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Players Index Page Last Updated
13 April 2019

Ted Drake

Arsenal FC

5 appearances, 6 goals (one on debut)

P 5 W 4 D 1 L 0 F 16: A 8
90% successful


captain: none
minutes played:


Full name Edward Joseph Drake
Born 16 August 1912 in Southampton, Hampshire [registered in Southampton, September 1912].

census notes

According to the 1939 register, Edward is a professional footballer and gas machinist, married to Ruby, and they live at 30 Haslam Court in Southgate, with Eddie Hapgood as a lodger,

Married to Ruby K.A. Maggs, 2 June 1938 [registered in Southampton, June 1938].
"Only relatives and intimate friends attended the ceremony. The honeymoon is being spent in Redcar."
Died 30 May 1995 at Raynes Park, Surrey, aged 82 years 286 days [registered in Merton, Surrey, May 1995].
Height/Weight 5' 10", 11st. 12lbs [1936].


Douglas Lammings' An English Football Internationalist Who's Who [1990] & FindMyPast.com

Club Career

Club(s) Began his football career playing with Southampton schools, and after he played for his local works team, Southampton Gas Works FC. He played his junior football with Winchester City FC of the Hampshire League. Represented Hampshire in September 1931 and signed for Southampton FC on 7 November 1931 after a trial with the reserve team. After 47 goals in 71 league appearances, Arsenal FC then paid a £6000 transfer fee to sign him on 14 March 1934, a new record for the south coast club. The deal was settled on the 9th, but Drake changed his min, wishing not to uproot from Southampton, thankfully for Arsenal FC, he changed his mind again on the 14th. Following 124 goals in 167 Division One appearances, he was forced to retire on 28 August 1945 because of a spinal injury sustained in a League South Cup match against Reading FC on 3 February 1945 at Elm Park.
Club honours Football League Champions 1933-34, 1934-35, 1937-38; FA Cup winners 1935-36; FA Charity Shield winners 1934, 1938, runners-up 1935, 1936;
Individual honours Division One Top Scorer 1934-35 (42);
Scored all seven goals in one match for Arsenal FC against Aston Villa FC, 14 December 1935, at Villa Park. Villa scored once.
Distinctions Played first-class cricket with Hampshire CCC (1931-36). Father of Bob Drake (Fulham FC 1961-).
Ted Drake's testimonial match was played between Arsenal FC and Fulham FC on Tuesday, 11 September 1979, in front of 3,035 at Craven Cottage, earning him £5000.


Douglas Lammings' An English Football Internationalist Who's Who [1990].

Management Career

Club(s) After intiallly scouting for his old club, Arsenal FC, Drake cut his managerial teeth with Hendon FC, Arsenal's nursery club, from October 1946, before an appointment with Reading FC from 2 June 1947. Rumours in January 1952 suggested that Southampton FC wanted Drake, however, he was appointed manager at Chelsea FC on 30 April 1952, effective 1 June. Remained at Stamford Bridge, signed a ten-year contract in 1957, worth £3000 per year, but he was sacked on 27 September 1961. Drake was linked with assisting Vic Buckingham at Fulham FC during 1967, and then the vacant managerial position when he was sacked in January 1968. He did join Vic Buckingham as his assistant at FC Barcelona, between 22 December 1969 and 17 June 1970, who had paid £6000 for his time. In October 1972, Drake returned to Fulham FC as coach of the reserve team and to scout for Alec Stock. He remained until at least 1979..
Club honours Football League Division Three (South) runners-up 1948-49, 1951-52; Division One Champions 1954-55; FA Charity Shield winners 1955;

England Career

Player number One of two who became 606th players (607) to appear for England.
Position(s) Centre-forward
First match No. 195, 14 November 1934, England 3 Italy 2, a friendly match at Arsenal Stadium, Highbury, London, aged 22 years 90 days.
Last match No. 218, 26 May 1938, France 2 England 4, an end-of-season tour match at Stade Olympique Yves-du-Manoir, Colombes, Paris, aged 25 years 283 days.
Major tournaments British Championship 1934-35, 1935-36;
Team honours British Championship shared 1934-35;
Individual honours England Joint Topscorer 1936 (3);
Distinctions Died ten days after Leslie Smith and seventeen days after Teddy Sandford

Beyond England

Worked as a gas meter inspector when with Southampton FC. Worked as a bookmaker, he was employed by the Pools Panel in January 1963, and a salesman for an insurance firm, inbetween his managerial appointments. Spent time in the late seventies and early eighties as a full-time Fulham FC scout. - An English Football Internationalists' Who's Who. Douglas Lamming (1990). Hatton Press, p.91.


