James Gentle

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James Gentle
Personal information
Full name James Cuthbert Gentle
Date of birth (1904-07-21)July 21, 1904
Place of birth Brookline, Massachusetts, United States
Date of death May 22, 1986(1986-05-22) (aged 81)
Place of death Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Playing position Inside Forward
Youth career
1923–1926 University of Pennsylvania
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1925–1926 Boston Wonder Workers 1 (0)
1926– Philadelphia Field Club
National team
1934 United States 1 (0)
Teams managed
1935–1940 Haverford College
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only
Olympic medal record
Representing  United States
FIFA World Cup
Bronze medal – third place 1930 Uruguay Soccer
Men's field hockey
Bronze medal – third place 1932 Los Angeles Team competition

James Cuthbert Gentle (July 21, 1904 – May 22, 1986) was an American soccer striker, field hockey player, soldier, and golfer. He is a member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame.


Born just outside Boston in Brookline, Massachusetts, Gentle grew up in his hometown, attended Brookline High School. In 1922, he entered the University of Pennsylvania where he played football as a freshman. He switched to soccer and track for his next three years at Penn, earning first team All American honors for soccer in 1924 and 1925.[1] Gentle graduated from the university's Wharton School with a bachelor's degree in economics in 1926. Active in student government, Gentle was his class president and a member of the Mask and Wig and Varsity Club.



During his time at Penn, Gentle played one game, as an amateur, with the professional Boston Wonder Workers of the American Soccer League. Following his graduation, Gentle signed with the Philadelphia Field Club. In 1930, Gentle was called into the U.S. national team for the 1930 World Cup. Besides his duties as a striker, Gentle also acted as an interpreter for the American team and officials as he was the only person fluent in Spanish.


In 1935, Haverford College hired Gentle to coach its men's soccer team. Over six seasons, Gentle took Haverford to a 39-26-3 record and two Mid-American Conference titles.[2]

In 1986, Gentle was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame.


Gentle joined the Army Reserves in 1931. When the U.S. entered World War II Gentle was assigned to the 36th Infantry regiment. His unit was deployed to the European Theater where it fought at Salerno, the mountains behind Monte Cassino. Another battle was fought at the Gari River in Italy. Finally he joined General Patton's forces as they moved across Europe and into the Rhineland. At the end of the war, Gentle, now a major, was named U.S. trade and industry officer for the American zone of Germany. He retired from the Army in 1956 in the rank of colonel.

Other sports[edit]

Gentle was a member of the US field hockey team which earned a bronze medal during Olympic Games of 1932 in Los Angeles.

Later in life, Gentle became interested in golf and became a member of the International Team of the American Senior Golf Association. He died in 1986 in Philadelphia.

Insurance industry[edit]

In 1931, in addition to joining Army Reserves, Gentle as began working at Mutual Life Insurance Company. In addition to his military duties and athletic interests, Gentle continued to work full-time in the insurance industry


External links[edit]