Dec 14

Steve Bloomer (England)

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Steve Bloomer wasn’t content with being arguably the best footballer of his day – he was a star cricketer and baseball player too.

One of the leading goalscorers in UFWC history, he scored 20 goals in 17 title matches between 1895 and 1907. He scored in his first ten matches for England – an enduring record for consecutive games and goals. Among his UFWC tally was five goals in one game against Wales in 1896.

He played the majority of his club career at Derby County, making 473 appearances in two spells, scoring 291 goals. He also scored 61 goals for Middlesborough. 317 of his goals were in the First Division, and he remains the division’s second top scorer after Jimmy Greaves.

Having retired from playing, in an unfortunate case of bad timing, Bloomer took up a coaching position in Berlin just three weeks before the outbreak of the First World War. He was subsequently interned for three and a half years at Ruhleben, where he led his barrack to the camp football championship at the sprightly age of 43.

‘Though his activities are now confined to the narrow limits of Ruhleben,’ reported the Ruhleben camp magazine, ‘Mr Bloomer’s skill on the field of play has been a source of inspiration for our younger players and of genuine pleasure to the onlookers.’

Bloomer returned to his hometown of Derby after the war, and died in 1938. A commemorative bust was unveiled inside Derby’s Pride Park in 2009.

Steve Bloomer, UFWC career 1895-1907, 17 games, 20 goals.

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