England Football Online
Players Index Page Last Updated
15 August 2018

Peter O'Dowd

Chelsea FC

3 appearances, 0 goals

P 3 W 3 D 0 L 0 F 8: A 0
100% successful


captain: none
minutes played:


Full name James Peter O'Dowd
Born 26 February 1908 in Halifax, West Riding of Yorkshire [registered in Halifax, June 1908].

Census Notes

Cannot be found on the 1911 census.
According to Passenger Lists, James Peter O'Dowd was one of eighteen footballers on an FA Tour, courtesy of Canadian Pacific Railway Company, had left the port of Liverpool on 11 May 1931, bound for Montreal, Canada, on the Duchess of Richmond. They returned from Quebec, arriving at Southampton on 23 July 1931, on board the Empress of Britain. He was living at 54 Raglan Street in Burnley.

According to the 1939 register, James P., a furniture dealer, is married to Ivy (known as Teresa), and they live at 7 Manor Gardens in Paignton, with his son, Brian (record blocked) and his mother-in-law, Edith Richmond.
Married to Ivy Richmond (b.8 February 1913), at St. John's RC Church, Burnley, on 6 June 1932, at 8.30am [registered in Burnley, June 1932].
Ivy was a shop assistant at John Noble's, in Market Street, Burnley.
She lived at 21 Dane Street in Burnley with her parents. They had one son, Brian (b.1939).
"The bride wore a charming dress of pale blue with grey fur coat and had a sheaf of pink carnations. Her attendant, Miss Kathleen O'Dowd, sister of the bridegroom, was attired in a gown of Lido blue with hat and shoes to tone. After the ceremony a reception was held at the bride's home and Mr. and Mrs. O'Dowd left for the Isle of Wight, where they are spending their honeymoon. Afterwards they will take up residence in Chelsea."
- Wednesday, 8 June 1932, The Burnley Express & Advertiser.
Died 2 May 1964 at 'Brooklyn', a nursing home at 15 Portchester Road, Bournemouth, aged 56 years 66 days [registered as James P., in Bournemouth, June 1964]. He was living at 12 Derby Road in Bournemouth. He left £17,297.
His death probate confirms O'Dowd died on 2nd May, not 8th.
Height/Weight 5' 10", 11st. 12lbs [1926]. 5' 11", 11st. 10lbs [1930]. 6' 0", 11st. 9lbs [1931]. 11st. 6lbs [1932].


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

Club Career

Club(s) Played schoolboy football in Bradford before appearing in the Bradford League playing with Apperley Bridge FC. Joining Selby Town FC, as well as joining Bradford FC as an amateur in late 1926, playing in the West Lancashire League. But it was Blackburn Rovers FC that signed him as a professional on 4 December 1926 for a £20 voluntary grant following two trial matches in the Mid-week League. After fifty First Division matches, during which there was a strong denial from Rovers denying O'Dowd's departure in April 1929. Burnley FC signed O'Dowd for a £5000 transfer fee on 10 March 1930, beating off other league clubs, including Everton FC, who did not want to pay the 'substantial' asking price. His performances in the 65 Division One appearances, in which he scored eight goals, prompted Chelsea FC to break the transfer record for a centre-half, £5250, on 10 November 1931, beating Bolton Wanderers FC and Manchester City FC to his signature. Then, after eighty league appearances, and placed on the 'open to transfer list' at his own request on 3 May 1935, he crossed the English Channel when US Valenciennes Anzin, of the French Ligue 1, paid nearly £3000 for him on 27 September 1935, and a £200 signing-on fee. He returned to England after he received a suspension. From January 1937, until 16 March 1937, Torquay United FC negotiated and successfully signed him from Chelsea FC. He was placed on the transfer list, but he broke his leg during training, he had made just seven league outings. On 29 November 1938, O'Dowd had a trial match with Sittingbourne FC, the Kent League side, against London University. He managed just one half of the game before he had to walk off the field. He did sign on the following February.
Club honours FA Cup winners 1927-28; FA Charity Shield runners-up 1928;
Individual honours Football League (one appearance)
Distinctions None


