Tommy Sale

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Tommy Sale
Tommy sale.JPG
Personal information
Full name Thomas Sale[1]
Date of birth (1910-04-30)30 April 1910[1]
Place of birth Stoke-on-Trent, England[1]
Date of death 10 November 1990(1990-11-10) (aged 80)[1]
Place of death Stafford, England[1]
Playing position Forward
Youth career
1929–1930 Stoke City
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1930–1936 Stoke City 161 (75)
1936–1938 Blackburn Rovers 65 (25)
1938–1946 Stoke City 42 (23)
1947 Northwich Victoria
1948 Hednesford Town
Total 268 (123)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Thomas "Tommy" Sale (30 April 1910 – 10 November 1990) was an English footballer who played as a forward. Born in Stoke-on-Trent, Sale had two spells at his home town club, Stoke City, amassing 483 appearances, either side of a two-year stint at Blackburn Rovers. Later in his career, he had brief spells at Northwich Victoria and Hednesford Town, before opting to retire at the age of 39.[1]

Early life[edit]

As a fourteen-year-old, Tommy Sale worked in a Pottery factory. In conjunction with his work, he played football for Stoke St Peter's (a youth side that were linked with Stoke City). His performances attracted the attention of Tom Mather, Stoke City's manager. In August 1929, at the age of 19, he signed with Stoke City on amateur terms.[2]

Playing career[edit]

Stoke City[edit]

In May 1930, Sale signed a professional contract with Stoke City.[1] On Christmas Day, of the same year, Sale made his senior début in a match against Bradford City. By the 1932–33 season, Sale had established himself as a prominent member of the team, helping Stoke win the Second Division with 11 goals in 21 appearances.[3] In the following two seasons, Sale was the club's top scorer. He scored 17 times in the 1933–34 season, in which Stoke finished 12th in the First Division.[4] In the subsequent season, 1934–35, Sale scored 21 goals, helping Stoke to a 10th-place finish in the First Division.[2][5]

Blackburn Rovers[edit]

Bob McGrory, Tom Mather's successor as Stoke manager, sold Tommy Sale to Blackburn Rovers in March 1936, for the sum of £6,000. This surprised supporters at the time, however McGory had confidence in Freddie Steele, who he had earmarked as a potential replacement for Sale. Sale spent two years at Blackburn before departing. Blackburn were relegated from the First Division in his first season at the club, 1935–36, finishing bottom of the table.[6] He left the club halfway through the subsequent season, 1936–37, in which Blackburn finished 12th in the Second Division.[2][7]

Second spell at Stoke City[edit]

Bob McGrory, Stoke's manager, re-signed Sale for Stoke in March 1938, initially as cover for Freddie Steele, who was injured at the time. Following his return, Sale scored five goals in three games, as he set about regaining his place in the team. He re-established his place in the side, as he scored 18 further goals in the remainder of the 1938–39 season. The 1939–40 season was suspended due to the outbreak of World War II, however Sale continued his goalscoring exploits with 56 goals (in all competitions) in 1941–42 and then 64 goals over the course of two seasons: 1943–44 and 1944–45. In the latter of these two seasons, Sale netted six times in an 8–0 win over Walsall. Despite most of his goals coming from open play, Sale was a penalty specialist; it is reported Sale only missed one penalty in his entire professional career. Sale's last appearance for Stoke came on 8 April 1946, at the age of 35, in a War League game against Sheffield United at Stoke's home ground, the Victoria Ground. Following his departure from Stoke, Sale had two spells at Northwich Victoria and Hednesford Town before announcing his retirement in 1949, at the age of 39.[2]

Career statistics[edit]

  • Sourced from Tommy Sale profile at the English National Football Archive (subscription required)
Club Season League FA Cup Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Stoke City 1930–31 Second Division 17 2 3 2 20 4
1931–32 Second Division 24 9 5 0 29 9
1932–33 Second Division 21 11 0 0 21 11
1933–34 First Division 32 15 4 2 36 17
1934–35 First Division 35 24 1 0 36 24
1935–36 First Division 32 14 5 1 37 15
Total 161 75 18 5 179 80
Blackburn Rovers 1935–36 First Division 8 4 0 0 8 4
1936–37 Second Division 37 14 2 0 39 14
1937–38 Second Division 20 7 1 1 21 8
Total 65 25 3 1 68 26
Stoke City 1937–38 First Division 8 5 0 0 8 5
1938–39 First Division 34 18 0 0 34 18
1945–46 1 0 1 0
Total 42 23 1 0 43 23
Stoke City Total 203 98 19 5 222 103
Career Total 268 123 22 6 290 129

Honours[edit]

Stoke City

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Matthews, Tony (1994). The Encyclopaedia of Stoke City. Lion Press. ISBN 0-9524151-0-0. 
  2. ^ a b c d Matthews, Tony (1997). A-Z of Stoke City. The Breedon Books Publishing Company Limited. p. 199. ISBN 1-85983-100-1. 
  3. ^ "England 1932-33". rsssf.com. Retrieved 2007-08-08. 
  4. ^ "England 1933-34". rsssf.com. Retrieved 2007-08-08. 
  5. ^ "England 1934-35". rsssf.com. Retrieved 2007-08-08. 
  6. ^ "England 1935-36". rsssf.com. Retrieved 2007-08-08. 
  7. ^ "England 1936-37". rsssf.com. Retrieved 2007-08-08.