The death of Harry Chambers


June 29, 1949
The late Harry Chambers
Harry Chambers, of happy memory, is dead. This greatest of all Liverpool players passed away at his home, Oakengeates, Shropshire, yesterday.

Present-day youthful football followers know him almost as well as they know Billy Liddell and Jack Balmer, for their parents and grand-parents never ceased talking about this wonderful inside forward, who was in his hey-day just after the first first World War.

“Smiler,” as he was known to the crowd, because there was always a grin on his face was not only a scorer of goals but made others play, through his astute generalship and amazing football sense.

Those who had the pleasure of seeing him will never forget him, and goalkeepers who had to face up to his shots did so with fear in their hearts, for Chambers, thanks to his “pigeon toes,” could apply swerve to his shots which was most disconcerting. But it was as part and parcel of the team that Harry was known best. He was one of that wonderful trinity – Chambers, Fred Hopkin and Tom Bromilow – which played such a big part in winning Liverpool two championships in succession.

He was beloved of the Liverpool crowd, and the way he plied “hoppy” with a pass had to be seen to be believed. With either head or foot he could “find” his partner to matter where he was, and off Hopkin would go to the corner flag to fling over one of those hanging centres which provided Chambers with so many of his goals.

On a visit to Wolverhampton last season, I ran across Chambers, and he did not look one whit different from when he sported the red jersey. He told me he had just finished playing with the works team, Oakengates F.C. with whom he operated at centre half, a position which fitted him superbly. But Harry could have played anywhere, for he was a footballer born to be great.

Prior to coming to Anfield Chambers had a fine career as a junior, being capped as a schoolboy. He went on to win eleven England caps. He was the last played signed by Tom Watson. That was in 1915. In the May of that year he joined up, but was invalided home from Salonika. He had a long spell in hospital and after his discharge went to Ireland in 1917 to play for Belfast Distillery in one or two games. He moved on to Glentoran, but finally landed back at Anfield.

By his pass goes another of the old championship side – undoubtedly the best Liverpool ever had. Two of his contemporaries were the late Dick Johnson, centre forward, and John McNab, the half-back.
(Source: Liverpool Echo: June 30, 1949)

XXX

Harry Chambers, famous Liverpool, West Bromwich Albion and England inside forward, has died at Oakengates. A schoolboy international at 11, he joined Liverpool in 1915 and played eight games for England.
(Source: Evening Telegraph: June 30, 1949)

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