This painting represents the founding 12 clubs that founded the Football League in 1888 alongside an important player in their history of a club.
1. Sir Tom Finney (Preston North End): Finney only ever played for his home club. Because his father only allowed him to turn profesional after he completed his plumbing apprenticeship, he was nicknamed "The Preston Plumber". He is the first player to be voted Footballer of the Year twice in 1953 - 54 and 1956 - 57. Knighted in 19998, Sir Tom was President of Preston North End for over 60 years, until he passed away in 2014.
2. Dennis Mortimer (Aston Villa): Morimer was captain of Villa in the late 70's early 80's, leading them to League Cup success in 1977 and the First Division Championship 1980 - 81, adding the European Cup in 1982. A classy midfielder who was known for breaking from a deep position to link with an attack or score himself with a defence splitting burst of pace.
3. Billy Wright (Wolverhampton Wanderers): Wright spent his whole career with Wolves and led them to 3 League Championships as well as an FA Cup Final victory. He was the first footballer in the world to earn 100 caps. He still holds the record for the longest unbroken run of appearances in competitive international football and captained England for a record 90 times.
4. Derek Fazackerley (Blackburn Rovers): A tough defender, Fazackerley made a record number of appearances for Blackburn in an 18 year career. After retiring from playing he has had a distinguished coaching career including spells as assistant manger to England Manager Kevin Keegan and Sven-Goran Erikkson at Manchester City.
5. Nat Lofthouse OBE (Bolton Wanderers): Lofthouse played his entire career for his local team. His 30 goals in 33 games for England gives him one of the greatest goals per game ratios of anyone to ever represent the country. Nicknamed "The Lion of Vienna" in 1952 after scoring his second goal against Austria despite being elbowed in the face, tackled from behind and eventually being brought down by the goalkeeper.
6. Tony "Bomber" Brown (West Bromwich Albion): Known for his spectacular goals scored playing either wing-half or inside forward. Brown holds the record number of appearances for West Brom scoring 279 goals in 720 competitive matches and was part of their successful cup sides of 1966 and 1968. He was the top scorer in the Division One 1970 - 71 season at the end of which he gained his only England cap.
7. George Haworth (Accrington FC): Haworth first played for Accrington between 1883 and 1885, before joining Blackburn where he was to win the FA Cup in 1885. By the 1885 - 86 season he was back at Accrington where he won his 5 England caps. During the season following the foundation of the Football League in 1888, he was made captain of the side and led them to 6th place, Accrington's highest ever League position.
8. William "Dixie" Dean (Everton FC): The most prolific goal scorer in English football history. Dean was best known for his exploits in the 1927 - 28 season when he scored 60 League goals, a feat still to be equalled, which helped Everton win the First Division title. In the words of Bill Shankly "He belongs in the company of the supremely great, like Beethoven, Shakespeare and Rembrant".
9. James "Jimmy" Mcllroy MBE (Burnley FC): Labelled "The Prince of Inside Forward's" Mcllroy was Burnley's most capped International, playing 55 times for Northern Ireland. He was a member of their successful Championship winning team of 1959 - 60 and also played for Burnley in the 1962 Cup Final which they lost to Spurs. He would still regulary attend matches and was made Honorary President of the Club in 2011.
10. Steve Bloomer (Derby County FC): A legend at Derby County where he played most of his career. The club anthem "Steve Bloomer's Watchin" is played before every home game. Bloomer was a great "two-footed/2 player and his speciality was the daisy cutter - a low shot, hit with great power, speed and accuracy. After Jimmy Greaves, he is the second highest all time goal scorer in the First Division.
11. Tommy Lawton (Notts County): Despite flat feet and needing to wear orthotics, Lawton rapidly achieved fame for his pace, heading ability and two footed effectiveness in front of goal. He won the last pre peak of his playing career he shocked the football world with a move to Third Division Notts County for a record fee of £20,000.
12. Sir Stanley Matthews CBE (Stoke City): He's the only footballer to be knighted whilst still playing. Matthews was regarded as "The wizard of the dribble". A near vegetarian teetotaller, he kept fit enough to play at the top level until he was 50 years old. He is the oldest player to play in England's top football division.
In A League of Their Own
Handmade artwork printed in high resolution on premium white art paper. Prints are unframed.
All prints come numbered and signed by the artist, Bernard Kelly.