England Football Online
Goalkeepers Index Page Last Updated
4 August 2023

Joe Reader

West Bromwich Albion FC

1 appearance, 2 goals against

P 1 W 0 D 1 L 0 F 2: A 2
50% successful


captain: none
minutes played:


  Josiah Reader
Birth Tuesday, 27 February 1866 in Newhall Street, West Bromwich, Staffordshire
  registered in West Bromwich January-March 1866.
Baptism Thursday, 3 May 1866 at All Saints' Church in West Bromwich
Education Attended Beeches Road School and St Phillips School.

According to the 1871 census, Josiah is the fourth of five children to William and Mary (née Bydall), they live at Old Meeting Street in the Wednesbury area of West Bromwich. His father is a labourer in the forge works.


According to the 1881 census, Josiah is now the younger of the two sons that remain at home with their parents and a boarder, now at 26 Hargate Lane in Wednesbury, His father is still a general labourer.

Marriage to Dorcas Astbury, on 29 November 1890, at St. Andrew's Church, in West Bromwich, Staffordshire.
  registered in West Bromwich October-December 1890.
Children Joe and Dorcas Reader had three children together. Ivy Mary (b.1 June 1893), two others had died between census'.

According to the 1891 census, Josiah is a professional football player married to Dorcas and living at 15 Trinity Road in West Bromwich.

"There is an exhibition at the Temperance Institute, Birmingham, a large collection of trophies won by athletes who are pledged teetotalers. The three sons of Dr, Gray, of Walsall, claim a table to themselves, so numerous are their prizes. Josiah Reader, the West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper, shows 15 gold and silver medals and Staffordshire County and International appearances. T. Fletcher sends from Manchester three Rugby football appearances, and English International jersey, and four gold medals...One gentleman willing to have his joke at Birmingham's expense, expressed disinclination to risk lending his possessions to a city which lost the English Football Cup."
South Wales Daily News, Wednesday, 24 November 1897.

According to the 1901 census, Josiah still a professional footballer, still married, now with one daughter, Ivy. They live at 11 Thynne Street in Sandwell.

  "Joe Reader, West Bromwich Albion's old custodian, who has been spending a few weeks at Arley, on the Severn, has returned home, having practically recovered from his serious illness." - Birmingham Daily Gazette, Friday, 29 November 1901.

According to the 1911 census, Josiah remains at home with his wife and daughter. The census reveals that they had two more children that had died. Josiah is a County Court Bailiff. They still live at 11 Thynne Street.


According to the 1921 census, Josiah, still a County Court Bailiff remains at home with his wife and now-married daughter (to Harry Parkes and their daughter, Dorothy Mary). They still live at 11 Thynne Street.

  "Albion Survivors
"The Albion's party at Wembley of players who wore the colours of the club in their six previous Final ties will number 21. Actually there are 23 survivors, of whom ten figured in 1912 tie at the Crystal Palace. Harry Bell, who played in 1892, is now in South Africa, and Roddy McLeod and Ezra Horton have not been traced. The party includes Joe Reader, a noted goalkeeper in his day, who has just retired as a county court bailiff. Jesse Pennington, Sid Bowser, Claud Jephcott, Robert McNeal, and Hubert Pearson." -
Daily Herald, Friday, 17 April 1931.
  According to the 1939 census, Josiah and Dorcas are still married, living at 22A Stanway Road in West Bromwich. Josiah is a retired County Bailiff.
(Dorcas died late 1940)
  "Today, he celebrates his 88th birthday, not unfortunately, in his home, where his many well wishers would like to find him, but in Hallam Hospital, West Bromwich, where he is recovering from an operation." - Birmingham Daily Post, Saturday, 27 February 1954
Death Monday, 8 March 1954 at Hallam Street Hospital on Hallam Street in West Bromwich, Staffordshire.
aged 88 years 9 days registered in West Bromwich January-March 1954.


