Charlie Dove

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Charles Dove (born 1879) was an English footballer.

He was regarded as a super-fit footballer, who in 1895 stood at nearly 6 feet and weighed 12 stone, considered large at the time for a sixteen-year-old from a working-class area of Essex. His main position was defender.[1]

He played for many local teams and was a schoolboy player of some repute, winning two medals as a right back with Park School. Upon leaving school he joined Forest Swift Juniors as a centre forward, before moving on to captain Plaistow Melville. Dove continued to make his name at Upton Park F.C. and with South West Ham, being regarded as an exceptional talent.[1]

Dove was an employee of Thames Ironworks and Shipbuilding Co. Ltd, working as an apprentice to the riveters and jumped at the chance to play for the newly formed Thames Ironworks in 1895. The half a crown (12½p) membership would have been a third of his weekly wage.[1]

On 31 December 1898 Dove completed the distinction of playing in every position for the club when he deputised for goalkeeper Tommy Moore in an away game against Maidenhead. He even kept a clean sheet and the Thames Ironworks won 4-0.[1]

Dove was an important part of the Thames team that won successive London League and Southern League Division Two titles, and had a connection with the club adopting claret and blue as their colours. Charlie had got the kits for the club at a very cheap price of £3.10s. They had come from his father William Dove, who was a professional sprinter of national repute, as well as being one of the coaches at Thames Ironworks. During the summer of 1899, Bill Dove had been at a fair in Birmingham, close to Villa Park, the home ground of Aston Villa. The scrawny looking Dove had been challenged to a race against four Villa players, who wagered money that one of them would win. Bill Dove defeated them, and when they were unable to pay the bet one of the Villa players, who was responsible for washing the team's kit, offered a complete side's 'uniforms' to Dove in payment of the bet. The Aston Villa player subsequently reported to his club that the kit was 'missing'.[1]

Dove would continue to be a major player for Thames Ironworks, and its later incarnation of West Ham United until his controversial transfer in 1901 to arch-rivals Millwall F.C.. In 1902 Dove suffered an injury which ended his playing career.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Blows,Kirk. The Essential History of West Ham United. ISBN 0-7472-7036-8. 

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