Walter Spratt

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Walter Spratt
Walter Spratt, Brentford FC footballer, 1920.jpg
Spratt in 1920.
Personal information
Full name Walter Spratt[1]
Date of birth (1889-04-14)14 April 1889[2]
Place of birth Birmingham, England[2]
Date of death 22 January 1945(1945-01-22) (aged 52)[3]
Place of death Southwark, England[3]
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Playing position Full back
Youth career
Meadow Hall
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1910–1911 Rotherham Town
1911–1915 Brentford 106 (1)
1915–1920 Manchester United 13 (0)
Clapton Orient (guest)
1920–1921 Brentford 4 (0)
1921–1922 Sittingbourne
1922–? Elsecar Main
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Walter Spratt (14 April 1889 – 22 January 1945) was an English professional footballer who played as a full-back in The Football League for Manchester United and Brentford.[4] Born in Birmingham, he began his career with Rotherham Town and made guest appearances for Clapton Orient during the First World War. After leaving Brentford in 1921, he played for Sittingbourne for a year before finishing his career with Elsecar Main.


Early career[edit]

Spratt while with Brentford in 1911.

Born in Birmingham, Spratt began his career at Midland League side Rotherham Town in 1910,[4] joining from local side Meadow Hall.[1] A year later, he signed for Southern League Division One side Brentford, making more than 100 appearances for the club and remaining at Griffin Park until early 1915.[4]

Manchester United[edit]

In February 1915, Spratt joined Football League First Division side Manchester United. He initially joined on a month's trial after being released by Brentford (along with all their other professional players).[5] Despite this, Brentford demanded Manchester United pay a fee to sign Spratt; United initially refused, but an Inter-League Board inquiry later ruled that they pay a fee of £175.[5] He made his Football League debut on 6 February, playing at right-back in a 1–0 defeat to Sunderland.[6] He made a total of 12 appearances during the 1914–15 season.[7] Due to the ongoing First World War, he did not make another competitive appearance for the Red Devils again until the 1919–20 season. During the war, he played for Manchester United in the wartime leagues, as well as making guest appearances for Clapton Orient.[5] He was injured while playing for Clapton Orient and was not discharged from hospital until September 1919.[5] He made his comeback from injury in a Manchester United reserve team game in January 1920, before making final appearance for the club a month later in a 1–0 defeat at home to Arsenal on 28 February.[7]

Return to Brentford[edit]

Spratt returned to Brentford in June 1920 for the club's first season in the Third Division South.[4] He made just four appearances, his final game coming in a 2–0 defeat to West London rivals Queens Park Rangers on Christmas Day 1920.[8] Spratt departed Griffin Park at the end of the 1920–21 season, having made 123 appearances and scored one goal during his two spells with Brentford.[4]


At the end of the 1920–21 season, Spratt moved to non-league side Sittingbourne,[4] but moved back to Yorkshire in 1922 to finish his career with Elsecar Main.[5]

Personal life[edit]

In 1906, Spratt served in the Royal Navy aboard HMS Boscawen III.[2] After the outbreak of the First World War, he joined the Royal Naval Reserve in February 1915 and served on communications bases at Crystal Palace and on the Isle of Grain.[2] While working as a despatcher for Mosers,[2] Spratt was one of 35 people killed in a V-2 rocket attack on Southwark, London, on 22 January 1945.[3]

Career statistics[edit]

Club Season League FA Cup Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Brentford 1911–12[8] Southern League First Division 31 0 5 0 36 0
1912–13[8] 30 1 2 0 32 1
1913–14[8] Southern League Second Division 30 0 3 0 33 0
1914–15[8] 15 0 3 0 18 0
Total 106 1 13 0 119 1
Manchester United 1914–15[7] First Division 12 0 12 0
1919–20[7] 1 0 0 0 1 0
Total 13 0 0 0 13 0
Brentford 1920–21[8] Third Division 4 0 0 0 4 0
Brentford total 110 1 13 0 123 1
Career total 123 1 13 0 136 1


  1. ^ a b Joyce, Michael (2012). Football League Players' Records 1888 to 1939. Nottingham: Tony Brown. p. 274. ISBN 190589161X. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Bees Review: Brentford Official Matchday Programme vs Hull City 03/11/15. Milton Keynes: Regal Sports Press. 2015. p. 65. 
  3. ^ a b c Davies, Paul (7 November 2014). "For club and country – part two". Manchester United. Retrieved 12 January 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f Haynes, Graham; Coumbe, Frank (2006). Timeless Bees: Brentford F.C. Who's Who 1920–2006. Yore Publications. p. 153. ISBN 978-0955294914. 
  5. ^ a b c d e Dykes, Garth (1994). The United Alphabet: A Complete Who's Who of Manchester United F.C. Leicester: ACL & Polar Publishing (UK). p. 355. ISBN 0-9514862-6-8. 
  6. ^ "Walter Spratt". Retrieved 13 January 2015. 
  7. ^ a b c d "Walter Spratt – Manchester United Player Profile & Stats". Retrieved 14 June 2015. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f White, Eric, ed. (1989). 100 Years Of Brentford. Brentford FC. pp. 361–366. ISBN 0951526200.