141 Thomas Eccles

Biography

Thomas Edward Eccles was born in East Hull on the first day of the 20th century, on the site of the 21st century Reckitts factory on Holderness Road. He experienced a troubled childhood and was convicted of begging at the age of nine, which resulted in Thomas attending the Macclesfield Industrial School in Cheshire – a rather benign name for a vocational borstal where delinquent and parentless minors were given accommodation and taught a trade to set them on a course for the rest of their lives. Eccles studied as a shoemaker and by 1917 he was living in Kettering, at the heart of the Northamptonshire shoe manufacturing industry, when he was convicted to three years in borstal for theft.

By April 1922 he had returned to Hull and was playing local league football when Hull City, keen to build a bigger squad of players in the aftermath of World War One, took him on a trial. He made a handful of appearances for the Reserves – the Hull Daily Mail, perhaps euphemistically, reported that he “had been in the Army” – and he was handed his first team debut at inside right on the last day of the season, scoring in a 2-0 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers. Thomas was handed a professional contract for the 1922/23 season, which he began as City’s first choice centre forward but after three games, the third of which yielded him a goal against Bury, he reverted to the Reserves. Eccles returned to the first team in early December and made five starts, four at inside left, but his final appearance was the last game of manager Percy Lewis’s tenure. Lewis’s departure denied Eccles any further first team action, despite scoring regularly in the City Reserves. He left the Tigers in May 1923 and spent the 1923/24 season playing for East Hull side Marfleet before returning to the obscurity of Hull’s local football scene.

By 1939 he was working as a warehouseman and living as a widower at Northumberland Avenue in Hull, what is in the 21st century an industrial estate near the old Cannon Street railway station. He died in Hull in 1948.

Details

Nationality: England
Date/Place of Birth: 1 January 1900, Hull
Hull City First Game: 6 May 1922, Wolverhampton Wanderers H (Division Two), 22 years, 125 days old
Hull City Final Game: 6 January 1923, Manchester United A (Division Two), 23 years, 5 days old

Clubs

Hull City (1922-1923), Marfleet (1923-1924)

Hull City Record

Career: 9 apps, 2 goals

Thomas Eccles
SeasonLGE
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LGE
Gls
FAC
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FLC
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FLC
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EUR
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EUR
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OTH
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OTH
Gls
1921/2211--------
1922/2381--------

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