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Legends - Arthur Rowley

3 July 2012

Legend - Arthur Rowley

The first name to be announced will be of no surprise to Shrewsbury Town fans with a true footballing legend making the list:-

George Arthur Rowley

Born in Wolverhampton in April 1926 Arthur as he was always known may have burst onto the scene earlier but for World War II. He showed early promise and signed for Wolverhampton Wanderers as an amateur before moving to arch rivals West Bromwich Albion in May 1944. After the Football League restarted in 1946 Arthur made his initial 24 appearances for the Baggies before moving south to join Fulham in December 1948. 
His eye for goal began to become apparent as he scored 27 goals in 56 starts for the Craven Cottage Club and helped then to promotion in 1949 to the top flight. He was to return to the Second Division with Leicester City where he became and still is an icon. Having joined them as Town were just entering the League he would re-write the record books. The Foxes earned promotion twice largely thanks to Rowley's phenomenal strike rate. In 303 games for the side he scored 251 goals which helped them to promotion in 1954 and 1957 
In those days footballers over thirty years of age were often discarded by top flight Clubs and in their early days Shrewsbury Town benefited from the skills of many ex Derby County players while Sammy Crooks was in charge. However it was a big surprise that Leicester City decided to unload 31 year old Rowley and a major coup that Town secured his services.
He arrived saying that his team would look to score goals and he would "rather win 5-4 than 1-0". At the time the Club record goalscorer was Willie O'Donnell with 19 in a season. In his first campaign Arthur DOUBLED that figure and the team scored over 100 goals in the League. A feat they repeated in all fixtures for the next two seasons.
In seven years as a player he played 236 games for Salop and scored 152 goals to become the Club's all-time record goalscorer (only Danny Williams before the War and Jackie Butler after passed 100).
He also beat all the British goalscoring records passing Dixie Dean's 379 English goals Hughie Gallacher's 387 Anglo-Scottish total and latterly Jimmy McGrory's 410 goal Scottish record as he amassed 434 goals in a 619 game career. If mass substitutions had arrived a little earlier Arthur felt he could have carried on an easily passed 450 surely his like will not be seen again 
In recent times Jimmy Greaves with 357 and John Aldridge 329 and 33 in Spain are the only players to get within 100 goals of Arthur's record.


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