Leeds United F.C. History
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1919-29 - The Twenties
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Smelt: Alfred (Alf)

1920-1921 (Player Details)

Left Back

Born: Jump, Nr Barnsley: 26-09-1885

Debut v Leeds Steelworks (h): 25-09-1920

5’8” 12st 3lb (1920)

Smelt played in just one full League after turning out in United’s team which demolished Leeds Steelworks in the 1920-21 in the preliminary Rounds of the FA Cup when Leeds were force to play Reserves and other players as the first team had to play in the Second Division at the same time. His only League game came on 12th February 1921 in a 3-1 defeat at Stockport County, when he filled in for Jimmy Frew. He was signed from Mexborough Town in the Midland League in July 1920. He had previously played with Mansfield Mechanics and Chesterfield Town. His younger brothers, Len and Tom had more successful careers. Full-back Len was a member of Burnley’s League Championship-winning side of 1920-21. Tom was a centre forward with Accrington Stanley, Exeter City, Chesterfield, Manchester City, Crewe Alexandra, Scunthorpe United and Rotherham United. The Rotherham-born J. Smelt, who played for Leeds City during World War One, was believed to be a member of the same footballing family. Many thanks to Neil Roche for further information on the player. Firstly, from the South Elmsall and Hemsworth Times of 13/08/1919: "The Mexboro club has done well to secure the signature of Alf Smelt, a brilliant full back of the Milton type, who has played with Rotherham County and Chesterfield, and has quite recently declined an offer from Norwich City. He will be remembered locally for the fine displays he gave when he was associated with Silverwood and Rawmarsh Albion. Last year he was assisting Kimberworth Old Boys, the finest junior team in South Yorkshire, and played at Mexboro' in the final of the Montagu Cup. He and Severns should make a splendid third line." While in general he has elaborated as follows: "His career goes as follows: 1905-6 Kimberworth Wesleyans, 1906-7 Kimberworth FC, 1907-8 South Kirkby Colliry, 1908-9 Rawmarsh Albion, 1909-10 uncertain, but probably back at South Kirkby, 1910-1 unknown, but possibly still at South Kirkby, 1911-2 probably at Rotherham County, mainly in reserves, 1912-3 Derby Co - regular in res., but no first team appearance, 1913-4 Mansfield Mechanics, 1914-5 Chesterfield; joined York & Lancaster Regiment in March 1915, 1915-6 played one game for Derby County, on 23rd October 1915 at Left-Half at Huddersfield Town. Probably played some games for Rotherham County, and an odd one for Doncaster Rovers, 1916-7 some games for Rotherham County, and won medal for winning Army Divisional championship with regimental side, 1917-8 unknown, probably serving in the Army at war, 1918-9 Kimberworth Old Boys, 1919-20 Mexborough Town, 1920-1 Leeds United, 1921-2 Wombwell, 1922-3 Mexborough Town, 1923-4 Mexborough Town, unknown after this, but he would have been in his late 30's by the end of that season. He is also said to have played for Silverwood Colliery quite possibly in the 1909-1912 period." He further added " Looking Alf up on a family history site, I can confirm that he was born at Jump, Barnsley on 26th September 1885, although all rest of family (5 brothers and 3 sisters) were all born in Kimberworth area of Rotherham. Three other brothers had Football League careers, older brother Len being the best known. Older brother Len (born: December 1883) was still playing for Burnley in 1925-6, and he is still Burnley's oldest ever player - the only one to play in the Football League for the club while in his 40's. Jack, (Player Details) was indeed another brother. For most of war he played with Rotherham County, but had a handful of appearances with Lincoln City in 1917-8. He was versatile, playing mainly at Outside Right or Inside Right, but also played Full Back, Wing Half, and Goalkeeper. After he joined Portsmouth, in 1919, he played his first three Southern League games in goal, and then a few at Outside Left and Centre Forward. He never became a regular, and only played one Football League game in 1920-21; at Outside Right. All the brothers seem to have been decent cricketers and their names are regularly found in reports of local cricket around the Rotherham area."

League 10
F.A. Cup 10