Ted Drake - Career Statistics
Squads Apps comp. apps Mins. Goals goals ave.min comp. goals Capt. Disc.
6 5 2 405 6 68 min 0 none none
minutes are an approximation, due to the fact that many matches rarely stick to exactly ninety minutes long, allowing time for injuries and errors.


Ted Drake - Match Record - All Matches
Type P W D L F A GD FTS CS FAv AAv Pts% W/L
Home 4 3 1 0 12 6 +6 0 0 3.00 1.50 87.5 +3
Away 1 1 0 0 4 2 +2 0 0 4.00 2.00 100.0 +1
All 5 4 1 0 16 8 +8 0 0 3.20 1.60 90.0 +4


Ted Drake - Match Record - By Type of Match
Type P W D L F A GD FTS CS FAv AAv Pts% W/L
British Championship 2 1 1 0 3 2 +1 0 0 1.50 1.00 75.0 +1
Friendly 3 3 0 0 13 6 +7 0 0 4.333 2.00 100.0 +3
All 5 4 1 0 16 8 +8 0 0 3.20 1.60 90.0 +4


Ted Drake - Match Record - Tournament Matches
British Championship Competition
Type P W D L F A GD FTS CS FAv AAv Pts% W/L
BC 1934-35 1 1 0 0 2 1 +1 0 0 2.00 1.00 100.0 +1
BC 1935-36 1 0 1 0 1 1 =0 0 0 1.00 1.00 50.0 =0
BC All 2 1 1 0 3 2 +1 0 0 1.50 1.00 75.0 +1
All Competition
Type P W D L F A GD FTS CS FAv AAv Pts% W/L
BC 2 1 1 0 3 2 +1 0 0 1.50 1.00 75.0 +1
All 2 1 1 0 3 2 +1 0 0 1.50 1.00 75.0 +1


Ted Drake - Match History

 Club: Arsenal F.C. - five full appearances (405 min), six goals

F.A. International Selection Committee - five full appearances (405 min)x

Age 22
1 195 14 November 1934 - England 3 Italy 2, Arsenal Stadium, Highbury Fr HW Start 14 cf
2 196 6 February 1935 - England 2 Ireland 1, Goodison Park, Liverpool BC HW Start cf
198 18 May 1935 - Netherlands 0 England 1, Olympisch Stadion, Amsterdam Fr AW withdrew injured

Age 23
3 202 4 April 1936 - England 1 Scotland 1, Empire Stadium, Wembley BC HD Start ▼ht cf

Age 24
4 207 2 December 1936 - England 6 Hungary 2, Arsenal Stadium, Highbury Fr HW Start


Age 25
216 14 May 1938 - Germany 3 England 6, Olympiastadion, Berlin tour AW reserve
217 21 May 1938 - Switzerland 2 England 1, Hardturm Stadion, Zürich AL reserve
5 218 26 May 1938 - France 2 England 4, Stade Olympique Yves-du-Manoir, Paris AW Start 34,43 cf


Ted Drake was one of London football's favourite adopted sons, and little wonder. As a fearless, rampaging centre-forward in the 1930s, he contributed an avalanche of goals to the cause of all-conquering Arsenal; and two decades later he guided less fashionable Chelsea to the high-point in their history, their sole League Championship to date. 

But there was more to the popular Hampshire man's appeal than his professional accomplishments, impressive though they were. Ted Drake was blessed with an infectiously sunny outlook on life in general and football in particular. As a player he was dashingly courageous, thrillingly bold; as a manager he was committed, perhaps a trifle idealistically at times, to that same positive approach; and throughout more than half a century spent in and around the game he was a modest, cheerful and unfailingly gentle man.

But for a relatively minor injury which forced him to miss a schoolboy trial, Drake might never have taken his place in Highbury folklore as arguably the Gunners' greatest ever marksman, certainly until Ian Wright came along. That trial had been organised by Arsenal's north London rivals, Tottenham Hotspur, who had been keen on the all-action youngster, but needed a little more evidence before signing him. Thus the opportunity passed by and Drake slipped into non-League soccer with Winchester City, while making his living as in apprentice gas-meter inspector.

Soon a Southampton scout spotted his potential and he became a Saint in November 1931, wasting little time in establishing himself as a dynamic performer. Drake's method was direct: fast, immensely strong and immeasurably determined, he packed a ferocious shot in either ''peg'', was combative in the air and, while his approach was not overburdened with subtlety, he could control the ball with commendable dexterity. Thus equipped, he netted 48 times in 72 League outings for Second Division Southampton before joining Arsenal for pounds 6,500 in March 1934.