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

England Career

Player number One of five who became the 568th players (570) to appear for England.
Position(s) Centre-half
First match No. 181, 9 April 1932, England 3 Scotland 0, a British Championship match at Empire Stadium, Wembley, London, aged 24 years 43 days.
Last match No. 187, 20 May 1933, Switzerland 0 England 4, an end-of-season tour match at Stadion Neufeld, Neufeld, Bern, aged 25 years 83 days.
Major tournaments British Championship 1931-32, 1932-33;
Team honours British Championship winners 1931-32;
Individual honours FA Tour of Canada 1931;
Distinctions Died three days after Ernie Williamson

England Bizarre

For the first time since O'Dowd joined, Valenciennes were beaten 5-1 by Lille, the blame was placed firmly at the feet of O'Dowd.
"After being fined 500 francs (about £6 10s) and suspended indefinitely by his club, Valenciennes F.C., Peter O'Dowd, the former Chelsea, Blackburn Rovers, and Burnley centre-half, will continue to play for the club. At a special meeting of the club it was decided to uphold the fine, but the suspension was waived. These announcements were a sequel to last Sunday's match match with Lille, in which Valenciennes were beaten 5‒1 at home―their first defeat since O'Dowd joined them." - Saturday, 14 December 1935, The Sunderland Echo & Shipping Gazette.
"The Valenciennes Football Club have caused a sensation in the football world in the North of France by removing two English footballers, Gibson and Russell, from their list of players and imposing a fine of £7 on a third English player, Peter O'Dowd, the international. In addition the club management have changed O'Dowd from his usual position at centre-half to inside-right. Last Sunday the club suffered their first defeat since O'Dowd entered the side. " - Saturday, 14 December 1935, The Burnley Express & Advertiser.
George Gibson and Russell had their contracts cancelled, and O'Dowd promised to 'retrieve the honour and reputation of the club.'

Beyond England

Before he earned money from football, O'Dowd worked in a butcher's shop. Among the most prominent of British players attracted to French football in the Thirties. Around the same time Peter had a drapery business in Weybridge. - An English Football Internationalists' Who's Who. Douglas Lamming (1990). Hatton Press, p.186.


Peter O'Dowd - Career Statistics
Squads Apps comp. apps Mins. Goals goals ave.min comp. goals Capt. Disc.
4 3 2 270 0 0 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.


Peter O'Dowd - Match Record - All Matches - By Type of Match
Type P W D L F A GD FTS CS FAv AAv Pts % W/L
Home - British Championship 2 2 0 0 4 0 +4 0 2 2.00 0.00 100.0 +2
Away - Friendly 1 1 0 0 4 0 +4 0 1 4.00 0.00 100.0 +1
All 3 3 0 0 8 0 +8 0 3 3.667 0.00 100.0 +3


Peter O'Dowd - Match Record - Tournament Matches
British Championship Competition
Type P W D L F A GD FTS CS FAv AAv Pts% W/L
BC 1931-32 1 1 0 0 3 0 +3 0 1 3.00 0.00 100.0 +1
BC 1932-33 1 1 0 0 1 0 +1 0 1 1.00 0.00 100.0 +1
BC All 2 2 0 0 4 0 +4 0 2 2.00 0.00 100.0 +2
All Competition
Type P W D L F A GD FTS CS FAv AAv Pts% W/L
BC 2 2 0 0 4 0 +4 0 2 2.00 0.00 100.0 +2
All 2 2 0 0 4 0 +4 0 2 2.00 0.00 100.0 +2

Peter O'Dowd - Match History

 Club: Chelsea F.C. - three full appearances (270 min)

F.A. International Selection Committee - three full appearances (270 min)x

Age 24
1 181 9 April 1932 - England 3 Scotland 0, Empire Stadium, Wembley BC HW Start ch
2 182 17 October 1932 - England 1 Ireland 0, Bloomfield Road, Blackpool BC HW Start ch

Age 25
186 13 May 1933 - Italy 1 England 1, Stadio NPNF, Roma tour AD reserve
3 187 20 May 1933 - Switzerland 0 England 4, Stadion Neufeld, Bern AW Start ch