Leeds United F.C. History
Leeds United F.C. History : Foreword
1919-29 - The Twenties
1930-39 - The Thirties
1939-46 - The War Years
1947-49 - Post War Depression
1949-57 - The Reign of King John
1957-63 - From Charles to Revie
1961-75 - The Revie Years
1975-82 - The Downward Spiral
1982-88 - The Dark Years
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1996-04 - The Rollercoaster Ride
2004-13 - Down Among The Deadmen
100 Greatest LUFC Players Ever
Greatest Leeds United Games
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Leeds City F.C. History
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Attwell: Frederick Reginald (Reg)

WW2 Guest: 1942-1943 (Leeds United War-time Guest Player Details)

Wing Half

Born: Shifnal, Shropshire: 23-03-1920

Debut: v Blackburn Rovers (h): 28-02-1942

Height & Weight: Unknown

Attwell started with Non-League Denaby United, before joining West Ham United, who he served from 1937 until 1946, but due to the Second World War made only five appearances for them. He only played once before the War, on 23rd April 1938 in a Second Division fixture at Sheffield United, when the Hammers went down 3-1 in front of a crowd of 30,000. During the War he served with the Essex Regiment and played a total of forty-nine games for the Hammers but he never scored a goal for them. He also guested for several clubs. They included: Northampton Town and Chelsea where he played once, without scoring, for both in 1941-42. Doncaster Rovers, where he had four games in 1942-43, scored twice in nineteen games in 1943-44, scored once in twelve games in 1944-45 and in 1945-46 played four games without scoring. Another was Leeds United, who he played for twice. The two games that he featured in for Leeds were when he played at Left-Half in February 1942 at Elland Road against Blackburn Rovers in a 0-1 loss and in September 1943 in the 3-0 home victory over Middlesbrough. In 1944-45 he played three games for Blackburn Rovers, and Preston North End, without scoring and scored once in twelve appearances for Queens Park Rangers. He played one game without scoring for Middlesbrough in the 1945-46 season before he then joined Burnley as a wartime guest in 1945. He played fifteen games and scored once for Burnley in the 1945–46 campaign before returning to West Ham. On the resumption of the League fixtures Attwell played a further four consecutive Second Division games for West Ham United. At Plymouth Argyle on 31st August 1946, where a crowd of 26,000 saw the home team win 3-1, on 2nd September 1946 at home to Fulham where 28,000 saw the Hammers get home by 3-2. Then on 9th September 1946, in the reverse fixture, Fulham won 3-2 in front of 19,913 at Craven Cottage. His final game for the Hammers was on 14th September 1946 at Chesterfield where a crowd of 16,000 saw the home team win 3-1. It is always said that the right time to buy new players is when you are at the top of the League rather than at the bottom and that was just the case at the end of October 1946 when Burnley boss Cliff Britton signed Reg Attwell from West Ham United. It wasn’t often that players moved up from southern clubs but this was considered something of a coup by Britton despite the fact that Attwell wasn’t in the starting line up at West Ham. Burnley had made a very good start to the 1946/47 season, the first after the resumption of league football following the end of World War II. By the beginning of November they were top of the Second Division and the capture of West Ham wing half Reg Attwell was greeted with delight by the Burnley supporters, many of whom had seen him play in Claret & Blue as a guest player in war time football, where he had made a massive impression. By now he was twenty-six years-old, another player who had seen much of his career taken away from him by the war and despite making his Football League debut over eight years earlier had made just five appearances. Britton had no qualms about putting him straight into the first team. Harold Spencer and Harold Rudman had both worn the No.4 jersey but when Attwell made his debut he completed the half back line that was to become as well known as Halley, Boyle and Watson, that of Attwell, Brown and Bray. It was an half-back line on which Burnley's future success was founded. Alan Brown, the club captain, and future Manager, and the stalwart George Bray provided the strong defence and Attwell's silky skills and accurate passes provided the class to what was already a very good team. He soon became a big crowd favourite at Turf Moor during that first post-war season as the Clarets reached Wembley for the first time, where they lost to Charlton Athletic in extra-time, and won promotion to the First Division as runners up to Manchester City. If he had played well in Division Two then things got better after promotion and he was turning in top performances week after week. The England selectors spotted it too and during Burnley’s second season back at the top level he was selected to play for the Football League against the Scottish League at Ibrox, a game the Football League won 3-0. Incredibly the England caps didn’t follow and like so many great Burnley players he failed to win the recognition his football surely had demanded. It was a mystery to those who saw him play at Burnley that he never won a solitary cap for his country. Into the early fifties and now past the age of thirty his place came under threat from an emerging young talent from the north east by the name of Jimmy Adamson. He lost his place to him but after a short time out of the side returned in the left-half position after George Bray retired as a player and joined the coaching staff. It made no difference and he turned in many memorable performances on the left hand side of the half-back line just as he had done on the right in a Burnley side now well established back at the top level. A change of manager made no difference. That was until the end of 1952, when he failed to turn up for a League game against Arsenal. Attwell had returned home to attend his father’s funeral and remained to care for his sick mother. He failed to inform the club. Things were never quite the same after that and new Manager Frank Hill never really considered him a regular first choice subsequently, although he did still play a good number of first team games. By the 1954/55 season though, by now at the age of thirty-four he found his first team career at an end with Adamson on the right and another young player Bobby Seith on the left. While at Turf Moor he had scored nine goals, including three from the penalty spot, in two hundred and forty-four League appearances and another two goals in twenty-five F.A. Cup ties. In October 1954 he moved on to Third Division North side, Bradford City, on a free transfer. He was there for just under two unsuccessful years, playing twenty-four League and two F.A. Cup matches before going into Non-League football with Darwen, before he finally hung up his boots. Burnley was then home for the Shropshire-born Attwell and he continued to live in the town until his sad death on 1st December 1986.

AppearancesGoals
War-time:
League 20