Tewfik Abdullah

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Tawfik Abdullah
Personal information
Full name Tawfik Abdullah
Date of birth 23 June 1896
Place of birth Cairo, Egypt
Playing position Inside Forward
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
Zamalek 15 (1)
1920–1921 Derby County 11 (1)
1922 Cowdenbeath 62 (24)
1923 Bridgend Town 6 (1)
1924 Hartlepools United 11 (0)
1924–1926 Providence Clamdiggers 8 (0)
1927 Fall River Marksmen 1 (1)
1927 Hartford Americans
1928 New York Nationals
1928 Fall River Marksmen
Al Ahly
El Mokhtalt
Montreal Carsteel
National team
1940–1944 Egypt
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Tawfik Abdullah (Arabic: توفيق عبد الله) (born 23 June 1896 in Cairo, Egypt) was an Egyptian football player,[1] and the second Egyptian to play in the English Football League. During his time in England, he featured for Derby County, Hartlepools United, Bridgend Town, and Cowdenbeath. Later on, he played four seasons in the American Soccer League, two seasons with Al Ahly, and one season with his home team El Mokhtalat (Zamalek) before finishing his career with a Canadian league in the 1930s. Following his retirement from the sport, he became the manager of the Farouk Club (now known as Zamalek Club). Subsequently, he became the manager of the Egyptian National Football Team during the 1940s and more prominently at the 1952 Summer Olympic Games in Helsinki, Finland.

Early career[edit]

Abdullah was born in 1896, in Cairo, Egypt. He began his career with Zamalek in Cairo and represented Egypt at the 1920 Olympic Games,[2] after which he made a highly publicized move to Derby County in England. He was nicknamed the "Toothpick".

United Kingdom[edit]

Upon arrival in England, Abdullah became one of four Egyptians[3] who played British Professional Football before World War Il.[4] Ron Ferguson, in his book Helicopter Dreams,[5] tells the story of Abdullah's debut for Derby County[6] against Manchester City where he ran onto the pitch shouting "Where's my camel?"[7] On closer examination, it was found his actual words were "Where's Mick Hammill?"[8] Abdullah then moved to Scotland to play with Cowdenbeath, then to Wales to play for Bridgend Town F.C.[9] He returned to England for a brief time with Hartlepool United,[10] before moving on to play in the United States.[11]

United States and Canada[edit]

Abdullah signed on with the Providence Clamdiggers of the fledgling American Soccer League in 1924. He spent three seasons with Providence before transferring to powerhouse Fall River Marksmen during the 1926-1927 season. He then left Fall River to join the Hartford Americans for the 1927-1928 season. Hartford played only eleven games that season, folding following the 23 October 1927 game with the New Bedford Whalers. Abdullah then played eight games with the New York Nationals before finishing the year by returning to play for Fall River. After returning to his home country of Egypt for a stint there, he returned to the Montreal Carsteel of the Canadian National Soccer League where he spent the last days of his playing career.[9]


  1. ^ University of Leicester, Sir Norman Chester Centre for Football Research- fact sheet number 4 (Black Footballers, section 3.4)
  2. ^ www.rsssf.com
  3. ^ the other three were H. Hegazi, Fulham, 1910-11; Mohammed Latif, Glasgow Rangers 1935-36, M. Mansour, GK, Queens Park (Glasgow) 1938-39
  4. ^ Joyce, M "Football League Players' Records 1888–1939" Nottingham, Soccer Data Publications ISBN 1-899468-67-6 .
  5. ^ (2006) Aberdeen, Northern Books for Famedram ISBN 0-905489-53-5
  6. ^ "Abdullah's Career Details with "The Rams"". Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 30 October 2013.
  7. ^ Interview with Robert Philip, Daily Telegraph, 7 January 2007
  8. ^ Moore,C "United Irishmen" Edinburgh,Mainstream,1999 ISBN 1-84018-348-9
  9. ^ a b Jose, Colin (1998). American Soccer League, 1921-1931 (Hardback). The Scarecrow Press. (ISBN 0-8108-3429-4).
  10. ^ Hartlepool details
  11. ^ Mentioned in article about Giles Heron, ESPN BLack History Month