Continuing with players who came back to haunt Henry Norris: Charles Buchan; and Bradshaw and Liddell, all of whom had an impact in 1927

Last updated: May 2008




I think of Charlie Buchan as the only player who played for Henry Norris who might have cut it at the modern-day Arsenal.  His usual position was as inside-right though during his career he played the odd game as centre-forward and as inside-left.  In its obituary, the Times described him as mobile and technically adroit, but said that what set him apart was his tactical nous.  The Times believed that it was his ability to read and dictate the game, that was the reason he was capped so rarely by England (6 times only in a 17-year career); and having read match reports from the time, I’ve come to agree with that assessment.  Buchan also had the distinction of being one of the few players whose opinion could sway Herbert Chapman - a remarkable man!


Buchan’s father was a blacksmith who came down from Scotland (probably in the 1880s) and found work at the Royal Ordnance Factory in Woolwich: so Woolwich Arsenal FC was the Buchans’ local team.  There were three footballers in the family: Thomas, who played for Leyton, Blackpool and Bolton Wanderers; John who played for Bolton Wanderers and Charlton Athletic; and Charlie.  The family’s finances were sufficiently comfortable for Charlie to stay at school after the minimum leaving age; and for him to train to be a teacher at Woolwich Polytechnic where he began to get noticed playing football for the Polytechnic team.  He seems to have been approached by Woolwich Arsenal FC in 1909, and by January 1910 was in the reserve team, a good outfit that was second in the South Eastern League at the time.  He was injured playing in Luton Reserves 1 Woolwich Arsenal Reserves 1 on 8 January 1910 and doesn’t seem to have played for the club again.  In Buchan’s own memoir he said he put in a claim for expenses, which led to a row with club manager George Morrell, after which Buchan took himself off to play for local amateur team Northfleet FC and was lost to Arsenal for 15 years.


At the end of season 1909/10, several football clubs offered Buchan work as a professional player.  Bury FC offered £3 per week.  Then he was approached by Punch McEwen, scouting on behalf of Fulham FC.  This led to Buchan’s being interviewed by Henry Norris and William Hall.  According to Buchan’s memoir it was Henry Norris who offered him 30 shillings a week to turn professional with Fulham FC and continue his teacher training during his career as a player.  Buchan said he’d consider Fulham’s offer if they raised the pay to £2 per week.  Norris and Hall left the room to talk it over; but decided against offering Buchan the extra.  So he turned Fulham down - which I consider Norris’ first blunder over Buchan.  Even if Buchan hadn’t stayed long, Fulham FC would have got a goodly sum for selling him.  In May 1910, Buchan accepted a job offer from Southern League team Leyton FC, who said they would guarantee him a first-team place.  He gave up his teacher training.  After a bidding war, he was transferred to Sunderland FC on 10 March 1911 for £1250 (then a record fee) and the promise of the maximum wage; he stayed with them until July 1925.


Sunderland FC were one of the BIG clubs at that time.  During Buchan’s career with them they never came less than 12th in Football League Division One, and were usually in the top four.  They were champions in season 1912/13 (the season Woolwich Arsenal were relegated) and got to the FA Cup Final too but lost to Aston Villa (Buchan never won the FA Cup).  Buchan scored more than 20 goals in most seasons, and in 1922/23 he was Division One’s top scorer, with 30.  His greatest single match, however, was on Saturday 7 December 1912, part of the championship season: in Sunderland 7 Liverpool 0 Buchan scored the first, fourth and a perfect hat-trick fifth, sixth and seventh, a feat seen by only 10000 as it happened during a strike on the railways.


When World War 1 broke out Buchan wanted to volunteer at once.  His employers threatened him with legal action if he broke his contract of employment, so he stayed at Sunderland FC for season 1914/15 before joining the army as soon as the season ended.  At six feet tall he was drafted into A Company, third battalion Grenadier Guards; as this was stationed at the Wellington Barracks near Hyde Park, he was able to play for Chelsea FC in the London Combination during season 1915/16.  The Grenadier Guards went to Flanders in July 1916.   Buchan met Roose briefly there in August 1916 before being sent to the front.  He fought all the way through the Somme, Passchendaele, Cambrai and Arras, earning the Military Medal but managing to avoid being seriously injured.  He was awaiting a course which would promote him to officer status when the Armistice was agreed.


