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Eddie Kilshaw makes good


January 20, 1939
£6,000 transfer fee offered for Prescot player
During their long career Prescot Cables have provided many football “stars” to League clubs but few have established such fame as 19-year-old Edmund Kilshaw. To-day he is regarded as the greatest winger in Second Division football, having won the reputation of a clever, keen and fearless player.

Sunderland have offered £6,000 for his services, but Bury will not entertain the offer. Preston North End and Manchester United are among the other clubs desirous of his services, but it is not expected that Bury will part until the end of the season.

I have been acquainted with Eddie since we attended Prescot Grammar School, and always found him a very modest and serious person. He is a perfect gentleman both on and off the football field. A bright future was predicted for him at an early age, not only because of his football skill, but also for his brilliant brains. He won a scholarship to Prescot Grammar School. His greatest ambition was not to become a footballer, but to win his B.Sc. degree.

He was studying when Bury signed him in October, 1937, and now attends Bury Technical Institute. He is sitting for his intermediate examination this summer.

On leaving school he commenced his career with Imperial Chemical Industries, and hopes to return to his former employers when his football days end. That is the reason Eddie spends his evenings studying as he does not want to be without a trade when his football playing days are over.

Edmund’s football days began when he was chosen for his school football team. I remember the day when Grammar School were playing a match with an Old Boys’ eleven. Eddie was playing at centre forward. After the match I asked the Old Boys’ pivot how he had enjoyed the game. “Not very well,” he replied gloomily. “That young Kilshaw ran rings around me until I was dizzy.” He was a man in his twenties, Eddie was about fourteen years old.

When he obtained his job at I.C.I., he played for his employers’ football team, but later signed for the newly formed side, B.I. Social Juniors. He was considered too good for the juniors, and was promoted to the B.I. Social Senior eleven in Liverpool County Combination. Next, he signed amateur forms for Liverpool F.C. However, he had caught the eyes of Prescot Cables’ officials while playing for their neighbouring club, and the former secretary Mr. R. Rogers, was soon seeking his signature.

One week an unusual incident occurred when Eddie was selected to play for no fewer than three teams, Prescot Cables, Liverpool, and Prescot B.I. Social. Apparently Cables won the day, as on the same Saturday, Kilshaw played his first game with his home town senior football team. He gave many great exhibitions and attracted League scouts to Hope-street each week. Prescot wisely signed him on professional forms, and immediately they drew with South Liverpool in the FA Cup on October 2, 1937, the negotiations with Bury were completed.

At the time the committee were finding it difficult to carry the club on as the Cable works had withdrawn their support and the weekly receipts were inadequate. Thus, this transfer was a blessing to the club, but many supporters were disappointed at the departure of this skilful player.

A month later Eddie was given his big chance when he was included in the side to meet Aston Villa. I had the pleasure of watching this great match, and was delighted to see the Prescot boy give a convincing display. He quickly won admiration from the Bury crowd, and I am informed that when Bury do part with him their followers will be as disappointed as the Prescotians were. I also saw him play against Tranmere Rovers this season and that day his popularity was shown when many Prescotians made the journey to Birkenhead to see him, including several members of his former team Prescot Cables.

Eddie’s sister is training in domestic science at Manchester University. His father, Mr. E.A. Kilshaw, is an enthusiastic supporter of the Cables, and attends the matches each week. At half-time one usually hears him inquire, “How is Bury getting on?”
(Source: Prescot Cables: January 20, 1939)

3 replies »

  1. Quite prescient of Eddie Kilshaw to continue his studies, as his football career was sadly cut short by a serious injury, I think to his knee, before he was able to realise his full potential, I seem to remember…

  2. I had the absolute pleasure to be taught Physics by Eddie Kilshaw at the then Seel Road Secondary Modern school (1960-65). He was a true inspiration to me and it was from him that I discovered the joy of learning.

    I owe him much and he still lives in my memory, and my understanding of physics and mathematics. A true Gentleman.

    David Sapsford Ph.D
    Sir Edward Gonner Professor of Applied Economics (Emeritus)
    University of Liverpool

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