On acquiring Drake at the second attempt - the player had refused to leave the south coast for the capital a year earlier - George Allison, Arsenal's manager, described his purchase as ''the best centre- forward in the world''; a bit steep perhaps, though before long the broad- shouldered marksman was proving that the description might not be entirely fanciful.

That spring he contributed seven strikes in 10 games to help secure the League title, then scored 42 (including seven hat-tricks) as the Championship was retained in 1934/35 (Arsenal's third in succession), overcame injury to snatch the only goal of the 1936 FA Cup Final against Sheffield United and top-scored yet again as the Gunners garnered their fifth League triumph of the decade in 1937/38.

Memorable individual performances were many during this golden sequence, but two stand out with deathless clarity. He began the first, at Villa Park in December 1935, as an unlikely hero, having been out of form and nursing a heavily strapped knee; he ended it having scored all the Gunners' goals in a 7-1 victory - still a joint record for a single match in the English top division - and having hit the post with one of only two other shots.

If that encounter offers the most vivid illustration of Drake's hunger for goals, then a game at Brentford in April 1938 surely serves as the most telling example of another characteristic: bravery to the point of foolhardiness. That afternoon he broke two bones in his wrist, received nine stitches to a head wound and was carried off the pitch twice - the second time unconscious, slung over the shoulder of trainer Tom Whittaker.

Indeed, many believed that it was this very whole-heartedness which shortened Drake's career. Often he played on in pain and it was a back injury sustained on an Army PT course, and later exacerbated on the football pitch, that forced him out of the game in 1945. He retired having netted 139 times in 182 League and FA Cup outings for Arsenal and six times in five matches for his country, his future with England having been curtailed by the emergence of the brilliant Tommy Lawton.

After the Second World War, in which he served in the RAF as a flight lieutenant, Drake turned to management, beginning with non-League Hendon before taking over at Reading in 1947. He proved an uplifting leader of men, moulding the Royals into an entertaining, free-scoring side which missed out narrowly on promotion from the Third Division (South) in both 1949 and 1952.

On the strength of that achievement, Drake took over as manager of Chelsea in June 1952, breezing into a rather staid Stamford Bridge to invigorating effect. One of his first acts was to banish the Chelsea ''Pensioner'' from the club badge, thus removing joke- fodder for a generation of music-hall comedians, and soon the club was transformed from First Division strugglers to title contenders.

The culmination of the revolution came in 1954/55 when Chelsea upset all known odds by outstripping mighty Manchester United and Wolves to win the Championship, making Drake the first man to earn that particular honour as both player and manager. Few had believed that Drake would inspire what was mainly a combination of rookies and shrewd but inexpensive transfer- market acquisition into such a force, and the elated boss declared that it meant more to him than all his own playing successes.

As Champions, Chelsea were entitled to a place in the newly launched European Cup but, sadly for the ebullient Drake, the League and the Football Association forbade entry and the Stamford Bridge board accepted the ruling. A year later Manchester United were to ignore similar opposition, a decision which offered a fascinating insight into contrasting degrees of vision and ambition at two leading clubs.

In fact, in the event the Londoners probably would have proved ill-fitted to face continental opposition. In the second half of the 1950s, despite the hyperbole surrounding the so-called ''Drake's Ducklings'' - highly promising young players such as Jimmy Greaves, Terry Venables and Peter Bonetti - results fell away alarmingly.

The board, having tasted success, wanted more. Tension grew between directors and manager and in September 1961, following a disagreement over the appointment of Tommy Docherty as a coach, Drake was sacked. Disillusioned, he left the game who became the a bookmaker, but later he regretted the decision and in 1965 he returned to the game to assist the Fulham manager Vic Buckingham. That lasted only until Buckingham himself was dismissed in 1968, after which Drake returned to the betting business before serving a six-month term as assistant manager of Barcelona in 1970.

There followed a spell as an insurance salesman before he went back to Fulham, running the reserves before becoming chief scout in 1975, and then a life president of the Craven Cottage club.

Ted Drake, a gifted all-round sportsman who played county cricket for his native Hampshire in the 1930s, retained a lively interest in football into his eighties, though excursions from his Wimbledon home to watch matches became increasingly rare as his health deteriorated. Unlike some of his contemporaries, Drake betrayed no trace of bitterness that he had played in an era when material rewards were meagre, a telling measure of a fine footballer and a delightful man. - The Independent obituary