Arthur “Alf” Nelson joined the Tigers in August 1927 from Sheffield junior side Norton Woodseats. An accomplished cricketer as well as a footballer, Nelson was born in Darnall and grew up in the centre of Sheffield a hefty stone’s throw away from Bramall Lane. The young centre forward quickly cut his teeth in City’s Reserves and made his senior debut for Bill McCracken’s side at the end of October when regular pivot George Martin was absent. Nelson scored in his second start, a 2-2 draw against Blackpool, but Martin soon returned and Arthur didn’t come back into first team contention until mid-December.
He grasped this second opportunity with aplomb, scoring six goals in seven festive fixtures including a hattrick in a 3-2 defeat of Fulham. Nelson was first choice centre forward for the next three months but the goals dried up and he scored just once more, a 2-0 victory in the return fixture at Fulham in late March 1928. At the start of 1928/29 season City signed the experienced Welsh centre forward Ken McDonald, whose 21 goals before Christmas meant Nelson had to wait on the sidelines. When McDonald’s form dipped after Christmas Nelson started three games in January and February 1929, but was unable to add to his goal tally and was released in the 1929 close season.
Arthur, who by now was routinely called Alf or Alfred in the press, joined Scarborough in June 1929 where he converted to inside right and netted 27 times as the Seadogs won the Midland League title. This form led to a return to the Football League for Arthur, who joined Notts County in May 1930 but despite scoring 24 goals for the Magpies’ reserves he was unable to break into the first team. Further moves to Stockport County and Luton Town followed where the goal count was less impressive, and he saw out his career playing the Midland League, his last game appearing to come in November 1936.
By 1939 Nelson was living in Bradford and working in a wool warehouse. He died in Bradford towards the end of 1977.
Date/Place of Birth: 15 May 1909, Darnall
Hull City First Game: 22 October 1927, Chelsea A (Division Two), 18 years, 160 days old
Hull City Final Game: 9 March 1929, Clapton Orient H (Division Three North), 19 years, 298 days old
Norton Woodseats, Hull City (1927-1929), Scarborough (1929-1930), Notts County (1930-1931), Stockport County (1931-1932), Luton Town (1932-1933), Nuneaton Town (1933-1935), Wellington Town (1935-1936), Burton Town (1936)
Hull City Record
Career: 22 apps, 8 goalsArthur Nelson