Andy Ducat Sold By Arsenal On This Day, 14th June 1912

Transfer news this morning from 1912. In itself, Arsenal selling a player was not unusual but Andy Ducat was different in many respects. He was a successful cricketer, capped for one test against Australia in 1921, after he had left Arsenal. His first innings dismissal for 3 runs came about when his bat splintered defending a fast delivery. The ball was caught in the slips but apparently a shard from the bat also dislodged a bail.

He was one of a breed that died out in the late 1970s from memory, players who were able to play county cricket as well as top level football. The last such player that I recall was the late Chris Balderstone of Leicestershire and Carlisle United, who topped the First Division in 1975.

Ducat’s sale was a remnant of Henry Norris’ takeover of the club. As much as it brought in welcome funds from the transfer, it also served to cut the wage bill for a club that was still trying to find fiscal stability. The fee is believed to have been £1,000 – in today’s money is around £625,000 – which is quite significant since it matched the record fee of that era. It would be another eighteen months before George Uttley’s transfer from Barnsley to Sheffield United broke the £2,000 barrier.