Charlie Athersmith

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Charlie Athersmith
Charlie Athersmith pictured in Aston Villa colours in 1897
Personal information
Full name William Charles Athersmith
Date of birth (1872-05-10)10 May 1872
Place of birth Bloxwich, England
Date of death 18 September 1910(1910-09-18) (aged 38)
Place of death Shifnal, England
Playing position Outside right
Youth career
1887–1888 Bloxwich Wanderers
1888–1890 Bloxwich Strollers
1890–1891 Unity Gas
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1891–1901 Aston Villa 269 (75)
1901–1905 Small Heath 100 (12)
National team
1892–1900 England 12 (3)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

William Charles Athersmith (10 May 1872 – 18 September 1910) was an English professional footballer who played as a winger.

Athersmith was born William Charles Athersmith Harper in Bloxwich, Staffordshire to Isaac Harper and Mary Jane Wootton. Before becoming a professional footballer he was an office clerk in Birmingham where he married Elizabeth Baggott in 1893. He is a first cousin to Rotherham United F.C. and Liverpool player Vic Wright. He played the majority of his career at Aston Villa, making 307 appearances and scoring 85 goals.

Playing career[edit]

Aston Villa[edit]

While at Villa Athersmith played a key role in their title winning sides of 1894, 1896, 1897, 1899 and 1900 as well as reaching three F A cup finals, finishing on the losing side in 1892 before gaining winners medals in 1895 and Double-winning final of the 1896–97 season. Athersmith's time at Villa Park also saw him in the side who suffered a sensational F A cup exit against Millwall Athletic in 1900[1]

Many Villa fans from the era often recalled a famous incident during a league game in 1901 against Sheffield United which was played in driving freezing rain. Many of the players, including the legendary United goalkeeper Willie Foulke suffered mild frostbite in the bitter conditions. Finally, early in the second half Charlie had had enough and borrowed an umbrella from a member of the crowd. Minutes later United's Ernie Needham went one better and took a great coat from a spectator. Athersmith, complete with umbrella later scored.[2]

Small Heath[edit]

In 1901 he joined Small Heath, where he made 106 appearances and scored 13 goals.[3]

Athersmith represented England at outside right on 12 occasions and scored three goals, each of which came against Ireland.

He died in Shifnal, Shropshire at the age of 38.


  • Joyce, Michael (2004). Football League Players' Records 1888 to 1939. Nottingham: SoccerData (Tony Brown). ISBN 978-1-899468-67-6. 
  1. ^ Match report Aston Villa vs Millwall Athletic 1900[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ Athersmith and the umbrella
  3. ^ Matthews, Tony (1995). Birmingham City: A Complete Record. Derby: Breedon Books. pp. 148–151. ISBN 978-1-85983-010-9. 

External links[edit]