Experienced outside left Eddie Burbanks joined Hull City in June 1948, one of new manager Raich Carter’s first signings. Carter and Burbanks had played together in the 1930s at Sunderland and Raich clearly valued the pace and creativity that Eddie offered despite his advancing years. Burbanks went straight into the City first team and as City won 14 of the first 20 League and Cup fixtures in the 1948/49 season and Eddie was a constant presence on the left wing, scoring eight goals. His first goal came in an early September 2-1 win at Barrow and City won all seven of the matches Eddie scored in during this period, including a brace in a 5-1 win over Southport. Burbanks missed three months of football between December 1948 and March 1949, when he returned City were dominating all before them and easing to the Division Three North title.
Promoted to the Second Division, Burbanks was again first choice at outside left and started the first 16 games of the season, scoring four goals (all four games were won, as was the case the previous term) as City competed in the top eight. After a two month period in and out of the first team Burbanks returned in early February 1950 but this coincided with a winless streak that saw City’s hopes of an immediate promotion to the First Division evaporate. Starting again in 1950/51 season with new signing Alf Ackerman in the forward line, Burbanks was once again the supply line from the left and had his best season in black and amber, missing only four senior fixtures. When Carter resigned from the manager’s post in September 1951 and the Directors took over the management of first team affairs Burbanks, by now in his 40th year, was initially sidelined. However when Carter returned in a playing capacity Burbanks was restored and he started all of the last 24 fixtures, and contributed four goals to a season that ended in City avoiding relegation.
Bob Jackson took over the managerial reins at Hull City for the 1952/53 season and he chose Burbanks at outside left for most of the first four months of the season. However the emergence of locally born winger Brian Cripsey meant Burbanks was used sparingly for the rest of the season and he left the Tigers in the 1953 close season.
William Edwin “Eddie” Burbanks was born in Campsall, a rural village north of Doncaster and close to Askern Colliery. He started his football career in local football, playing for Thorne Town before he signed for Denaby United in the 1934 close season. By February 1935 Eddie was attracting the attention of numerous Football League clubs but £750 secured his signature for First Division Sunderland, where another 21 year old forward Raich Carter was scoring goals and turning in star performances for the Roker Park faithful. Burbanks started the final two matches of the 1934/35 season, scoring on his debut against Portsmouth. After opening the batting for South Yorkshire cricket team Bentley during the summer of 1935, Eddie spent the 1935/36 season acclimatising to his new profession in the reserves as the Roker Park side won the First Division title with an eight point gap over second placed Derby County.
Burbanks was reintroduced to the Sunderland first team in October 1936 when regular outside left Jimmy Connor was unavailable for a month and Eddie scored goals against Portsmouth and Chelsea in the First Division plus another goal against Arsenal in the Charity Shield. When Connor suffered a serious injury in an FA Cup replay against Luton in early February 1937 Burbanks was thrust back into first team action and he excelled, bringing his season to an end by scoring the third goal as Sunderland came from behind to beat Preston North End in the 1937 FA Cup Final. Now a first team regular, Burbanks scored in the 1938 FA Cup Semi Final against Huddersfield Town at Ewood Park, which Sunderland lost 1-3, and by the time football came to a halt for World War Two in 1939 Burbanks had made 101 starts for Sunderland in all senior competitons and scored 18 goals.
During the War Burbanks played for several clubs as his RAF physical training duties demanded he travel around the country – Chesterfield, Doncaster Rovers, Blackpool, Manchester United and Leeds United all benefitted from his availability, as did Sunderland on 65 occasions. Eddie scored once in five appearances for Sunderland in the 1945/46 FA Cup and when the Football League resumed in August 1946 Eddie added a further 48 appearances and 10 goals in two seasons. However when his great friend Raich Carter moved to Hull City in March 1948 and quickly took over the manager’s role, it was likely that the 35 year old Burbanks would follow.
Eddie joined Leeds United for the 1953/54 season, once again reunited with Raich Carter who had been appointed manager at Elland Road. Eddie made 13 appearances to add to the 14 he made for Leeds a decade earlier during World War Two. His final game for Leeds was against Hull City in April 1954, when Raich made him captain for the day.
Burbanks retired from football in the 1954 close season and he returned to live in Hull. For 23 years he ran a sweet shop on Holderness Road, after three years of retirement he died in Hull in July 1983.
Date/Place of Birth: 1 April 1913, Campsall
Hull City First Game: 21 August 1948, Tranmere Rovers A (Division Three North), 35 years, 142 days old
Hull City Final Game: 16 April 1953, Leicester City H (Division Two), 40 years, 15 days old
Thorne Town, Denaby United (1934-1935), Sunderland (1935-1948), Hull City (1948-1953), Leeds United (1953-1954)
Hull City Record
Career: 153 apps, 22 goalsEddie Burbanks