Imposing centre half and occasional centre forward Charlie Deacey joined Hull City in May 1914 and was immediately introduced to the City first team and started all but two matches in late October as the Tigers finished in the top half of the Second Division table. Deacey opened his goal account for Hull City in a December 1914 victory over Barnsley then added a second in March 1915 when the Tigers lost an FA Cup Fourth Round tie to First Division Bolton Wanderers.
The continued conflict during World War One led to the Football League being suspended during the 1915 close season and Deacey returned to his home city of Birmingham to work in a munitions factory. He managed to make occasional appearances for City during four seasons of wartime leagues – two in 1915/16, one the next season, four in 1917/18 season and eight at the end of the wartime shutdown in March and April 1919. When the Football League resumed in August 1919 Deacey returned to the Tigers and was named club captain as well as first choice centre half, missing only four matches all season. However at the start of the 1920/21 season Deacey was displaced by Scotsman Mike Gilhooley and played only one more time for the Tigers before transferring to Grimsby Town in December 1920.
Charles Deacey was born in the Handsworth suburb of Birmingham, his father was a police constable who hailed from County Mayo in Ireland. As a youngster Deacey’s family moved a few miles west to Wednesbury, an historic market town and ancient royal seat north of West Bromwich. As a young man Charlie played as centre forward for Wednesbury Town and in March 1910 he switched to a more senior local team, Wednesbury Old Athletic, who competed in the Birmingham Combination. He quickly attracted the attention of Division Two side West Bromwich Albion, signing for the Baggies in August 1910. After scoring goals in the Reserves Deacey was given his senior debut by West Brom in November 1910 against Clapton Orient, but played on only one further occasion that season as the Baggies won the League title and promotion to the First Division. Deacey spent three more seasons at The Hawthorns, making occasional first team appearances at both centre forward and centre half. His only goal in 19 senior appearances for West Bromwich Albion came in a January 1912 FA Cup tie against Tottenham – Charlie didn’t make any further Cup appearances as the Baggies reached the Final only to lose to Barnsley in a replay at Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane after a 0-0 draw at Crystal Palace. He left the club in May 1914 to join Hull City.
In December 1920 Deacey signed for City’s Humber rivals Grimsby Town, who were playing in the newly formed Division Three South (despite their northerly location). He went straight into the Mariners’ first team as centre half and stayed there for two and half years, scoring four times in 98 appearances. In May 1923 Deacey was released by Grimsby and he headed to South Wales, signing for Southern League side Pontypridd. Immediately installed as club captain, Deacey gave two seasons’ service to the Dragons before his playing days ended in the 1925 close season. Deacey returned to Wednesbury and by 1939 he was working as a labourer in a local factory. He died in nearby Bilston in the Spring of 1952.
Date/Place of Birth: 6 October 1889, Handsworth
Hull City First Game: 3 September 1914, Stockport County H (Division Two), 24 years, 332 days old
Hull City Final Game: 9 October 1920, Rotherham County H (Division Two), 31 years, 3 days old
Wednesbury Town (1909-1910), Wednesbury Old Athletic (1910), West Bromwich Albion (1910-1914), Hull City (1914-1920), Grimsby Town (1920-1923), Pontypridd (1923-1925)
Hull City Record
Career: 81 apps, 5 goalsCharlie Deacey