The death of Bill Foulke


May 1, 1916
Death has taken from the sports world a personality. William Foulke, otherwise “Baby” Foulke, filled the goal in both senses of the word. He was a man of enormous size and a goalkeeper of much merit. In his young days he was tall, but not of size round the girth. He grew enormously, however, and finally became a giant. He was associated with Sheffield United for practically the whole of his career, and if he was slow to get down to low shots he was specially active in grabbing hot shots from any height.

After his football career closed he took up various works in Sheffield, and at one time he made a sensation by “signing” for a Blackpool booth-monger, who saw the money there was to be gained out of playing Foulke in goal in a booth on the sands. The last time I saw Foulke was at the last Cup final “that ever was” – at Old Trafford’s ground a season ago. He followed United (Sheffield) with fervour, and assisted in their training – unofficially; and he showed his delight when they beat Chelsea handsomely.

Foulke, who played for England against Wales in 1897, was a Bakewell lad – a Derbyshire centre that has produced a number of good footballers, and his club was paid £19 by Sheffield United for his transfer. Foulke played cricket for Derbyshire for a time, but although he was a draw he was not a success.

He had enormous hands, and was able to pick up a man with one hand and the football with the other! Locally he will be remembered in connection with the Laurie Bell tusle. Foulke fell on Laurie, and nearly killed him.
(Source: Liverpool Echo: May 2, 1916)

Bill Foulke

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