Season 1924/25 was a poor one for Sunderland FC by their own high standards.  On 3 September 1924 Buchan scored his 200th league goal, but this seems to have been a watershed because he then endured the worst run of his career, scoring only two goals between November and March.  The team was playing a lot of ‘long ball’ football that season, which didn’t suit his ‘ball at feet’ style of play at all.  Although he only missed one match during that time, Spurs 1 Sunderland 0 at the end of January 1925, match reports indicate he’d lost confidence in front of goal.  By February the football writer of the Sunderland Daily Echo reported hearing a lot of fans grumbling that Buchan was past it; he was inclined to agree with this assessment but felt that despite Buchan’s inevitable decline as he grew older, he was still vital to the team’s attack.  The club’s directors seem to have felt the same: by 18 April 1925 Buchan had been offered, and had accepted, a contract for season 1925/26.  In June, however, he had a visitor: Herbert Chapman, who’d come to persuade him to sign for Arsenal, where he was going to be manager.


Negotiations between Arsenal and Sunderland had been opened, by Henry Norris on Arsenal’s behalf, at the AGM of the Football League on 8 June 1925: actually before Chapman committed himself to taking the manager’s job.  Sunderland wanted £4000 for Buchan, however, and Norris didn’t want to pay it (for some of the reasons why, see my file 1927: The Fall of Henry Norris).   So he offered a deal which was unprecedented: £2000 down plus £100 per goal scored by Buchan in season 1925/26.  After Buchan’s poor season in 1924/25 Norris must have thought he was onto a winner there, but he reckoned without the revitalising effect of a new club and the support and trust of the country’s best manager.  In season 1925/26 Buchan scored 21 goals, so Arsenal had in the end to pay Sunderland £4100 though not all at once.  During season 1924/25 a joke would go round every time Buchan didn’t play in the first team that Norris had ordered him to be rested to stop the transfer fee going up any further!  However, that was not the second blunder Norris made with Buchan; the great blunder, which in the end led directly to his downfall at the hands of the FA, was the deal with which he persuaded the player to join his club.  Well, no, not the deal exactly, but how he went about paying for it.


When Chapman first broached the idea of a move to Arsenal, Buchan hadn’t been keen, for reasons he made plain.  Looking beyond his career as a footballer, he had gone into business as C M Buchan Practical Sports Outfitter, with premises at 24 Blandford Street near Sunderland railway station.  He had recently bought out his original business partner, so the shop’s management was now solely his responsibility.  He told Chapman plainly that without his personal presence in Sunderland, playing for the local club and supervising the shop on a weekly if not daily basis, the business would lose money.  According to Henry Norris’ 1929 account of the signing of Buchan, Chapman had been “most emphatic that Buchan should be secured at all costs”, and he arranged a meeting at which he, Norris, Hall and Buchan could argue round the difficulty.  The first suggestion - the account reads as if Norris was the man who made it - was that he and Hall should buy Buchan’s business.  But Buchan wouldn’t sell - it seems he regretted that later - and the horse-trading went to a second meeting, where Buchan suggested he be paid compensation for the likely loss of his business’s profits, which he estimated would be £250 per year.  Henry Norris agreed to pay Charlie Buchan the £250 for five years, in half-yearly instalments, and Buchan signed for Arsenal on 2 July 1925.  The transfer caught the footballing public completely by surprise and caused serious questions to be asked by shareholders at Sunderland FC’s AGM a few weeks later.  In north London, however, Arsenal fans and the local press were all absolutely thrilled and even in the national press the signing of Buchan was given more coverage than the capture of Chapman. 


