248 Percy Downes

Biography

Pacy outside left Percy Downes joined the Tigers in February 1932, having been granted a free transfer by previous club Blackpool after a long recovery from an operation. Downes spent 4 weeks in City’s reserves to gain match fitness before coming into the first team in mid-March in place of Dally Duncan as the Tigers consolidated a top ten position. Downes scored in each of three wins in the last four games of the season against Carisle United, Accrington Stanley and Wrexham. However in May 1932 he was again on the move after being lured to join Stockport County, who were managed by former Scottish international centre forward Andrew Wilson.

Percy Downes was born in Langold, a model mining village north of Worksop in Nottingham. As a young man his family moved a few miles west to Dinnington, another purpose-built colliery village, where his father worked as a miner. In the early 1920s the young Downes played for the Dinnington Main Colliery team and in March 1924 he transferred to Midland League side Gainsborough Trinity. After only eight months at The Northolme Downes’ form was sufficient to prompt First Division side Blackpool to pay £500 for his signature – a very substantial fee at the time for a non-league player. Percy was handed his Blackpool debut in a September 1925 match against Darlington, eighteen months after joining the club. By January 1926 he was the Tangerines’ first choice outside left and was a regular first team choice for the next three seasons. In the 1929/30 season Downes missed only one League game as Blackpool won the Second Division title and earned promotion to the top flight – Downes scored 12 goals that season, including an October 1929 hattrick against Bristol City. Percy played a support role to the first team in the top flight but by February 1931 he was out of the first team after requiring major surgery. He left the Tangerines a year later having made 155 senior starts and scored 31 goals.

Downes spent two years at Stockport after leaving Hull City and he thrived in Division Three North at Edgeley Park, scoring 26 goals and missing only two League games in two seasons. He netted his second senior hattrick in January 1934 when Stockport smashed Halifax Town 13-0. In May 1934 Downes transferred to Second Division side Burnley and he was a first team regular throughout the 1934/35 season. He dropped out of the first team picture in the second half of the 1935/36 season and left the Clarets in May 1936 having scored six times in 74 appearances.

Downes joined Oldham Athletic in May 1936 and he was again a first team regular in his first season at the Division Three North side. He missed a large chunk of the 1937/38 season and by the 1938 close season he had made 58 starts for the Latics and scored four goals. In May 1938 he returned to Lincolnshire and signed for Midland League side Gainsborough Trinity while working as a crane driver in the docks area. He hung up his boots when senior football was suspended for World War Two in September 1939. He stayed in Gainsborough for the rest of his life and died in November 1989.

Details

Nationality: England
Date/Place of Birth: 19 September 1905, Langold
Hull City First Game: 12 March 1932, York City A (Division Three North), 26 years, 175 days old
Hull City Final Game: 7 May 1932, Wrexham H (Division Three North), 26 years, 231 days old

Clubs

Dinnington Main Colliery, Ginsborough Trinity (1924), Blackpool (1924-1932), Hull City (1932), Stockport County (1932-1934), Burnley (1934-1936), Oldham Athletic (1936-1938), Gainsborough Trinity (1938-1939)

Hull City Record

Career: 11 apps, 3 goals

Percy Downes
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