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1 April 2024

Harry Thickitt

Sheffield United FC

2 appearances, 0 goals

P 2 W 2 D 0 L 0 F 6: A 1
100% successful


captain: none
minutes played:

Harry Thickitt


  Henry Thickitt
Birth Thursday, 28 March 1872 in Hexthorpe, Doncaster, West Riding of Yorkshire
registered in Doncaster April-June 1872
Baptism 9 August 1874, along with his brother, Joseph James, at St. James' Church, Doncaster. Living at Fitzwilliam Street, his father is a blacksmith.



According to the 1881 census, Henry is the fourth of six children to Henry and Frances (née Wake). They live at 2 Portland Terrace in the Balby-with-Hexthorpe area of Doncaster. His father is an engine smith at the works.
The West Yorkshire Electoral Register puts them at Spring Terrace, from 1887-89.
The youngest of the six, Elizabeth, would drown in 1888...

"An inquest was held to-day at the Prior Well Inn, Hexthorpe, Doncaster, touching the death of Elizabeth Thickett, aged 9, daughter of Henry Thickett. The girl was gathering flowers near the river on Sunday night, when she fell into the water. A young man named Gornall tried to get her out, but could not, and a brass turner, named John Gornall, also vainly attempted. James Shircliffe, a labourer, dived in, but the water was thick and muddy, and he could not find the deceased. Eventually he got her out with a boat hook, but she was quite dead. The coroner said where the deceased fell into the river was a dangerous place, and had no rail round it. A verdict of "Accidentally drowned" was returned." -
The Evening Telegraph and Star, Monday, 9 July 1888.

According to the 1891 census, Henry is a brass finisher living with his widowed mother and three siblings, the youngest been the seventh child. Along with two boarders, they all live at 43 Hexthorpe Road in Hexthorpe.
(His father died 2 January 1891)
The West Yorkshire Electoral Register puts Thickitt at 43 Hexthorpe Road between 1890-92

First Marriage
to Anna Maria Robinson, 15 March 1892 at St. James' Church in Doncaster, West Riding of Yorkshire
  registered in Doncaster January-March 1892
Children: Harry and Anna Thickitt had four children together. Charlotte (b.1893), Frances Alice (b.1894), Norman Edward (b.10 June 1898) and Enid Madge (b.21 February 1899)
"Yesterday, at Doncaster, Harry Thickett, the well-known Sheffield footballer, was summoned for trespassing on the Great Northern Railway Company's premises on the 25th of September last. Evidence having been called, the defendant said he had gone through the gates in question on and off for seven years. He was stopped some twelve months ago and had not been until the date in question. He would not have gone through then had he not been pressed for time. It was after eight o'clock when he was stopped, and his train left for Sheffield at 8.15.—Fined 5s. and costs." -
The Sheffield and Rotherham Independent, Tuesday, 14 November 1898.

According to the 1901 census, Harry is a professional footballer, married to Anna Maria and they have four children, Charlotte, Norman, Enid and Frances. They have George Hedley, a fellow professional footballer boarding with them. And they all live with Betsy Marie Jackson, a retired cowkeeper, and Anna Maria's aunty, at 66 Urban Road in Balby-with-Hexthorpe.
(Anna died on 4 April 1901, literally days after this census was taken. Harry himself, was in Skegness when he received the distressing news, preparing with United for the FA Cup semi-final appearance with Aston Villa).
Anna's gravestone (left) is erected in Doncaster's Hyde Park cemetery. And correctly states that Henry is interred in Trowbridge.

Second Marriage Minnie Avill on 4 August 1902 at St. Jude's Church in Hexthorpe, West Riding of Yorkshire
registered in Doncaster July-September 1902
Children Harry and Minnie Thickitt had five children together. Thomas Avill (b.17 September 1904), Henry Kirby (b.1906), William Emerson (b.8 April 1907), Leonard Wake (b.28 February 1909) and Bettie Muriel (b.2 June 1916).

According to the 1911 census, Henry is a football team manager and now married to Minnie. They have four children, Thomas, Henry, William and Leonard, as well has his three older children from his previous marriage. They live at 159 Coronation Road in Bristol.
(His mother, Fanny, died in 1913)

"A Former Sheffield United Played Sued.
"Harry Thickett, of Trowbridge, the international football player, who was associated with Sheffield United at its most successful period, and up till recently was manager for Bristol City, figured as the defendant in an action before his Honour Judge Benson at Sheffield County Court to-day.
"Thickett was sued for £3 13s 2d. in respect of board, meals, and refreshments supplied for himself and football friends at the King's Arms Hotel, Sheffield, during May, 1910.
"Mr. W.I. Mitchell appeared for the plaintiff, Mr. A.T. Winby, manager of the hotel.
"Evidence was given as to the rendering of the account to Bristol on numerous occasions, and its subsequent return through the Dead Letter Office.
"Defendant declared that the bill had been paid, but that as he worked as a limited liability company he did not have the receipts. He added that he had stayed at the hotel at various times over a period of twenty years.
"His Honour found for the plaintiff for the amount claimed." -
The Yorkshire Telegraph and Star, Friday, 8 August 1913.

