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Player Database - Herbert Lyons

Herbert Lyons

Playing 1896 -1899 seasons

Final game for Gresley Rovers first team
v Barwell Swifts (h) 7th January 1899

He moved from Gresley Rovers to Leicester Fosse (now City) in January 1899.

Herbert Ernest Saxon Bertie Cordey was born in Masbrough, Yorkshire on 18th May 1875 and died in Tredegar, Monmouthshire in 1927.

Career: Gresley Rovers; Sept 1895 Overseal Town; May 1896 Gresley Rovers; Jan 1899 FOSSE; June 1900 Nelson; June 1901 Watford; May 1902 Reading; cs 1903 West Ham United; May 1904 Brighton & Hove Albion; May 1905 Swindon Town; May 1906 Carlisle United; May 1907 Swindon Town; June 1908 Blackpool; cs 1909 Walsall; cs 1910 Tredegar.

Fosse debut v Luton Town (A) 14th January 1899 (scored once) Primarily an inside-forward, Bertie makes the Leicester record books as the only outfield player actually selected in advance by the club to play a full first-class game as goalkeeper – and he kept a clean sheet against Bolton Wanderers in March 1900.

After only three reserve outings between the sticks, before resuming his attacking duties. Otherwise he’s renowned for his mouthful of Christian names (actually self-adopted, including the affected corruption of ‘coeur-de-lion’), and for his habit, post-Leicester Fosse, of switching clubs (and often competitions) on an annual basis.

Fosse actually picked up £35 from Blackpool for his League registration eight years after he’d left the club (in a joint transfer with Alf Ball), and after he’d experienced a year in the Lancashire League (while additionally working as a live-in waiter at Nelson’s Station Hotel), five seasons of moderate scoring with five Southern League clubs, a Lancashire Combination Division Two title campaign with Carlisle, and a second bite at Swindon.

Even after leaving Bloomfield Road, though, Bertie hadn’t quite finished his travels; packing into his footballing itinerary a Birmingham League term with Walsall, and a championship season in the South Wales League. Bertie, who’d originally cost Fosse a £30 fee and the promise of a friendly with Gresley, really did have fun with his identity.

The births index shows him as simple Herbert Lyons; growing up in Ashby-de-la Zouch, he appeared on the 1881 census as Herbert H Lyons. In 1891 in Albert Village he was Herbert Lyon and ten years later he’d trimmed two years off his age and the middle initial (but had gone back to using the final ‘s’).

In 1911, it was once more plain Herbert Lyon, signing as such as an allegedly 34-year-old brickyard labourer in Tredegar. While his death there was registered as Herbert H Lyon. Watford historian Trefor Jones notes that Bertie’s father did actually have ‘Saxon’ as a middle name while two other respected sources make Bertie’s second forename to be Henry rather than Ernest.

LFFC Apps: FL 15; FAC 1. Goals: FL 5; FAC 2.

Notes by Paul Taylor

First Name Herbert
Last Name Lyons
Birthdate 18th May 1875
Signed 1896
Position Inside Forward
Left January 1899

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League Position
  Team P GD Pts
12 Belper Town 34 -23 42
13 Loughborough Dynamo 35 -20 37
14 Spalding United 31 -10 36
15 Carlton Town 27 4 33
16 Peterborough Sports 33 -16 32
17 Kidsgrove Athletic 30 -14 31
18 Newcastle Town 33 -19 31
19 Gresley 29 -18 30
20 Market Drayton Town 32 -35 29
21 Romulus 34 -35 28
22 Sheffield FC 31 -20 27

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