The Clown Prince Of Football Joins Arsenal On This Day, 3rd August 1938

We often wonder who Arsène Wenger ranks as the one who got away. From a different era, for very different reasons, Len Shackleton would definitely fall into that category. The Second World War robbed many players of their lives and others of the prime years of their careers.

Len Shackleton joined Arsenal on this day but never played for the first team, managing just a solitary appearance in the Southern League. Nor did he guest for the club during the war years, as far as I have been able to ascertain. His record of a goal every other game for Bradford Park Avenue, Newcastle and Sunderland stands comparison with anyone from any era.

His autobiography, The Clown Prince Of Football, contained a chapter entitled, The Average Director’s Knowledge of Football. It was a blank page and remains as true today, as it was then.