Gavin Crawford (footballer)

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Gavin Crawford
Gavin Crawford.jpg
Contemporary portrait of Gavin Crawford
Personal information
Full name Gavin Crawford
Date of birth (1869-01-24)24 January 1869[1]
Place of birth Galston nr Kilmarnock, Scotland
Date of death 2 March 1955(1955-03-02) (aged 86)[1]
Place of death Plumstead, London, England
Height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)[1]
Playing position Midfielder
Youth career
Ash Lea
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1887–1890 Fairfield Rangers
1890–1891 Sheffield United 5 (4)
1891–1898 Woolwich Arsenal 122 (14)
1898–1899 Millwall
1899–1900 Queens Park Rangers 24 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Gavin Crawford (24 January 1869 – 2 March 1955) was a Scottish footballer who played as a right-winger or midfielder. Born in Galston near Kilmarnock he is primarily known for his time at Woolwich Arsenal but also had spells at Sheffield United, Millwall and Queens Park Rangers.

Playing career[edit]

Crawford started playing for local junior sides, where he won the Scottish Junior Cup before joining Sheffield United (then of the Midland Counties League) in 1890 from Glasgow side Fairfield Rangers. He only stayed at Bramall Lane for just over half a season, playing in eight competitive fixtures.[1]

After leaving the Blades, Crawford moved to London to join Woolwich Arsenal, becoming the first professional player for the side.[2] He immediately became a regular, and remained so as the club joined the Football League in 1893; Crawford scored on his League debut, in a Second Division match against Walsall Town Swifts on 11 September 1893.[3]

Crawford started out at Arsenal as a right-winger, but later on in his career moved into midfield as a right-half. He remained a near ever-present in Arsenal's first four seasons, becoming club captain after the death of Joe Powell in 1896. However, injury wrecked his 1897–98 season, and he lost his place in the side. In all, he played 138 times for Woolwich Arsenal in league and cup, scoring 18 goals, and an additional 83 games in Arsenal's pre-league days.[3]

Crawford was one of the longest-surviving members of Arsenal's first professional side, along with Bill Julian and Jack McBean. The three were reunited at an Arsenal game against Chelsea on 20 March 1948 (by which time Arsenal were one of the leading sides in English football), an event recorded in The Official Illustrated History of Arsenal.[4]

After losing his place at the Manor Ground Gavin moved on to Millwall in 1898 and later had a spell with Queens Park Rangers where he made up a quartet of ex-Arsenal players including Adam Haywood, Alex McConnell and William White. After retiring from football, he became a groundsman and eventually became head groundsman at Charlton Athletic, until 1947.[3]


  1. ^ a b c d Clarebrough, Denis; Kirkham, Andrew (2008). Sheffield United Who's Who. Hallamshire Press. p. 93. ISBN 978-1-874718-69-7. 
  2. ^ "ASSC Club History". Arsenal Scotland Supporters Club. Retrieved 2006-08-20. 
  3. ^ a b c Harris, Jeff (1995). Arsenal Who's Who. Independent Magazines (UK) Ltd. ISBN 1-899429-03-4. 
  4. ^ Tyler, Martin; Soar, Phil (2005). The Official Illustrated History of Arsenal. Official Arsenal. London: Hamlyn. p. 27. ISBN 0-600-61344-5.