Tommy Cheetham

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Tommy Cheetham
Personal information
Full name Thomas Miles Cheetham
Date of birth 11 October 1910
Place of birth Byker, Newcastle upon Tyne, England
Date of death December 1993 (aged 83)
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.

† Appearances (goals)

Thomas Miles "Tommy" Cheetham (11 October 1910 – 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. 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 the summer of 1935, aged nearly 25, he signed for London club Queens Park Rangers (QPR), then playing in the Football League Third Division South. 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 eleven, and from the 35 games he played in his first League season as a professional footballer, Cheetham scored 36 times.[3] He set a new club record by scoring in nine consecutive games at QPR's home ground, Loftus Road.[4]

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. 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".[5] Though his next two seasons were less productive, in 1938–39 he scored 22 League goals from the 26 games before he left the club in February 1939 to join First Division club Brentford for a fee of £5,000.[6]

Brentford brought in Cheetham and inside forward Les Boulter to help their fight against relegation, though The Times suggested that their weakness lay less in attack than in defence.[7] Cheetham made his debut in the top division in a 4–2 home defeat to Aston Villa,[8] but he went on to score twice as Brentford beat fellow relegation strugglers Chelsea 3–1,[9] and created both goals in a 2–0 defeat of Leicester City in early April, by which time his club had achieved a mid-table position.[10]

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. During the war, he joined Lincoln City. 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.[1][11] After his retirement as a player he worked for a Croydon based building contractors firm in the mid 1950s and lived in North London.

Cheetham died in 1993 aged 83.[1]


  1. ^ 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.
  2. ^ a b Joyce, Michael (2004). Football League Players' Records 1888 to 1939. Nottingham: SoccerData (Tony Brown). p. 53. ISBN 978-1-899468-67-6. 
  3. ^ Westerberg, Kenneth. "Queen's Park Rangers 1935–36" (Excel spreadsheet). QPRnet. Ron Norris. Retrieved 15 April 2010. 
  4. ^ "A Potted History of QPR (1882–2010)". Queens Park Rangers F.C. Retrieved 15 April 2010. 
  5. ^ "Association Football. International Trial Match". The Times. 26 March 1936. p. 6. 
  6. ^ Westerberg, Kenneth. "Queen's Park Rangers 1938–39" (Excel spreadsheet). QPRnet. Ron Norris. Retrieved 15 April 2010. 
  7. ^ "The F.A. Cup. To-Day's Fifth Round Ties". The Times. 11 February 1939. p. 5. 
  8. ^ "Association Football. Brentford Lose At Home". The Times. 9 February 1939. p. 6. 
  9. ^ "Brentford's Good Win. Chelsea Outplayed". The Times. 27 February 1939. p. 5. 
  10. ^ "League Notes. Low-Scoring and Drawn Matches". The Times. 3 April 1939. p. 5. 
  11. ^ "Lincoln City : 1946/47–1986/87 & 1988/89–2008/09". UK A–Z Transfers. Neil Brown. Retrieved 16 April 2010.