Harry Brophy

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Henry Frederick Brophy
Personal information
Full name Henry Frederick Brophy
Date of birth (1916-10-22)22 October 1916
Place of birth Leicester, England
Date of death 6 November 1996(1996-11-06) (aged 80)
Place of death Bedford, England
Height 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Playing position Half-back
Youth career
1933–1936 Arsenal
1934–1935 Canterbury Waverley (loan)
1935–1936 Margate (loan)
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1936–1938 Arsenal 0 (0)
1938–1939 Southampton 37 (5)
1949–1952 Corinthian Club
Teams managed
1954–1955 Australia
1957–1959 Mauritius
1962 Sydney Prague
1963 Sydney Croatia
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Henry Frederick Brophy (22 October 1916 – 6 November 1996) was an English professional footballer who played for Southampton in the years immediately before World War II. After the war, he emigrated to Australia where he coached and captained the national football team, including acting as team manager for two games in 1954 and 1955.

Early career[edit]

He was born in Leicester, but moved to North London as a child. He captained Islington schoolboys to the English Schools Shield in 1931 (aged 14) and his maturity was soon spotted by Arsenal who signed him up as a trainee in 1933. He never appeared for Arsenal's first team and was sent out on loan, firstly to Canterbury Waverley of the Kent League and then to Margate (Arsenal's nursery team) for the 1935–36 season. He signed professional papers for Arsenal in May 1936, and was then sent out on loan again, this time to Brighton & Hove Albion. He broke a leg when playing in a reserve match for Brighton against Reading (in a tackle with Fred Briggs whom he was later to partner in Southampton's forward line). He returned to Highbury but failed to break into the first team.[1]


Whilst with the "Gunners" his potential had been spotted by Tom Parker and in May 1938, now the Saints manager, Parker signed him for Southampton. Although Brophy was normally a half back, he was drafted in as centre forward for the first three games of the 1938–39 season in the absence of Reg Tomlinson. Brophy scored in each of the first three games of the season before injury sidelined him for two games. Unfortunately, all three games ended as defeats, setting the tone for the rest of the season. He came back into the side, this time at left half and scored again. After that flurry of goals, he only scored once more.[1] During his only full season at The Dell he also played at right half, centre half and full back. In all he made 37 league appearances, scoring five goals as the season ended with "the Saints" in 18th place in the table.

The outbreak of war then brought Brophy's playing career to a premature end. He initially joined the police before joining the Merchant Navy and served on the hospital ship "St Andrew" during the Dunkirk evacuation in 1940. During the war he guested for several clubs including Huddersfield Town, Fulham and Crystal Palace and Clapton Orient.[1]

Coaching in Australia[edit]

In 1949 he emigrated to Queensland and joined Corinthian Club in Brisbane. He graduated to coaching for Australia and took charge of the team in 1954[2] and 1955.[3] After a time coaching the Mauritius national football team, in 1960 he returned to England to obtain his coaching badges at Lilleshall Hall. He then returned to Australia in 1961 to coach firstly at Hakoah Sports in Melbourne, before moving on to Hellenic F.C. in Brisbane and Sydney Prague where he became manager in 1962.

In 1989 he returned once again to England where he settled in Bedford.


  1. ^ a b c Duncan Holley & Gary Chalk (1992). The Alphabet of the Saints. ACL & Polar Publishing. pp. 47–48. ISBN 0-9514862-3-3. 
  2. ^ "Socceroo Internationals for 1954". www.ozfootball.net. Retrieved 8 December 2007. 
  3. ^ "Socceroo Internationals for 1955". www.ozfootball.net. Retrieved 8 December 2007.