Buchan admits in his memoir that he found his first months at Arsenal rather difficult.  Against Buchan’s better judgement, Chapman made him club captain.  Buchan was a natural leader, but being captain added to the difficulties he was having in adjusting to where Chapman wanted him to play.  In September and October 1925 Athletic News’ match reports identified his problem as being too isolated, having to spend too much time coming back to get the ball; it thought this was a waste of his talents.  The problem came to a head at St James’s Park on 3 October 1925.  The recent change in the offside law had resulted in a lot of high-scoring games.  In this particular game, after a quite phenomenal first-half, it was Newcastle United 6 Arsenal 0 (the final score was 7-0).  Buchan was marked right out of the game, and was so depressed he said to Chapman he wanted to leave Arsenal and go back north.  However, he led the discussions when the team got together as a matter of urgency (they had another match on the Monday) to analyse the defeat, and played a big part in getting Chapman to take on board two suggestions designed to prevent that kind of humiliation being doled out to them again.  It was Buchan who suggested the idea that a deep-lying centre-half could nullify the threat of the opposition’s centre-forward.  And the players also discussed the idea of a forward playing behind the centre-forward, getting the ball and passing it forward to him - the role Dennis Bergkamp played with Thierry Henry and just what Buchan had been lacking so far that season.  Buchan thought he ought to take on the new role; but Chapman wanted him to stay where he was, and suggested that Neil, currently playing in the reserves, would do the retired role well.  These two ideas (defence in depth, and Neil playing in the hole) were both tried out on the Monday, 5 October 1925.  West Ham 0 Arsenal 4 (Buchan scored two) convinced the players and Chapman they were worth pursuing, and that season in particular, the team didn’t look back.  After beating Sunderland 2-0 on 28 November 1925, Arsenal went top of Division One; they couldn’t sustain that position right to the end of the season, but they ended second, the best finish by any team at a club when Norris was in charge; and they reached the FA Cup quarter-finals (where they were the shock of the round, being knocked out by Swansea Town).  Season 1926/27 wasn’t quite so good, league-wise: Arsenal finished 11th.  But they made it to Norris’ only FA Cup Final (and lost it).  Henry Norris essentially took no part in the running of Arsenal FC from July 1927 but Buchan played on in season 1927/28, with Arsenal finishing 10th and getting to the FA Cup semi-finals. 


In his memoirs Charles Buchan reported that - as he had feared - his sports shop business in Sunderland declined once he had left the city.  However, living in London brought other sources of income, especially for a player better-educated than most.  As soon as he arrived in London he was offered, and took, a weekly column for a newspaper’s Sunday sports pages.  Then in 1926 he signed a contract with the Daily News (later the News Chronicle) to write a series of articles on the technical aspects of the game, aimed at its youth readership.  In March 1928, the Daily News offered him a full-time job; and Buchan decided to accept it.  A dismayed Herbert Chapman tried his best to talk him out of it, prophesying that the club would have to spend £10000 to replace him (which was true) but Buchan retired in May 1928.  He worked at the Daily News/News Chronicle until 1956 before leaving to set up his own sports publishing company.  The date of his retirement is quite important: he was still registered as a professional player, and still employed by Arsenal, in July-September 1927 when Arsenal’s finances were investigated by the FA.  But he was no longer a professional and Arsenal employee, when Henry Norris’ libel action against the FA reached court, in February 1929.


Norris’ dealings with and about Buchan came back to haunt him in two ways.  The first was in the reaction of the Football League’s hierarchy to the transfer deal Norris got Sunderland to agree to.  At its AGM in June 1926, Charles Sutcliffe put forward a motion which banned “players being transferred at fees regulated by the number of goals scored”.  Sutcliffe didn’t mention any names, either of players or clubs; nor, in season 1925/26, had Buchan seemed to be particularly weighed down by the burden of goals scored or not scored.  But those present at that AGM agreed that any unusual transfer deals should be referred to the FL management committee which (Sutcliffe said) would probably refuse to sanction them; and no deal like that of Arsenal with Sunderland for Charles Buchan was done again.


It was Norris’ agreement to pay Buchan £250 a season that did for him, though.  I do feel that if you are going to avoid getting caught paying a player more than the Football League allows, you need to abide by some basic rules: hide the payments, make them look like something else; do the job tidily, don’t leave clues; and have as few people in the know as possible.  To make illegal payments to Charles Buchan, Norris broke both the last two rules and boy! Did he get caught. 


In fact, to make illegal payments to Charles Buchan, Norris broke with his own rule, used in the deals with Roose, Voysey and White, to pay the player with money that wasn’t Arsenal’s.  The case of White (where he’d loaned a player his own money and then not been able to recover it) had influenced him.  He had clearly decided that he was not going to put himself in a position again where he would lose so much of his own money.  Payments of £125 were made to Charles Buchan on 11 December 1925, on 7 May 1926 and on 18 January 1927.  The first two came from Arsenal’s money, the third was paid out of Norris’ own money though I suppose he was intending to retrieve it from Arsenal later.  Making illegal payments from Arsenal’s money meant that they had to be disguised in case someone from the FA or FL noticed.  Creative accounting could have taken care of that - no doubt it did take care of it at other football clubs - but as Norris had always used his own money before, he and his staff were relative newcomers to the art.  Even this might not have mattered had Norris and employees at Arsenal not broken another of my rules: they were quite INCREDIBLY careless about handling the money that he used to pay Buchan.  Paper trails and holes in Arsenal’s accounts were left by them that were all too easy to spot.  You might almost have thought that they had an unconscious wish to be found out.  And they were found out - including by people outside Arsenal, who Norris said bore him grudges. 


