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Owd Reds Player Honoured by The Grecians

Arthur Chadwick

A special event took place on Friday 24 March when Exeter manager Gary Caldwell laid flowers on the restored grave of Exeter City’s first and long serving professional manager, Arthur Chadwick.

The timing of the event was chosen to coincide with the visit of Accrington Stanley to St James Park the following day. Arthur was born in Church in 1875 and played for Accrington Stanley FC (1891) from 1906 to 1908. This week also marks the anniversary of his death in 1936 while attending an Exeter City match at St James Park.

Arthur pictured with the Accrington team

Arthur Chadwick, a centre half, had an outstanding playing career including being in Southern League title winning teams at both Southampton and Portsmouth. He appeared in the 1900 Cup Final for the Saints and won two caps for England.

Arthur pictured with the Exeter team

Chadwick joined Exeter as Player/Manager in 1908 when City turned professional. Soon after, they were elected into the Southern League. Chadwick used his Northern contacts to build an entirely new team. He made an impact in another way too; under his leadership Exeter changed from green to red and white shirts in 1910.

Although he didn’t travel to South America in 1914 he would have overseen team selection. His mark was on the team who became Brazil’s first ever opponents at the end of the tour.

After the First World War Arthur masterminded the playing side as Exeter joined the Football League in 1920. He finally stood down in 1922 before going on to have spells as Manager of Reading and Southampton.

He returned to Exeter and collapsed and died at St James Park on 21 March 1936 while attending the match between Exeter and Clapton Orient.

Arthur was buried in Higher Cemetery, Heavitree and sadly by the new century the grave had fallen into disrepair. During the lockdown years the Exeter City Football Club Museum Trust, set up by the Exeter City Supporters’ Trust, raised funds to enable the grave to be restored.

Arthur’s resting place

Thanks to donations from three supporter groups – Grecian Goal, Cans4City and the Senior Reds – plus a donation from Southampton Football Club the Museum was able to engage Fine Memorials of Heavitree Road to carry out the refurbishment.

“We are delighted to mark the successful refurbishment of Arthur Chadwick’s grave and how fitting to do so with the visit of Accrington Stanley where Arthur’s footballing roots lay. And how appropriate that our current Manager should pay tribute to our very first professional manager” said Paul Farley Chair of the ECFC Museum Trust.

Stanley supporter Alan Parkinson kindly agreed to represent Accrington Stanley at the restoration event. Alan lives relatively close by in Yeovil and his father, Councillor Bill Parkinson, was instrumental in the resurrection of Accrington Stanley in 1968.

Most of this article was taken from the Exeter City website. For further information please contact museum@ecfc.co.uk

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