  10. "Footballer sentenced. Desertion of his family by former Walsall player". Birmingham Gazette: p. 9. 29 October 1925. 
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Cullen, Donal (2007). Freestaters – The Republic of Ireland Soccer Team 1921–1939. Desert Island. ISBN 978-1-905328-36-9.