Having decided to make payments from Arsenal’s money to Charles Buchan that would break the FL rules, Henry Norris went about it in an ad hoc way that was a good idea in principle: the money wasn’t taken from Arsenal in the same way on each occasion.  For the payment due to Buchan at the end of season 1925/26 Norris decided to use Queensborough Motor Company, a business that never did any trading but which he had set up in order to buy spare parts and petrol at trade rates for his car, which he used when travelling on Arsenal’s business.  Accordingly, in the Arsenal office a cheque for £125 was made out to Queensborough Motor Company at the beginning of May 1926, taken and cashed by Norris and the money paid to Buchan on 7 May.  However, when the FA Commission of Inquiry was looking into Arsenal’s finances in July/August 1927, the administrative details they found drew attention to the cheque rather than deflecting it: clumsy recording of dates in Arsenal’s records made it look as though Norris had cashed the cheque before the board of directors had authorised the expenditure; and the FA couldn’t find the invoice Norris said he had given Harry John Peters to requisition the money, in which (Norris told them) the £125 was described as motoring expenses.  So - of course - the FA started to investigate the cheque more thoroughly, interviewing Chapman and the office staff at some length about it.  And they didn’t like what they found. In 1929, even Norris’ lawyers admitted that the circumstances surrounding the cheque to Queensborough Motor Company made it look like Norris had taken money from Arsenal for himself; and that’s what the FA Commission’s report implied in August 1927 - which put Norris in a jam, because he could scarcely tell the FA that, no, actually the money was used to pay a player in excess of the maximum wage.  In fact, he didn’t tell them while Charles Buchan was still playing for Arsenal (though they seem to have guessed); he only told them in 1929, when Buchan had retired.  By then he was arguing that the £250 per year wasn’t wages, it was compensation for loss of earnings: an interesting piece of hair-splitting!


Certainly, the devil is in the detail if you’re going to break the rules successfully.  It helps, too, if you don’t let the evidence fall into hostile hands - even by accident.  Which leads us to:




On 30 March 1927 the Daily Mail reported that a writ was being issued for libel and slander, by solicitor J J Edwards acting for Henry Norris.  The writ was against four men: John Dean chairman of Fulham FC; Joe Bradshaw manager of Fulham FC; Edward Liddell, assistant manager of Fulham FC; and James McDermott (I think the correct spelling is MacDermott) a motor engineer with an address in Upper Street Islington.  In this file I won’t go into the full story of what happened with the £170 cheque for the sale of the Arsenal reserve team bus; if you want to try to follow the very confused details, see my ‘diary’ files for 1926 and 1927 [ROGER I NEED LINKS TO SL26 AND SL27 HERE PLEASE].  Here I’ll just give as brief a summary as I can of how it helped Charles Buchan, Joe Bradshaw and Ned Liddell to come back and haunt Norris: 


MacDermott bought the reserve team bus in July 1926 and paid for it with a cheque made payable to Arsenal FC for £170.  In the Arsenal office Henry Norris took charge of the cheque himself, intending to cash it into his own bank account and to pay Buchan the next £125 instalment of his £250 a year with some of the money.  Norris wrote out a promissory note which Harry John Peters was to present at Arsenal’s bank so they could get the money from Norris’ account in due course.


But again, Norris and his office staff made blunders; this time his were of monumental size.  Firstly, Peters didn’t present the promissory note to Arsenal’s bankers until spring 1927; and the £170 still hadn’t come in from Norris’ account by May 1927 so there was a £170-sized hole in Arsenal’s finances which was spotted by two Football League investigators.


Secondly - and this blunder defies belief - Norris didn’t cash the cheque and pay Charles Buchan, he gave it to Edith Norris to pay into her bank account.  To do this, Norris scribbled an authorisation on the cheque, and signed it in the name of Herbert Chapman - that is to say, he forged Herbert Chapman’s signature.  Even Norris couldn’t explain afterwards why he wrote Chapman’s name rather than his own.  Edith Norris paid the endorsed cheque into her bank account and it duly made its way through the banking system, back to MacDermott to be put into his business records. 


