Fanny Walden

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Frederick Ingram "Fanny" Walden (1 March 1888 – 3 May 1949) was an English professional footballer who played outside right for Northampton Town, Tottenham Hotspur and at international level for England during the 1910s and 1920s. He also played cricket for Northamptonshire and was an English cricket umpire.

Football career[edit]

Walden was born in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire and after playing football for various clubs in his home town, he started his professional career in 1909 at Northampton Town, then playing in the Southern League.

On 13 April 1913, he was transferred to Tottenham Hotspur for a fee of £1,700. Being only 5 ft 2 in tall he was often described as a ‘diminutive winger’ and known for his ‘darting jinking runs down the right flank’.[1] His small stature also accounted for his nickname ‘Fanny’ which was in common use during his time to describe those of ‘dainty physique'.[2]

He continued to play for Tottenham after the enforced break caused by the First World War. He made his most important contribution for Spurs in the team which won the Second Division title in 1920 but the following year unfortunately missed the 1921 FA Cup Final due to injury. He went on to play in over 300 games for Spurs including 215 league games (scoring 21 goals) and 22 FA Cup matches (3 goals) before returning to play again for Northampton Town in July 1924.

Walden won his first of two England Caps on 4 April 1914 against Scotland. The second, on 13 March 1922, was against Wales. Unsurprisingly, he holds the record for being the smallest ever footballer to represent England at national level.[3]

Cricket career[edit]

Walden played Cricket at county level for Northamptonshire between 1910 and 1929. A right-handed batsman scoring over 7538 runs and slow right-hand bowler taking 119 wickets in 258 matches.

After retiring from playing he became a Test Match standard cricket umpire, standing in 212 First Class matches between 1930 and 1939 and 11 test matches from 1934 (England v Australia at Old Trafford) until 1939 (England vs West Indies at Lords).[4] He stood with Frank Chester at The Oval in 1938 during England's record Ashes victory of an innings and 579 runs.

Walden died in Northampton age 61, on 3 May 1949.


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