We’re up and running and time with another name in our Top 50 Latics players rundown. The problem is with things like this is that older fans pour scorn on the focus that is put on today’s Premier League prima donnas who have barely played 50 games yet younger fans don’t want to read about old gets reminiscing for the good old days.
Thankfully, we appear to have landed a beautiful mix of the young and old submitted by the contributors to the TNS poll and although it is probably a little bit disappointing that our older players aren’t represented more it is pretty basic maths to understand that not only do we have more fans watching us now than we have ever had but a lot of that support wasn’t born 40 years ago so is unlikely to vote for a player who they never had the good fortune to see play in the flesh as is the case with me and this entry. It’s just basic evolution. The more decades we stretch back, the fewer generations saw previous Latics greats play.
Clearly this presents a challenge to me too, seeing as I was only born in 1988 (insert winky smilie thing)….so I have had to defer to some of our older Latics contributors to provide the information on the latest addition to our hall of fame. Enough rambling from me. Thanks to go Tony Topping for providing the picture via George Chilvers and as ever Bernard Ramsdale for a brilliant write up of a man called Bert:
Herbert Arthur Llewellyn was born in Golborne on 5th February 1939.
He started his career with Everton for whom he signed on 1st May 1956, it was whilst at Goodison Park that he became an England youth international. Also playing for Everton at the time were other future Latics stars Derek Temple and Wally Fielding. He made 10 Division One appearances for the Toffees, netting twice in the process. He scored on his Toffees debut, a 2-0 home victory against Blackpool on 22nd August 1956, his other goal coming three days later in a home 2-2 draw against Bolton Wanderers.
His next port of call was Crewe Alexandra for whom he signed on 1st July 1958, during his time at Gresty Road he rattled in 51 goals in 96 league appearances. On 1st November 1960 he was transferred to Port Vale for a fee of seven thousand pounds and he scored on debut against Barnsley the following day! After making 88 league appearances for the Valiants, during which he scored 42 goals, Vale recouped their original transfer fee when he headed south to Northampton Town on 1st February 1963.
It was at the County Ground that disaster struck Bert. Just eleven minutes into his debut for the Cobblers Bert’s leg was snapped and he never played for the club again. Exactly one year later Walsall took a gamble on signing Llewellyn, but his free scoring days as a Football League player were over, but he netted an admirable six goals in 17 league appearances at Fellows Park.
He arrived at Springfield Park in the summer of 1965 when then manager Allan Brown had the master stroke of pairing him up with the late, great Harry Lyon. He scored twice on his Cheshire League debut against Buxton at home in a game that resulted in a 4-3 victory on 1st September 1965. He had already endeared himself to the faithful having netted a goal on his first ever game for the club, a pre season friendly against Chorley in a 2-2 draw on 8th July 1965 at Springfield Park.
He went on to make 39 league appearances for Latics that season, netting 49 goals in the process, seven of which were penalties. Lyon had to make do with a paltry 42 as the Blues finished the season as runners up to Altrincham in the League. However, a cup treble was duly completed as the Cheshire League Cup, the Lancashire Junior Cup and the Liverpool Non League Senior Cup were put on display in the trophy cabinet.
The following season saw Bert make 40 league appearances, netting 28 times (1 pen) whilst Lyon once again trailed with 27! Once again Latics finished runners up in the Cheshire League to Altrincham. Four trophies were hauled up into the trophy cabinet these being the Liverpool Non League Senior Cup, the Lancashire Floodlit Cup and the Northern Floodlit League championship and cup double was secured.
Season 1967/68, Latics’ last in the Cheshire League, proved to be Bert’ s Springfield Park swansong. He amassed 34+1 league appearances, during which he scored 18 times. By the time he left Springfield Park he had played under four managers, Brown, Alf Craig, Harry Leyland and Allan Sanders. He had made 185 appearances in all competitions rattling in 140 goals, including 57 goals in 57 appearances during his first season at the club. He scored five goals in a single game on two occasions, he netted four times in a single game on three occasions and he banged in six hat tricks for good measure! For two of those three magical seasons he had even put the immortal Lyon in the shade. Bert is a true club legend!
The TNS Top 50 was compiled last year and collected over 2,000 votes from Latics fans across a variety of platforms. There have been initial discussions with the club and other fan sites to turn this into a bigger survey and produce a book of the Top 100 Latics players next year with pen pictures written by fans
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