According to Kelly's Directory of Wiltshire, Henry is living at The Carpenters Arms between at least 1915 and up until his death in 1920.

"Harry Thickett, of Trowbridge, the well-known footballer, has been rejected by the National Service Medical Board, with a weight of 24st. 7lb., and without troubling him to strip, the doctors marked his arrival at the examination station where was placed upon the scales, which went down with him permanently unfit. Thickett's circumference is 55 inches, thigh measures 38in., and arm 25 ins." -
Western Mail/Sheffield Daily Independent, Monday, 17 June 1918.
Death Monday morning, 15 November 1920 at The Carpenter's Arms Inn, 26 Roundstone Street in Trowbridge, Wiltshire
aged 48 years 232 days registered in Melksham October-December 1920


  "Death of Ex-Sheffield United and International Back—A GREAT DEFENDER..
"There will be regret in football circles and in Sheffield generally at the news of the death, this morning, of Harry Thickett, the famous Sheffield United footballer and English International. He died at Trowbridge, Wiltshire, where after a stay at Bristol, he has resided since he gave up professional football. In the 'nineties his name was on the lips of every Sheffield enthusiast, because of his sterling play, and humour. One of the pluckiest of backs, speedy, a rare kicker, and an efficient tackler, more than one winger held him in sincere respect. Thickett first played for Sheffield United against Darlington St. Augustines at Darlington in the second year of the club's existence, and thereafter played a big part in the successes of the team, which were particularly pronounced in the seasons 1898, 1899, 1900, 1901, and 1902. During those years, the United won the League Championship, the English Cup twice, and reached the final once in addition, being beaten on that occasion by Tottenham Hotspur in a replay at Bolton. In 1899, he played for England against both Scotland and Wales, and represented the English League on several occasions. It was in 1904 that he left United to take over the managership of Bristol City, and was still connected with that club when the team reached the final of the English Cup in 1909. In his first seven years with the 'Blades' he played in no fewer than 200 matches, and considering the gruelling cup-ties that was no small feat. Many times he played when he would have been well advised to stay at home and nurse himself, but he was always eager to 'have a kick.' He used to say, 'Give me only one sound leg and I'm all right.' Which remark calls to mind the famous story of the day when he was alleged to have played in a great cup-tie swathed in hundreds of yards of bandages. He certainly was one of the finest right full backs Sheffield United ever had on their books. Another side-light on the player's nature is shown by his conduct in 1895, which year he was dangerously ill with typhoid fever. It grieved him to think he would be taking his pay without earning it and, at the close of the season, when signing time came round, on his own initiative, Harry proposed his wages should be reduced to compensate the Committee for their loss!" - Yorkshire Telegraph and Star, Monday evening, 15 November 1920
Thursday, 18 November 1920 Trowbridge cemetery, Wiltshire ~
at the time, was the largest ever interred at the cemetery
"The funeral of Harry Thickitt, licensee of the Carpenter's Arms Inn, Trowbridge, who died on Monday, took place at the Trowbridge Cemetery yesterday afternoon, the Rev. P.A. Nash (rector) officiating. As previously stated, the deceased was a man of unusual weight [26st], and owing to this and the size of the coffin. which required eight bearers to carry it, the usual custom of conducting the first part of the burial service in the cemetery church was omitted, and the whole of the rites was carried out at the graveside. The mourners included the widow and family, and there were also a large number of licensed victuallers from various parts of the county. Messrs. W. Wedlock, J. Cottle, R. Carr, and A. Spear, who were associated with the deceased during his connection with the Bristol City Football Club, attended on its behalf, and the Trowbridge Football Club was represented by Messrs. A. Sellick and T. H. Woolley. The floral tributes were numerous and beautiful." -
Western Daily Press, Friday, 19 November 1920
...THICKITT.—In ever affectionate remembrance of a loving husband and father, Harry Thickitt. who died November 15th, 1920. From his loving wife and children" - The Bath Chronicle, Saturday, 17 November 1923.
  Minnie Thickitt died in Trowbridge, November 1963

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

Playing Career

Began his junior career with local club Hexthorpe FC. He was signed by Sheffield United FC in 1890 as an amateur, so he could also play for Doncaster Rovers FC, and then to...
"it is recorded that he played so well against Rotherham Town one Good Friday, that Rotherham Town borrowed his amateur status, and when United asked him for him back, after much bargaining, the club had to pay £30 to secure him. For three seasons he played for Rotherham Town."
He missed the 1894-95 season because of suffering with Typhoid Fever, but returned to play
. After not re-signing for United, Thickitt was thought to be joining Plymouth Argyle FC, but joined Bristol City FC as player-manager on 20 May 1904, retiring on 29 March 1905.

