William Lewis (football)

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William Lewis
William Lewis.jpg
Lewis while with Brentford in 1902.
Personal information
Date of birth September 1860
Place of birth Brentford, England
Date of death 6 May 1916 (aged 55)
Place of death Brentford, England
Teams managed
Years Team
1900–1903 Brentford
1903–1904 Brentford (caretaker)
1906–1907 Chelsea (caretaker)

William Lewis (September 1860 – 6 May 1916) was an English football referee, director, secretary and manager, active in the early 20th century. He managed Brentford and Chelsea, the latter in the Football League.

Managerial career[edit]


Lewis was named secretary-manager of Southern League Division Two side Brentford in 1900, leading them to the title and promotion to the Southern League Division One in the 1900–01 season.[1] The Bees finished second-from-bottom in their first season in Division One, but held onto their status in the league after a relegation playoff with Grays United was called off before going into extra time.[2] Brentford finished bottom of Division One in 1902–03, but once again held onto their place in the league with a 7–2 relegation playoff victory over West London rivals Fulham.[3] He stepped down from the role in May 1903 and was replaced by Richard Molyneux.[3] Lewis covered the manager's position for Molyneux for part of the 1903–04 season, after Molyneux was suspended from football for attempting to buy a goalkeeper out of the army.[4] Lewis remained at Brentford as secretary until 1905.[5] He later returned to the club in an administrative capacity.[6]


Lewis became the first club secretary of Chelsea when it was founded in 1905, with his contacts helping the club gain election to Football League the same year.[7][8] With the resignation of player-manager John Robertson on 27 November 1906,[9] Lewis became caretaker manager of the club, while retaining his secretarial duties.[7][8] Lewis led the side to its first promotion in the 1906–07 season, finishing as Second Division runners-up to Nottingham Forest.[10] He left the job in June 1907 and was succeeded by David Calderhead.[11][9]

Personal life[edit]

Lewis was a schoolteacher by profession.[6] He died in May 1916 after a long battle with cancer.[12]


As a manager[edit]




  1. ^ a b White 1989, p. 75-76.
  2. ^ White 1989, p. 78.
  3. ^ a b White 1989, p. 80.
  4. ^ White 1989, p. 81-82.
  5. ^ White 1989, p. 83-85.
  6. ^ a b Haynes, Graham (1998). A-Z Of Bees: Brentford Encyclopaedia. Yore Publications. p. 113. ISBN 1 874427 57 7. 
  7. ^ a b Cheshire, Scott (1998). Chelsea: An Illustrated History. Breedon Books. ISBN 1-85983-143-5. 
  8. ^ a b Glanvill, Rick (2006). Chelsea: The Official Biography. Headline. ISBN 0-7553-1466-2. 
  9. ^ a b "History of Chelsea Football Club". Soccermaniak.com. Retrieved 2014-07-27. 
  10. ^ a b "William Lewis". www.chelseafc.com. Retrieved 2016-08-19. 
  11. ^ "William Lewis | Chelsea Manager | Stamford-Bridge.com The History of Chelsea FC". Stamford-bridge.com. Retrieved 2014-07-27. 
  12. ^ White, Eric, ed. (1989). 100 Years Of Brentford. Brentford FC. p. 107. ISBN 0951526200.