According to the only accounts I have of what happened - Henry Norris’ accounts, from 1927  and 1929 and they differ in some of the details - the £170 cheque was seen in MacDermott’s office by Edward Liddell, who recognised Henry Norris’ writing.  I suppose - though of course Norris’ account doesn’t say so - that Liddell saw what purported to be Chapman’s signature actually in Norris’ hand-writing.  Liddell went away and told his boss, Joe Bradshaw, who told his boss John Dean, the Fulham FC chairman.   Then either Bradshaw alone, or him and Dean together, went to see MacDermott and persuaded MacDermott to let them borrow the £170 cheque.  They showed it to Herbert Chapman (by this time it’s late January 1927).  Chapman had the cheque photographed and showed the photograph to William Hall.  Hall went to interview Bradshaw about it.  After speaking to Bradshaw Hall thought the situation desperate enough to see Norris as a matter of urgency, to urge him to resign from Arsenal before the football authorities got to hear about the cheque and wanted to investigate it.  Norris refused to do so.  Thereby hangs another story but that’s in my file on William Hall.



What is the connection between Joe Bradshaw, Ned Liddell and Henry Norris?  Why might they have acted as they did?




Ned Liddell joined Arsenal FC on 1 September 1914.  He played at centre-half.  Born in 1878, he’d been signed by Sunderland FC in 1904 after being noticed playing in a local league, but he’d been moved on to Southampton without playing a first-team game.  He’d moved on several times in the next couple of years before being signed by Clapton Orient of Football League Division Two.  He stayed with them from 1907 to 1912 and played 193 first-team games.  Then, I suppose, he moved to Southend United because that was where Arsenal signed him from.


According to Ollier, Liddell spent most of season 1914/15 in Arsenal’s reserves, finally getting a first-team game as late as 2 April 1915.  Immediately after the end of the season, professional football was suspended for the duration of the war, and all the players at Arsenal, and the manager George Morrell, were sacked because the club had no money to pay them.  Liddell played for Arsenal under the wartime rules - no wages, just expenses - in the London Combination from September 1915 to May 1919.  He was still at the club, now aged over 40, in August 1919 when professional football was about to resume, but he wasn’t named in Islington Daily Gazette’s list of the first-team squad and doesn’t seem to have played in it at all that season.  His final appearance of any sort for Arsenal was for the reserves, on 1 May 1920 though he didn’t leave Arsenal until 19 November 1920 when he took the job of manager at Southend United, ending his playing career.


Histories of Fulham FC say that Liddell joined the club in 1922 as a scout.  He had a brief spell as Fulham’s manager from May 1929 to April 1931.  He endured an “uneasy” relationship with chairman Dean, who appointed a new manager over his head during season 1930/31, demoting him back to the scouting role he’d first been employed at.  A few months later Liddell left the club and I don’t know what happened to him after that.




Joe Bradshaw, born in 1880, was one of the football-playing sons of Harry Bradshaw, manager of Woolwich Arsenal and - from 1904 to 1909 - manager of Fulham FC when firstly Henry Norris and then William Hall were chairman of the club.  Like Buchan did later, Joe Bradshaw first got noticed while playing for Woolwich Polytechnic.  His father signed him for Woolwich Arsenal FC in 1901, as an amatuer, but he didn’t ever play for the first team.  In March 1904 he was again signed by Harry Bradshaw, this time at Fulham FC.  He turned professional there during season 1908/09 but was never a first-team regular and moved on to Chelsea in 1909.  He then had brief spells at Queen’s Park Rangers and Southend United before beginning his management career at Southend in February 1911.  He stayed at Southend until being appointed manager of Swansea Town for the resumption of professional football in 1919; he moved from Swansea Town to Fulham FC in 1926, several years after Norris ceased to play any part in how the club was run - it was not Norris’ decision to appoint him.  The late 1920s were a grim period at Fulham FC; the club went through three chairmen in as many years before Dean took charge.  Joe Bradshaw survived the club’s relegation from Division Two at the end of season 1927/28, but was sacked in 1929 when they didn’t immediately get  promoted.


Liddell and Bradshaw had endured anything but distinguished careers, then, but their lack of footballing success had given them a lot of common ground.  They had also both spent time as players and as managers of Southend United - Joe Bradshaw as manager had been Liddell’s boss as a player at Southend United for a short spell in 1913-14.  Then Bradshaw had become Liddell’s boss as scout when Bradshaw became Fulham’s manager in 1926.  So in 1927 they had known each other for years.  And they had both spent spells playing for clubs at which Henry Norris was a major force in the board-room, not making the impact at those clubs that no doubt they would have liked. 


