Them and us – Albert Humpish (Arsenal and Wigan Athletic)

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Tomorrow’s visit to Arsenal gives TNS the chance to look back at the career of Albert Humpish who played for Wigan Athletic, Wigan Borough and the Gunners.

Albert, nicknamed Teddy, was born in Heaton, Newcastle on 3rd April 1902.  He was a strong, imposing inside forward and he started his career at Halifax Town where he made 8 appearances and scored once before a move to Bury in 1924. However, his appearance total for the Gigg Lane outfit was just 2 League games without scoring before he found himself transferred to Third Division North side Wigan Borough for the start of the 1925/26 season.

He made a total of 161 League games for Boro, netting 15 times. His Boro debut came on 24th October 1925 against Walsall at Springfield Park with Boro winning 2-0.  His Boro career at Springfield Park also included 8 Lancashire Senior Cup appearances, 10 Manchester Senior Cup appearances and 11 FA Cup appearances and he failed to find the net in any of them.

He was the arguably the best player to ever play for Boro and he was transferred to Arsenal (as a potential replacement for Gunners legend Alf Baker) for an unknown fee in December 1929, although the club did put a transfer fee of one and a half thousand pounds on his head.

He made just 3 League appearances at Highbury without hitting the net where he was used mainly as a reserve grade player with whom he won a London Combination championship medal in May 1930.

His next port of call was Bristol City in December 1930 and he played 36 League games and scored 1 goal whilst at Ashton Gate before being transferred to Stockport County in the summer of 1932. His two-year stint at Edgeley Park saw him make 58 League appearances and score 11 goals before joining his final Football League club, Rochdale in 1934. He scored twice in 31 League appearances at Spotland before drifting into non league football with Ashton National.

It was from the Ashton outfit that Charlie Spencer signed him for Latics in September 1936 during what was Latics’ fifth season in existence.  Spencer had seen his team win the the Cheshire County League championship on three of the previous four seasons.  The nickname given to his team at the time was ‘The Arsenal Of The Cheshire League’!  However, by the time Albert signed for the club the glory days were over and Spencer was just six months away from leaving the club to manage Grimsby Town.

He made 35 league appearances for Latics netting ten times in the process.  He also scored once for the REDS in the Cheshire County League Cup, against Chester Reserves in a first round tie that resulted in a 3-1 victory.  He also appeared in an unrecorded number of Northern Midweek League games as well.

After leaving Springfield Park for his second and last time he hung up his boots.  He resurfaced briefly in October 1951 when he became the Rochdale first team trainer for two years.

He passed away on 28th September 1986 in Chester.

Albert is pictured here in 1925 during his Wigan Borough days.

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