William Townley 1866-1950 – footballer

Another Englishman in Fürth (see William Wilson, earlier entry).

William Townley’s career in the glorious days of Fürth football are well documented:

The following year he was hired by the northern Bavarian club SpVgg Fürth. This club owned the most advanced facilities in Germany and was quickly becoming the largest club in the country with a membership approaching 3,000. Two months after his arrival Fürth lost against English side Newcastle United only 1–2. He guided the club to its first two Bavarian championships (Ostkreismeisterschaft) which heralded the onset of a golden era that would last into the 1930s which saw the club become one of the most dominant football sides in the country.

except for a gap in the First World War:

In December 1913 Townley got the call from Bayern Munich, but on a loan arrangement he re-joined to Fürth in April of the following year to guide the that club through the national championship rounds. In the final Fürth captured its first national title, defeating defending champions VfB Leipzig, holders of a then record three German titles. It is not clear, but he may then have returned to Munich, before the horrors of World War I overtook the continent, obscuring knowledge of Townley’s activities during this period.

4 thoughts on “William Townley 1866-1950 – footballer

  1. Interesting soccer/footballing career. ‘Tis a shame pioneering William T’s travels abroad effectively put paid to adding to his 2 England caps post-1890. By the same token, Manchester City’s legendary ‘broken neck’ goal-keeper, ex POW in England: Bernhard ‘Bert’ Trautmann was never allowed to play for his native country, namely the West German national side, including the victorious one that won the World Cup in 1954. The players-abroad pendulum has swung the other way.

  2. I had forgotten about Trautmann.

    At least Mike Büskens is back as the new trainer. He was the trainer when Fürth temporarily went up to the first division. Presumably he has now got used to the idea of leaving his children in Frankfurt.

  3. You, Margaret, must mean Frankfurt am Main, rather than the once-larger Soviet garrison town of Frankfurt an der Oder! Anyway, I am extremely grateful to you for ‘resurrecting’ this English footballer in Fürth, whilst recall the likes of other popular English soccer players more recently in Germany, such as Tony Woodcock (not the All-Blacks rugby player, but the footballer previously of Nottingham Forest) signed up to FC Cologne.There is also Kevan Keegan, formerly of Liverpool and England captaincy, who became a star at HSV after giving his Hamburg team-mates a tongue-lashing for ignoring him. The latter is still a legend in that Hanseatic City.

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