Herby Arthur

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Herby Arthur
Personal information
Full name William John Herbert Arthur
Date of birth (1863-02-14)14 February 1863
Place of birth Blackburn, England
Date of death 27 November 1930(1930-11-27) (aged 67)
Playing position Goalkeeper
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1888–1890 Blackburn Rovers 19 (0)
1891–1892 Blackburn Rovers 21 (0)
Total 40 (0)
National team
1885–1887 England 7 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

William John Herbert Arthur, known as Herby Arthur (14 February 1863 – 27 November 1930) was an English football player who played for Blackburn Rovers, as well as the English national side.

Arthur was involved in an extraordinary incident during the First Division match against Burnley in December 1891, at Turf Moor.

The match was played in terrible conditions, with driving wind and rain. At half-time Burnley were leading 3-0. After the ten-minute interval, the Burnely players returned to the pitch, but there was no sign of the Rovers players, who seemed uninterested in continuing the game. Referee JC Clegg waited four minutes, and then started the second half, even though not all Rovers players were on the pitch. After two players were sent off early in the half, all of the Rovers players, except Arthur, left the field. The referee did not stop the game, thus making Arthur play against the eleven Burnley players.

Arthur quickly realised that all of the Burnley players were automatically offside, as there were never two Rovers players between them and the Rovers goal. He appealed to referee Clegg, who abandoned the game, realising the farcical situation that the game had become.[1]


  1. ^ Ward, Andrew, "Football's Strangest Matches: Extraordinary But True Stories from Over a Century of Football", Robson Publishing, 2005

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