Wilf Sharp

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Wilf Sharp was a Scottish professional footballer who played for Clydebank, Airdrieonians, Sheffield Wednesday and Bradford Park Avenue. Sharp was a right half whose career lasted from 1925 to 1936, he only made 65 appearances in the English League but in that time he won a FA Cup winners medal while with Sheffield Wednesday in 1935.

Playing career[edit]

Early days[edit]

Sharp was born in Bathgate, West Lothian on 8 April 1907. He played football for Bathgate F.C., Pumpherston and Kirkintilloch Rob Roy[1] before signing as a professional for Clydebank in 1925, aged 18. He stayed at Clydeholm for four years before signing in 1929 for Airdrieonians. Sharp stayed with Airdrieonians for five years although he did have a short spell as a professional at Tunbridge Wells Rangers F.C. in 1932. In August 1934 he was spotted by Sheffield Wednesday manager Billy Walker and signed for The Owls for a fee of £750 on 11 August.

Sheffield Wednesday[edit]

Walker signed Sharp as a possible replacement for Wednesday’s legendary half back Alf Strange who at 34 years old was in the twilight of his career. Even without Strange in the team there was strong competition for the half back positions with Horace Burrows and Gavin Malloch keeping Sharp out of the team for the early months of the 1934-35 season. However an injury to Malloch on 1 December 1934 in a home draw with Sunderland led to Sharp making his Wednesday debut the following Saturday in a 1-0 victory at Leicester. Sharp showed good form and kept Malloch out of the side for the rest of the season as Wednesday went on a fine run of results, eventually finishing third in Division One and winning the 1935 FA Cup Final. The following season saw Wednesday struggle to avoid relegation, Sharp played 24 matches and eventually asked for a transfer as his wife could not settle in Sheffield. In his two years at Wednesday, Sharp played 48 league games and 10 FA Cup games scoring two goals.[2][3]

Bradford Park Avenue[edit]

The hoped for switch back to Scottish football did not materialise and Sharp signed for Bradford Park Avenue in May 1936 playing 17 league games in his single season with them before moving to non league Burton Town in August 1937.[4][5]

Sharp retired from football before the outbreak of World War II, he died in June 1981, aged 74 in Sefton, Merseyside.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kirkintilloch Rob Roy F.C. Confirms he played for Kirkintilloch Rob Roy.
  2. ^ Since 1888. Gives career statistics.
  3. ^ SWFC Archive. Gives statistics of Sheffield Wednesday career.
  4. ^ "The Wednesday Boys", Jason Dickinson & John Brodie, ISBN 0-9547264-9-9 Page 264 Gives biographical information.
  5. ^ "The Men Who Made Sheffield Wednesday Football Club", Tony Matthews, ISBN 978-0-7524-4156-6 Gives details of Sheffield Wednesday career.