Joe Cockroft

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Joe Cockroft
Personal information
Date of birth (1911-06-20)20 June 1911
Place of birth Barnsley, England
Date of death February 1994 (1994-03) (aged 82)
Place of death King's Lynn, England
Playing position Wing half
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
Wombwell ? (?)
1931–1932 Rotherham United 3 (1)
1932–1933 Gainsborough Trinity ? (?)
1933–1939 West Ham United 251 (3)
→ (wartime) ? (?)
Dartford (guest) ? (?)
Sheffield Wednesday (guest) ? (?)
1945–1948 Sheffield Wednesday 87 (2)
1948–1949 Sheffield United 12 (0)
1949–19?? Wisbech Town (player manager) ? (?)
Teams managed
1949–19?? Wisbech Town (player manager)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Joe Cockroft (20 June 1911 – February 1994) was an English footballer.

Cockroft played for Yorkshire Paper Mills, Barnsley Old Boys, Ardsley Athletic, Wombwell, Rotherham United and then Gainsborough Trinity before moving to West Ham United, then of Division Two, in 1933.[1][2]

Signed after a months trial from Gainsborough by Charlie Paynter, Cockroft made his West Ham debut on 14 April 1933, having made just four reserve appearances for the club. Drafted in after injuries to first-choice left-halves Albert Cadwell and Joe Musgrave, he made the position his own and rarely missed a game up to the outbreak of World War II. He was an ever-present in the team for the 1933–34, 1934–35, 1935–36 and 1936–37 seasons.[1][3][2]

Cockroft played as a left-half, but often switched positions with Len Goulden during matches to dumbfound oppositions.[1]

He played in the Football League War Cup winning side of 1940.[1][3][2]

During the war, he guested for Sheffield Wednesday as direction of labour laws compelled his employment at a steelworks in Sheffield. He went on to join the club after hostilities ended. Cockroft spent almost three years at Hillsborough after the war, making a total of 96 appearances in all competitions.[4] His debut came on 5 January 1946 in a goalless FA Cup 3rd round first leg game against Mansfield Town. He went on to play in all of the Owls FA Cup games in the 1945–46 season; the club were eventually knocked out by Stoke City in the 5th round following comprehensive wins over York City and Mansfield.[1][2]

He joined First Division side Sheffield United in 1949, but left a year later to take on a player-manager role at Wisbech Town.[5]

Outside of football, Cockroft had many other interests. He was a keen golfer, swimmer and motorist, and was also interested in anatomy.[6]


  1. ^ a b c d e Hogg, Tony (2005). Who's Who of West Ham United. Profile Sports Media. p. 49. ISBN 1-903135-50-8. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Player List: Joe Cockroft". Archived from the original on 10 August 2011. Retrieved 10 July 2008. 
  3. ^ a b "Joe Cockroft". Retrieved 2008-07-10. 
  4. ^ Jackson, Stuart. "Joe Cockroft". The Sheffield Wednesday Archive. Retrieved 2008-07-10. 
  5. ^ Brown, Neil. "Sheffield United". Post War Football League Player Database. Retrieved 2008-07-10. 
  6. ^ "Popular Footballers cigarette card". Carreras Limited – via theflysohigh.