John Willie Sutcliffe

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John Willie Sutcliffe
John Willie Sutcliffe.jpg
Sutcliffe in 1895 with England
Personal information
Full name John William Sutcliffe[1]
Date of birth (1868-04-14)14 April 1868
Place of birth Shibden, England
Date of death 7 July 1947(1947-07-07) (aged 79)
Place of death Bradford, England
Height 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Playing position Goalkeeper
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1889–1902 Bolton Wanderers 332 (0)
1902–1903 Millwall Athletic
1903–1905 Manchester United 21 (0)
1905–1912 Plymouth Argyle 214 (0)
1912–1913 Southend United
Total 567+ (0)
National team
Football League 5 (0)
1893–1903 England 5 (0)
Teams managed
1914–19?? Vitesse Arnhem
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
Playing information
Rugby union
Position Fullback, Centre
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1886–≥1886 Bradford
≤1889–≥1889 Heckmondwike
Total 0 0 0 0 0
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1889 England 1 1 0 0 3

John William Sutcliffe (14 April 1868 – 7 July 1947), commonly known as John Willie Sutcliffe and J.W. Sutcliffe, was an English football and rugby union player. He was the last person to represent England at full international level in both sports.

Life and career[edit]

Born in Shibden, he started his career in 1886 at Bradford Rugby Club playing at either full back or centre three quarter before moving to the club from Heckmondwike where he gained his only cap for England against the New Zealand Natives in 1889, scoring one try, and one conversion for five points.[2]

Heckmondwike were suspended from the RFU over allegations of professionalism and he switched codes to play football for Bolton Wanderers, finally playing in the first team as a goalkeeper. Here he gained his first of five England caps against Wales in a 6–0 win in 1893. 1894 saw him on the losing side in the FA Cup final.

1902 saw Sutcliffe at Southern League Millwall Athletic before moving on in 1903 to Manchester United where he played 28 games. He joined Plymouth Argyle in January 1905 and by the end of the season had become the club's first choice goalkeeper.[3] The Argyle handbook for the 1905–06 season describes Sutcliffe as "a marvel for his years."[3] In more than seven years with the club, he made 214 appearances in league competition and four in the FA Cup.[3] He left the club at the end of the 1911–12 campaign and became a player-coach at Southend United.[3]

Sutcliffe was appointed manager of Dutch club Vitesse Arnhem in 1914. He returned to England after the First World War to work for Bradford City as a coach.[3] Sutcliffe died on 7 July 1947 at the age of 79 in Bradford.


  1. ^ Joyce, Michael (2004). Football League Players' Records 1888 to 1939. Nottingham: SoccerData. p. 252. ISBN 1-899468-67-6. 
  2. ^ Williams, Graham; Lush, Peter; Farrar, David (2009). The British Rugby League Records Book. London League. p. 178. ISBN 978-1-903659-49-6. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "John Sutcliffe". Greens on Screen. Retrieved 20 June 2013. 

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Harry Stafford
Manchester United captain
Succeeded by
Jack Peddie