"Mr. Josiah Reader
"Mr. Josiah Reader, the last West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper to wear long trousers, has died in Hallam Hospital, West Bromwich, at the age of 88. He was associated with the Albion for more than 60 years as a player and latterly as steward of the directors' box in the stand. His playing career extended over 17 years, and for 11 seasons, from 1889-90 to 1900-01, he was the recognised first team goalkeeper. He played in one international match for England against Ireland and kept goal for Albion in their two F.A. Cup finals against Aston Villa―at the Oval in 1891-2, when Albion won 3―0, and at Crystal Palace in 1894-5, when Villa won 1―0."
The Birmingham Post, Wednesday, 10 March 1954/Birmingham Weekly Post, Friday, 12 March 1954.
Thursday, 11 March 1954
All Saints' Parish Church, West Bromwich
"The funeral service at All Saints' Parish Church, West Bromwich, where Mr. Reader was at one time a member of the Church Council and a sidesman."


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

Playing Career

Club(s) Played schoolboy and junior football before he joined Carters Green FC. Joined West Bromwich Albion FC as an amateur in January 1885, "making his first appearance on February 28, 1885," and turned professional in August of the same year. At the end of the 1901-02 season, he was not being signed-on, resulting in his retirement.
League History
315 appearances
one expulsion
West Bromwich Albion FC 1889-1901 315 appearances.
debut: 26 October 1889 Aston Villa FC 1 West Bromwich Albion FC 0.
last: 30 April 1901 West Bromwich Albion FC 0 Sheffield United FC 2.
Club honours Football League fifth place 1889-90 (5ᵃ);
FA Cup winners 1891-92 (7ᵃ), runners-up 1894-95 (6ᵃ);
Individual honours Football League (three appearances);
Staffordshire FA;
Distinctions Reader's Benefit Match was played between West Bromwich Albion FC and Aston Villa FC in front of 3,000 on Monday, 18 October 1897. Albion won 2-0.
His claim to fame in the early 20th century was to be the last first-class goalkeeper to wear long trousers in goal.
Height/Weight 6' 0", 12st. 2lbs [1892].


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

England Career

Player number One of three who became the 211th players (211) to appear for England
Position(s) Goalkeeper; 25th goalkeeper to appear
Only match No. 50, 3 March 1894, Ireland 2 England 2, a British Championship match at Cliftonville Gardens, Cliftonville, Belfast, aged 28 years 4 days.
Major tournaments British Championship 1893-94;
Team honours None
Individual honours None
Distinctions None

Beyond England

After retiring through illness, he later served Albion as a trainer and coach, and then as a Hawthorns steward until 1950, ending a 65 year association with the club. Also became a Bailiff for the county court. - An English Football Internationalists' Who's Who. Douglas Lamming (1990). Hatton Press, p.204.

The Numbers
parties Apps Comp
minutes Goals
GA Av.
Comp GA Clean
Sht Av
1 1 1 90 2 45 2 0 0% none
The minutes here given can only ever be a guideline and cannot therefore be accurate, only an approximation.
1 0 1 0 2 2 =0 0 0 2 2 50 =0
his only match was a British Championship match and played at an away venue

Tournament Record

British Championship Competition
Type P W D L F A GD FTS CS FAv AAv Pts% W/L
BC 1893-94 1 0 1 0 2 2 =0 0 0 2.00 2.00 50.0 =0
BC All 1 0 1 0 2 2 =0 0 0 2.00 2.00 50.0 =0

All Competition
Type P W D L F A GD FTS CS FAv AAv Pts% W/L
BC 1 0 1 0 2 2 =0 0 0 2.00 2.00 50.0 =0
1 0 1 0 2 2 =0 0 0 2 2 50 =0

Match History

 Club: West Bromwich Albion F.C. - one full appearance (90 min) 2ᵍᵃ F.A. International Select Committee - one full appearance (90 min) 2ᵍᵃx

apps match match details comp res. rundown pos

Age 28
1 50 3 March 1894 - Ireland 2 England 2
Cliftonville Gardens, Belfast
BC AD 2ᵍᵃ
cs: 70 min
ᵍᵃshot & ref error

one of three who became the 211th players (211) to appear for England
the eighth player from West Bromwich Albion FC to represent England
The 25th goalkeeper to play for England - eleventh competitive