Len Andrews

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Len Andrews
Personal information
Full name Leonard Thomas Alford Andrews
Date of birth (1888-12-09)9 December 1888
Place of birth Reading, Berkshire, England
Date of death 21 January 1969(1969-01-21) (aged 80)
Place of death Southampton, England
Playing position Inside forward
Youth career
University of Reading
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1909–1912 Reading
1912–1915 Southampton 105 (32)
1919–1921 Reading[1] 33 (5)
1921–1924 Southampton 59 (3)
1924–1925 Watford 38 (6)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Leonard Thomas Alford "Len" Andrews (9 December 1888 – 21 January 1969) was an English professional footballer who played as an inside forward. During his career he had two spells with both Southampton and Reading, as well as playing for Watford.

Playing career[edit]

Andrews was born in Reading and attended the University of Reading where he trained as a teacher. He joined Reading F.C. in October 1909 and was relegated from the Southern League First Division at the end his first season. However they were promoted as champions Second Division in 1911.

In the summer of 1912 he moved to the south coast to join Southampton, who had just appointed a new trainer in Jimmy McIntyre. Due to the lack of funds following George Swift's spending spree in the previous season, McIntyre was only able to sign three new players; the only successful recruit was Andrews, whose signing from Reading was "one of the best moves of McIntyre's managerial career",[2] as Andrews went on to become the "Saints" most consistent forward in the three seasons leading up to the First World War, as well as being an expert penalty taker.

He started off well scoring eight goals in the first 17 games, before the goals dried up after Christmas 1912 and he finished the season with nine goals, one behind leading scorer Percy Prince. He was more consistent the following season, where he was now playing alongside Arthur Dominy; he scored twelve goals and missed only one league game. In the final pre-war season he contributed eleven goals of which eight were from penalties.

Described by Holley & Chalk in "The Alphabet of the Saints" as a "clever and able forward who could play in all the front positions"[3] he was a noted penalty taker converting all but two of the 22 penalty kicks he took, gaining a reputation as "a man who could hit the ball harder, and more accurately, with his left foot than any other player in the game".

During the First World War, Andrews joined the 5th Battalion Wiltshire Regiment, where he served in the Middle East rising to the rank of Regimental Sergeant Major.

After the war, he signed for his first club Reading in July 1919. During the 1919–20 season he was part of the last Southern League representative XI, playing in a fixture against Corinthians.[4] At the end of the 1919–20 season Reading, along with most of the Southern League clubs, formed the Third Division of the Football League. Andrews spent the first season of the new division with Reading before returning to Southampton in August 1921. During his second spell at Reading, Andrews formed a "exciting partnership" with Jimmy Carr on the left-wing, which was to be briefly re-created at Southampton a few years later.[5]

In his first season back at The Dell he helped the Saints to the Third Division South title. By now the goals were few and far between and, although his enthusiasm carried him through another two seasons, he was no longer a first choice player, losing out firstly to Joe Clark for much of the 1922–23 season and then to Henry Johnson the following season. On 17 February 1923 he was drafted in as goalkeeper for a match at Port Vale when Tommy Allen was taken ill; he acquitted himself well as the game finished goalless.

He played his final match for Southampton at Blackpool on 24 November 1923. During his two spells with Southampton he played 180 games in all competitions, scoring 40 goals of which exactly half were from penalties.

In August 1924 he joined Watford on a free transfer. He made 38 league appearances for the club, as well as a further two in the FA Cup, playing as either an inside forward or left winger.[4] He finished the 1924–25 season joint top scorer alongside Fred Pagnam with six league and one FA Cup goals.[6] However, we was released by Watford at the end of the season.[4]

After retiring from the game in 1925, he returned to Southampton where he took up a career as an insurance salesman. He became an outstanding bowls player and won honours at county level. He died in January 1969, shortly after his 80th birthday.

Honours[edit]

Reading
Southampton

References[edit]

  1. ^ Football League only
  2. ^ Gary Chalk & Duncan Holley (1987). Saints – A complete record. Breedon Books. p. 52. ISBN 0-907969-22-4. 
  3. ^ Holley, Duncan; Chalk, Gary (1992). The Alphabet of the Saints. ACL & Polar Publishing. p. 13. ISBN 0-9514862-3-3. 
  4. ^ a b c Jones, Trefor (1996). The Watford Football Club Illustrated Who's Who. Surrey: T.G Jones. p. 24. ISBN 0-9527458-0-1. 
  5. ^ The Alphabet of the Saints. pp. 61–62. 
  6. ^ Phillips, Oliver (1992). History of Watford FC 1881–1991. Great Britain: Watford Football Club. p. 293. ISBN 0-9509601-6-0.