It’s possible that if Joe Bradshaw bore grudges against Henry Norris, they went back a generation, to his father.  Harry Bradshaw had first come to football’s attention as manager of Burnley FC from in the 1890s.  In 1899 he was lured away from Lancashire by the offer of the manager’s job at Woolwich Arsenal FC.  His five seasons there were ones of steady progress up Football League Division Two, until the team got promoted at the end of season 1903/04, at which point Bradshaw was poached from Woolwich Arsenal by Southern League Fulham FC, chairman Henry Norris.  At Fulham Harry Bradshaw was able at first to gain similar success: Fulham were Southern League Division One champions in season 1905/06 and again in season 1906/07, at the end of which the club resigned from the Southern League to join the Football League.  I hope I have made clear in my files on Henry Norris’ time in charge at Fulham FC that the club found life in the Football League tough going, and were accused in the press of not investing enough in players.  Season 1908/09 was particularly difficult.  At the end of it Bradshaw’s contract was up for renewal and according to the local papers at the time, he decided he didn’t want to renew it.  He left football club management altogether, taking the job as secretary of the Southern League which he held until his death in 1921.  At Fulham’s AGM a few weeks later, Norris was at pains to make clear to the shareholders that Bradshaw and Fulham had parted company by mutual agreement, but Bradshaw’s departure came as a great surprise, even to such a well-informed reporter as Merula, who wrote for the West London and Fulham Times and in the Fulham FC match-day programme.



In his 1929 account of what happened to him in 1927, Henry Norris has got a bad case of paranoia.  He accuses quite a few people in football of wishing him very ill; the question is, how far is he correct with regard to Joe Bradshaw and Ned Liddell?


My partner (and website manager) Roger and I discussed what we would do if - quite by chance - we discovered evidence of forgery, possibly also of embezzlement, on the part of someone with power and influence for whom we had worked in the past.  Roger decided that he would go the powerful and influential ex-employer and tackle him about it, on the grounds that there might be a perfectly reasonable explanation for what looked pretty criminal at first glance.  Knowing more about Henry Norris than Roger, I wasn’t keen on tackling the man himself about it; I thought I might go to the police and leave it to them to investigate if they thought fit.  Then Norris might never know anything about it, or he might not get to know it was me that found him out.  After thinking it over, Roger wondered why Liddell hadn’t approached the people in Arsenal’s office about it.  Neither of us would have done what Ned Liddell did and what Joe Bradshaw then did.  They went to their employer, who was a man who knew Norris of old.

John Dean’s connection with Henry Norris goes back at least as far as 1903 if not further. However he wasn’t ever a player so for much more on Dean, see my file 1927: the Fall of Henry Norris  [ROGER I’LL NEED A LINK HERE TO SLFALL27 WHEN IT’S WRITTEN].  Here I will just say that Dean was one of the group of men - a group centred on the Allen and Norris partnership - that bought out Fulham FC in 1903, turned it into a limited company and got it elected to the Southern League Division One.  He and Norris were both members of the company’s board of directors until Dean resigned at the AGM of 1910.  Even at the time, this date was thought significant: 1910 was the year that William Hall and Henry Norris - both directors of Fulham FC - got themselves involved (financially and otherwise) with Woolwich Arsenal FC.  Dean played no further part in the running of Fulham FC until Hall, Norris and even William Gilbert Allen had all ceased to play any active role there, returning only in the mid 1920s.


Grudges - perhaps.  Certainly, Dean’s actions really dropped Norris in it.  The ex-players Liddell and Bradshaw helped set him up.  But if Norris hadn’t been so dumb and careless about the £170 cheque for the reserve team bus, they wouldn’t have had the opportunity.


Grudges, probably.


To end the sorry tale of the £170 cheque: Norris’ threat to sue another Football League chairman galvanised the FL to take action, but an investigation into the cheque’s circumstances and a long and probably difficult interview with Henry Norris persuaded the FL’s investigators that nothing was going to prevent the case from reaching court.  However, something did - Norris put his case against Dean, Liddell, Bradshaw and MacDermott on one side while he sued the Football Association after the FA’s enquiry into Arsenal’s finances.  And while the case was in abeyance, MacDermott destroyed the evidence.  Norris never had his day in court on this one.


And what about Herbert Chapman? - the man whose signature Norris had so casually taken in vain?  See my file on Henry Norris and Herbert Chapman for two other men with a grudge. [ROGER I’LL NEED A LINK HERE TO Herbert Chapman: 1925-27 and on WHEN IT’S WRITTEN].





Copyright Sally Davis May 2008