Tommy Cheetham

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Tommy Cheetham
Personal information
Full name Thomas Miles Cheetham[1]
Date of birth 11 October 1910
Place of birth Byker, England
Date of death 23 December 1993(1993-12-23) (aged 83)[1]
Place of death Mansfield, England[1]
Playing position Centre forward
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
Royal Artillery
1935–1939 Queens Park Rangers 115 (81)
1939–19?? Brentford 19 (8)
1941–1948 Lincoln City 47 (29)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Thomas Miles "Tommy" Cheetham (11 October 1910 – 23 December 1993)[1] was an English professional footballer. He scored 118 goals from 181 appearances in the Football League playing as a forward for Queens Park Rangers, Brentford and Lincoln City.[2]

Football career[edit]

Cheetham was born in Byker, Newcastle upon Tyne.[3] A late entrant to the professional game, he played local football before joining the Army and played for his regiment while serving in the Royal Artillery.[2] In August 1935, aged nearly 25, he signed for London club Queens Park Rangers, then playing in the Football League Third Division South.[4] He made his debut on 4 September 1935 in a 1–1 draw away to Brighton & Hove Albion. Although he did not score in that first game, his next two games brought six goals, a six-game spell running up to Christmas produced 11 and from the 35 games he played in his first League season as a professional footballer, Cheetham scored 36 times.[4] He set a new club record by scoring in 9 consecutive games at QPR's home ground, Loftus Road.[5]

His performances earned him an invitation to play for the Possibles against the Probables in March 1936 in a trial match for selection for the England national team.[6] The quality of the Probables' defence, with Alf Young outstanding, meant Cheetham had little chance to shine – The Times' correspondent reported that "Cheetham did not receive a pass for nearly half an hour", but "considering the brilliance of Young, the play of Cheetham could hardly be considered unsatisfactory".[7] Though his next two seasons were less productive,[8][9] in 1938–39 he scored 22 league goals from the 26 games before he left the club on 7 February 1939 to join First Division club Brentford for a fee of £5,000.[10][11]

Brentford brought in Cheetham and inside forward Les Boulter to help their fight against relegation,[6] though The Times suggested that their weakness lay less in attack than in defence.[12] Cheetham made his debut in the top division in a 4–2 home defeat to Aston Villa,[13] but he went on to score twice as Brentford beat fellow relegation strugglers Chelsea 3–1 and created both goals in a 2–0 defeat of Leicester City in early April,[14] by which time his club had achieved a mid-table position.[15] He finished the 1938–39 season with eight goals.[6]

The outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939 put a stop to the Football League for the duration and caused a major interruption to Cheetham's career.[6] During the war, he joined Lincoln City.[3] He played for them in wartime competitions, then in the 1946–47 Football League season, the first full season after the war, Cheetham resumed his prolific goalscoring; 30 goals from 41 games in League and FA Cup made him the club's leading scorer. He played only infrequently in 1947–48. His last game came on 6 April 1948 against Rochdale and he retired from professional football at the age of 37.[3]

Personal life[edit]

Cheetham was a member of the Territorial Army during the Second World War and was injured at Dunkirk.[6] After his retirement as a player he worked for a Croydon-based building contractors firm in the mid-1950s and lived in North London.[citation needed] Cheetham died in 1993, aged 83.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Barry Hugman's Footballers - Tommy Cheetham". Retrieved 2015-12-10. 
  2. ^ a b Joyce, Michael (2012). Football League Players' Records 1888 to 1939. Nottingham: Tony Brown. p. 57. ISBN 190589161X. 
  3. ^ a b c "Tommy Cheetham". The Lincoln City FC Archive. Lincoln City F.C. Retrieved 15 April 2010.  Access individual season statistics via Season Stats dropdown menu.
  4. ^ a b Westerberg, Kenneth. "Queen's Park Rangers 1935–36" (Excel spreadsheet). QPRnet. Ron Norris. Retrieved 15 April 2010. 
  5. ^ "A Potted History of QPR (1882–2010)". Queens Park Rangers F.C. Retrieved 15 April 2010. 
  6. ^ a b c d e Haynes, Graham; Coumbe, Frank (2006). Timeless Bees: Brentford F.C. Who's Who 1920-2006. Harefield: Yore Publications. p. 36. ISBN 978-0955294914. 
  7. ^ "Association Football. International Trial Match". The Times. 26 March 1936. p. 6. 
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ Westerberg, Kenneth. "Queen's Park Rangers 1938–39" (Excel spreadsheet). QPRnet. Ron Norris. Retrieved 15 April 2010. 
  12. ^ "The F.A. Cup. To-Day's Fifth Round Ties". The Times. 11 February 1939. p. 5. 
  13. ^ "Association Football. Brentford Lose At Home". The Times. 9 February 1939. p. 6. 
  14. ^ "Brentford's Good Win. Chelsea Outplayed". The Times. 27 February 1939. p. 5. 
  15. ^ "League Notes. Low-Scoring and Drawn Matches". The Times. 3 April 1939. p. 5.