Experienced full back Charlie Betts joined the Tigers in May 1914 after his release from relegated Derby County. He was inserted into the first team in the third League fixture of the season and retained his place, bar two games, for the rest of the season under new boss Fred Stringer. At the end of the 1914/15 season the Football League was suspended due to World War One but Betts was able to avoid the frontline and stay in Hull for the whole conflict, assisting the club during four seasons of non-senior warime matches. Charlie added 107 appearances during the war years and was still with the club in August 1919 when the Football League restarted. Betts played regularly up until Christmas when he was displaced at left back by young Geordie Jimmy Lodge (then known as Jimmy Barrass). Betts made two more starts at right back in April 1920 then then was granted a free transfer by the Tigers a month later.
Arthur Charles Betts, often known as Charlie during his football career, was born in Scunthorpe and lived on the High Street over his father’s butcher’s shop. He took up a stonemason’s apprenticeship at the age of 15 and soon started playing local football for North Lindsey United. Betts played trial games for Gainsborough Trinity’s reserves during January 1905 and signed for the Second Division club the following May. Handed his League debut in September 1905, the 19 year old Betts was quickly established as a first team regular and ended his first season of senior football with 28 starts. A near ever-present the following season, Betts scored his first senior goal in November 1906 when he netted a penalty against Burslem Port Vale. At the end of the 1906/07 season Betts had made 68 appearances for Trinity when he decided to head south and join Southern League side Watford. In three years at Watford Betts made exactly 100 appearances before he returned to Gainsborough in May 1910.
The 1910/11 season was a turning point for Betts, coming into the first team in October he was a regular for the rest of the season and showed excellent form that attracted the attention of First Division clubs. In July 1911 a £150 fee was paid by Newcastle United for Charlie’s services and a career in the top flight appeared to beckon. Alas Betts spent his time playing in the Magpies’ A team and in October 1911, only four months after signing for Newcastle, he was transferred to Second Division side Derby County. In his first season at Derby he contributed to a Second Division title win and Betts’ stalled First Division career was resurrected. He missed only five games for the Rams during the 1912/13 season but in the 1913/14 season ill health meant he missed large swathes of matches. Derby were relegated back to the Second Division in May 1914 and Betts was released alongside veteran goal machine Steve Bloomer. A few days after his release Betts signed for Hull City, in return for a £150 fee – during his three seasons with the Rams Betts made 74 senior appearances.
Charlie left Hull City in June 1920 and joined his hometown club, Midland League side Scunthorpe United. Despite heading into his late 30s Betts remained a regular starter for Scunthorpe and in March and May 1922 he was twice selected for the Midland League select XI. He played for The Iron for three seasons before dropping down into the local leagues in 1923, taking over as player-coach at Normanby Park Steelworks FC and later coaching another Scunthorpe-based works team Lysaght Sports. When Charlie gave up playing he worked as a storeman in a local steelworks and later took work as a sports groundsman. He stayed in Scunthorpe for the rest of his days and died in May 1967.
Date/Place of Birth: 2 February 1886, Scunthorpe
Hull City First Game: 12 September 1914, Leeds City A (Division Two), 28 years, 222 days old
Hull City Final Game: 3 April 1920, Bristol City H (Division Two), 34 years, 61 days old
North Lindsey United, Gainsborough Trinity (1905-1907), Watford (1907-1910), Gainsborough Trinity (1910-1911), Newcastle United (1911), Derby County (1911-1914), Hull City (1914-1920), Scunthorpe United (1920-1923), Normanby Park Steelworks (1923-1924)
Hull City Record
Career: 57 apps, 0 goalsCharlie Betts