Harold Riley (footballer)

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Harold Riley
Personal information
Full name Harold Riley
Date of birth (1909-11-22)22 November 1909
Place of birth Hollinwood, Oldham, England
Date of death 8 April 1982(1982-04-08) (aged 72)
Place of death Lincoln, England
Playing position Inside forward
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1927–1928 Altrincham
1928–1929 Hurst
1929 Birmingham 1 (0)
1929–1930 Ashton National
1930–1931 Accrington Stanley 32 (18)
1931–1933 Lincoln City 57 (25)
1933–1934 Notts County 16 (3)
1934–1936 Cardiff City 61 (13)
1936–1938 Northampton Town 22 (4)
1938–1945 Exeter City 28 (11)
1945–1947 Ruston Bucyrus
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Harold Riley (22 November 1909 – 8 April 1982), sometimes known as Harry Riley, was an English professional footballer who scored 74 goals from 217 appearances in the Football League playing for Birmingham, Accrington Stanley, Lincoln City, Notts County, Cardiff City, Northampton Town and Exeter City.[1]


Riley was born in the Hollinwood area of Oldham, Lancashire. He began his football career in the Cheshire County League, first with Altrincham and then with Hurst, for whom he scored both on his debut and on his last appearance, with a total of 11 goals from 22 games in all competitions. After an unsuccessful trial with Manchester United,[2] he played one Football League First Division game for Birmingham, on the last day of the 1928–29 season in a 1–0 win away at Leeds United.[3] Riley returned to the Cheshire League with Ashton National before spending the 1930–31 season with Accrington Stanley of the Third Division North, where he was their joint leading scorer with 18 from 32 games.[4]

Together with Accrington teammate George Whyte,[5] Riley, described as "small and clever",[6] then joined Lincoln City where he played a key role in their 1931–32 Third Division North title.[7] After one season in the Second Division with Lincoln, bringing his contribution up to 27 goals from 59 games in all competitions,[7] he continued his tour with another year in the second tier with Notts County, before finishing off his professional career in the Third Division South. Two years at Cardiff City were followed by another two at Northampton Town and a final spell with Exeter City, where his second season was interrupted by the Second World War.[1][6] After the war he returned to the Lincoln area where he played for Ruston-Bucyrus' works team, Ruston Bucyrus.[6] In the 1960s he was manager of Lincoln City's reserve team.[8]

Riley also played cricket as a right-handed batsman for Lincolnshire in the 1949 Minor Counties Championship.[9]

Riley died in Lincoln in 1982 at the age of 72.[7]


  1. ^ a b Joyce, Michael (2004). Football League Players' Records 1888 to 1939. Nottingham: SoccerData. p. 221. ISBN 978-1-899468-67-6. 
  2. ^ "Q/R". Ashton United (Hurst FC) Player Database. www.ashtonutd.com. Archived from the original on 21 October 2012. 
  3. ^ Matthews, Tony (1995). Birmingham City: A Complete Record. Derby: Breedon Books. p. 171. ISBN 978-1-85983-010-9. 
  4. ^ "League Record". Accrington Stanley History. Greger Lindberg. Archived from the original on 5 June 2011. 
  5. ^ "League Legends #67 - George Whyte". Lincoln City F.C. 28 June 2007. Archived from the original on 23 February 2012. 
  6. ^ a b c Matthews, p. 119.
  7. ^ a b c "Harold Riley". Lincoln City FC Archive. Lincoln City F.C. Retrieved 6 May 2009. 
  8. ^ "Like Father, Like Son!". Lincoln City F.C. 5 November 2007. Archived from the original on 3 December 2008. 
  9. ^ "Harold Riley". CricketArchive. Retrieved 6 May 2009.