League honours
Rotherham Town FC 1893 ten appearances
debut (division two): 2 September 1893 Lincoln City FC 1 Rotherham Town FC 1.
Sheffield United FC 1893-1904 259 appearances one goal
debut: 9 December 1893 Sheffield United FC 0 Everton FC 3.
Bristol City FC 1904-05 fourteen appearances
ddebut (division two): 24 September 1904 Chesterfield Town FC 0 Bristol City FC 3
last (division two): 11 March 1905 Grimsby Town 4 Bristol City FC 0.

Club honours
Football League Division One runners-up 1896-97 (16ᵃ), 1899-1900 (24ᵃ); Champions 1897-98 (29ᵃ);
FA Cup winners
1898-99 (9ᵃ), 1901-02 (9ᵃ), runners-up 1900-01 (6ᵃ)
Individual honours Football League (two appearances)
Distinctions Thickitt's son, Harry, was also a professional footballer, earning a trial with Barnsley FC and being signed by Bath City FC.
His grandson, Dennis Hancock, was signed by Trowbridge FC in 1939.
Height/Weight 5' 9¼", 13st. 6lbs [1899], 5' 8½", 14st. 7lbs [1901], 24st 7lbs [1918], over 26st [1920]


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

Management Career

Appointed Bristol City FC player-manager on 20 May 1904, retiring from playing a year later. In March 1906, he had left to manage Bradford City FC, but a change of heart saw him re-sign for Bristol City FC on 4 April 1906 until he was sacked on 6 October 1910.
Club honours
League honours
P 204 - W 92 - D 49 - L 63
Bristol City FC 1904-1910
Football League Division Two winners
Division One
runners-up 1906-07 (three points behind Newcastle United FC);
FA Cup
runners-up 1908-09 (lost to Manchester United FC, 0-1);

England Career

Player number 246th player to appear for England.
Position(s) Right-back
First match No. 66, 20 March 1899, England 4 Wales 0, a British Championship match at Athletic Ground, Ashton Gate, Bedminster, Bristol, aged 26 years 357 days.
Last match No. 67, 8 April 1899, England 2 Scotland 1, a British Championship match at Aston Lower Grounds, Trinity Road, Aston, Birmingham, aged 27 years 11 days.
Major tournaments British Championship 1898-99;
Team honours British Championship winners 1898-99;
Individual honours None

Beyond England

He was the licensee of the Carpenter's Arms, Trowbridge, when he died. He weighed over 26 stone. - An English Football Internationalists' Who's Who. Douglas Lamming (1990). Hatton Press, p.245.

The Numbers
parties Appearances comp. apps minutes captain
2 2 2 180 0 none
minutes are approximation, due to the fact that many matches rarely stuck to exactly ninety minutes long, allowing time for injuries and errors.
2 2 0 0 6 1 +5 0 1 3 0.5 100 +2
Both of his matches were played in the British Championship competition and played at a home venue

Tournament Record

British Championship Competition
Type P W D L F A GD FTS CS FAv AAv Pts% W/L
BC 1898-99 2 2 0 0 6 1 +5 0 1 3.00 0.50 100.0 +2
BC All 2 2 0 0 6 1 +5 0 1 3.00 0.50 100.0 +2

All Competition
Type P W D L F A GD FTS CS FAv AAv Pts% W/L
BC 2 2 0 0 6 1 +5 0 1 3.00 0.50 100.0 +2
2 2 0 0 6 1 +5 0 1 3 0.5 100 +2

Match History

 Club: Sheffield United F.C. - two full appearances (180 min) F.A. International Select Committee - two full appearances (180 min)x

apps match match details comp res. rundown pos

Age 26
1 66 20 March 1899 - England 4 Wales 0
Athletic Ground, Bedminster
BC HW   rb

the 246th player to appear for England
the seventh Sheffield United FC player to represent England

Age 27
2 67 8 April 1899 - England 2 Scotland 1
Aston Lower Grounds, Birmingham
BC HW   rb