Robert Firth (footballer)

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Robert Firth
Personal information
Full name Robert Edwin Firth[1]
Date of birth (1887-02-20)20 February 1887[1]
Place of birth Sheldon, Birmingham, England[1]
Date of death 1966 (aged 78–79)[2]
Playing position Outside right
Youth career
Birmingham Corporation Transport
Golders Green
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1909–1911 Birmingham 25 (2)
1911 Wellington Town
1911–1921 Nottingham Forest 141 (14)
1921–1922 Port Vale 39 (5)
1922–1923 Southend United 37 (1)
Total 242 (22)
Teams managed
1930–1932 Racing de Santander
1932–1934 Real Madrid
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Robert Edwin Firth (20 February 1887 – 1966) was an English footballer who played for Birmingham, Wellington Town, Nottingham Forest, Port Vale, and Southend United. He scored 22 goals from 242 appearances in the Football League.[2] He later coached Spanish La Liga teams Racing de Santander and Real Madrid, leading Santander to a second-place finish in 1930–31 and Madrid to two Campeonato Regional Centro titles and to a first-place finish in La Liga in 1932–33 and a second-place finish in 1933–34.

Playing career[edit]

Firth played for Birmingham Corporation Transport and Golders Green before joining Birmingham. He played nine Second Division and FA Cup games in the 1909–10 season. He scored his first goal in the Football League on 10 December 1910, in a 1–0 win over Lincoln City at Sincil Bank, and went on to score two goals in 18 appearances in the 1910–11 campaign. After leaving St Andrew's he played for Wellington Town and Nottingham Forest, before joining Port Vale in June 1921 after serving in the Royal Field Artillery during the First World War.[1][3] He claimed his first goal for the club on 29 August, in a 3–0 win over Clapton Orient at The Old Recreation Ground.[1] He went on to score five goals in 39 Second Division games in the 1921–22 season, and was a member of the side which shared the North Staffordshire Infirmary Cup in 1922.[1] However he was released at the end of the season and moved on to Southend United.[1]

Coaching career[edit]

He coached Racing de Santander from 1930 to 1932. He led Santander to second in La Liga in 1930–31, behind champions Athletic Bilbao on goal difference. They went on to finish the 1931–32 season in fourth place. Firth then swapped the Estadio El Sardinero for Real Madrid.[4] He spent two seasons in charge at Estadio Chamartín, leading Madrid to the league title in 1932–33, before leaving them after a second-place finish in 1933–34.[4] He also led the club to two successive Campeonato Regional Centro victories.[5] He also took Madrid to the 1933 final of the Copa del Presidente de la República, which ended in a 2–1 defeat to Athletic Bilbao at the Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys.[6]

Statistics[edit]

Source:[7]

Club Season Division League FA Cup Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Birmingham 1909–80 Second Division 8 0 1 0 9 0
1910–11 Second Division 17 2 1 0 18 2
Total 25 2 2 0 27 2
Nottingham Forest 1911–12 Second Division 31 4 1 0 32 4
1912–13 Second Division 25 1 1 0 26 1
1913–14 Second Division 37 6 2 0 39 6
1919–20 Second Division 30 2 1 0 31 2
1920–21 Second Division 18 1 0 0 18 1
Total 141 14 5 0 146 14
Port Vale 1921–22 Second Division 39 5 1 0 40 5
Southend United 1922–23 Third Division South 37 1 4 1 41 2
Career Total 242 22 12 1 254 23

Honours[edit]

with Port Vale
  • North Staffordshire Infirmary Cup winner: 1922 (shared)
with Racing de Santander
with Real Madrid

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Kent, Jeff (1996). Port Vale Personalities. Witan Books. p. 101. ISBN 0-9529152-0-0.
  2. ^ a b Joyce, Michael (2012). Football League Players' Records 1888 to 1939. Nottingham: Tony Brown. p. 98. ISBN 190589161X.
  3. ^ "Robert Edwin Firth | Service Record | Football and the First World War". Football and the First World War. Retrieved 2016-02-19.
  4. ^ a b Mubarak, Hassanin; Torre, Raúl (5 February 2015). "Real Madrid – Coaches 1920–2015". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation (RSSSF). Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  5. ^ "Entrenadores del Real Madrid C.F." leyendablanca.galeon.com (in Spanish). Retrieved 19 January 2013.
  6. ^ a b "Copa del Rey / Spanish Cup 1933". www.linguasport.com. Retrieved 20 November 2016.
  7. ^ Robert Firth at the English National Football Archive (subscription required)