Playing Past is delighted to be publishing on Open Access – Sporting Lives, [ISBN 978-1-905476-62-6] a collection of papers on the lives of men and women connected with the sporting world. This edited volume has its origins in a Sporting Lives symposium hosted by Manchester Metropolitan University’s Institute for Performance Research in December 2010.


Please cite this article as:

Carter, Neil. Monkey Glands and The Major: Frank Buckley and Modern Football Management,  In Day, D. (ed), Sporting Lives (Manchester: MMU Sport and Leisure History, 2010), 74-87.





Monkey Glands and The Major: Frank Buckley and Modern Football Management

Neil Carter




On 22 December 1964, the main headline on the back page of the Wolverhampton Express and Star read simply, ‘The Major is Dead’. For the paper’s readers no further explanation was deemed necessary. Frank Buckley had been the manager of Wolverhampton Wanderers from 1927 to 1944. During this period, Wolves had become one of the most feared and respected teams in the country. However, during this time he never won a trophy, although Wolves did nearly win the Double in 1939. Indeed, the Golden Era of Wolves was in the 1950s under one of his protégés, Stan Cullis. Yet it is clear, that over 20 years after he left Wolves, Buckley’s presence and his legacy was still firmly fixed in the memories of the fans of Wolves and of the people of Wolverhampton in general.

In addition, in The Times, together with two internationally renowned scientists and an important Scotland Yard policeman, there was also an obituary for Buckley. This was significant for a number of reasons. First, it reflected football’s position as the national game. It also highlighted not only the importance now ascribed to the position of the manager within football but also its growing visibility within popular culture more generally. And of course, it illustrated the importance of Buckley himself. Percy Young has stated that ‘Modern [football] management is based largely on the pioneer work of [Herbert] Chapman and Buckley’.[1] In The Times obituary, Buckley was described amongst other things as ‘a pioneer in modern training methods’ and someone who had ‘an uncommon flair for public relations’.[2] So, why was he considered such an important figure within football and in what context did his managerial career develop?

Frank Buckley – A Sporting Life

First, while this essay is mainly concerned with Buckley’s career at Wolverhampton Wanderers, it would useful to provide some brief background to this main focus. Franklin Charles Buckley was born in Urmston, Manchester in 1883. After attending St. Francis Xavier College in Liverpool and then working as an office clerk, he joined the army in 1900. He excelled at sport, especially football, and later represented his regiment, the 2nd Battalion of the King’s Liverpool. After playing for them in the Army Cup final in 1903, Aston Villa persuaded him to buy himself out of military life. Buckley enjoyed a relatively long career as a professional with a number of clubs but he played his best football for Derby County (1911-14). As a result, this gained him international recognition and he won one cap for England (albeit in a famous 3-0 defeat to Ireland at Middlesbrough’s Ayresome Park in 1914).[3]

Managerial Background

Buckley took his first managerial position at Norwich City (1919-20) on the advice of FA secretary, Frederick Wall.[4] For Buckley and other managers at this time, there were no models of football management to follow. Training was learned on the job. To what extent, therefore, could his background, in addition to his playing days, have shaped his career in football management?

First, during the inter-war period the growing number of men who were employed as football managers increasingly represented the first generation of professional footballers: Frank Buckley belonged to this group. Early football clubs generally employed secretaries who generally had clerical experience but little on the football side. Through their knowledge of the professional game, directors believed that ex-players would ‘know the ropes’ and understand players from a practical sense, such as detecting malingerers. But directors also looked for other qualities such as leadership. In this sense, through his military background, he fitted some of these specifications. While he did not see any active service during his military career between 1900 and 1903, Buckley reached the rank of lance sergeant. In addition, he qualified as a Gymnastics Instructor, which gave him an understanding of training and physical fitness as well as ideas about instruction and handling men.

In the First World War he joined the Footballers’ Battalion, although he was wounded at the Somme and later discharged. Because of his previous military experience, Buckley was awarded a commission and eventually reached the rank of ‘Major’, although it was actually only a temporary title.[5] Nevertheless, he retained it for the rest of his life. It became a kind of sobriquet, but one that virtually everyone – including his wife – referred to him by. The title of an army officer still carried much social status, especially in the inter-war years, as it allowed one to be regarded as a ‘Gentleman’. Army life was generally based on hierarchy and run through strict discipline, and this was later reflected in how Buckley ran his football clubs. In addition to his army background and officer bearing, Buckley owned a farm in partnership with his brother Chris. He dressed like a farmer, wearing a tweed suit with plus fours, although he may also have been trying to cultivate an image of a country gent. By the time he became Wolves manager, it was claimed that he had lost his Manchester accent, indicating a propensity for social climbing.[6] Pat Carter, however, later the wife of Raich saw another side to Buckley. She worked at Hull when Buckley was manager. Although she acknowledged his strict manner with the players, she also described him as a gentleman who was ‘a very charming man to his ladies [secretaries], he was very, very charming.’[7]  These social qualities were useful for his next job as a commercial traveller, rather than in football. Between 1920 and 1923, he worked for Maskell’s Ltd, a London confectionary manufacturer. It also indicates that Buckley had or at least acquired good verbal skills, which were another important skill that football managers required. In 1923, he was back in football and appointed the manager of Blackpool FC.

Management Culture

Buckley’s career also needs to be seen in light of football’s prevailing management culture. Initially, football managers were the secretaries, then later secretary-managers of clubs. They combined responsibilities for the team with administrative duties but, importantly, a secretary-manager deferred to his directors on playing matters. During the inter-war year though the stature of the manager began to rise. This process can be largely attributed to one man: Herbert Chapman. His success at Arsenal pointed towards the future model for managers who had the power to pick the team, decide tactics and to buy players. Of course, Chapman was assisted because Arsenal was a unique club as it was located in prosperous London, while much of the country suffered during the Depression. The emergence of the football manager also reflected the growing technocratic middle classes of the inter-war years, whose scientific and technical skills allowed them to bring new expertise and techniques to industry and government administration.[8]

Frank Buckley was appointed manager of Wolves in 1927 although it is difficult to assess the extent his appointment marked a change in the culture of the club’s management. Previously, between 1885 until his death in 1922, the club’s first and only secretary-manager had been a former Wolves player, Jack Addenbroke. However, it was the club’s directors who had the final word on team selection and recruitment. This policy continued with Addenbroke’s three successors. Buckley’s immediate predecessor, Fred Scotchbrook was never given full control. Speaking at the club’s AGM following his resignation, Scotchbrook claimed that he had been unfairly made a scapegoat for the team’s poor fortunes. He asked if the directors were going ‘to allow Mr Buckley to be manager? What is the use of me or any other man spending my time riding day and night to find a man if three directors come along and turn the man down?’[9]

The appointment of Buckley, however, did not mark a complete break with this past. While Buckley was given greater powers over team building, he had to defer to the directors on the matter of team selection. It was not until 1933 when the team was having a poor run of results, together with changes in the boardroom, that he was accorded full powers to select the team.[10] Initially, the Wolves directors had expected their manager to keep a tight rein on its finances. Unlike Arsenal, Wolves was a provincial club and lacked the Gunners’ financial clout. When the post was advertised in the Athletic News, it was unequivocally stated in capital letters, that ‘A SPENDTHRIFT IS NOT NEEDED’.[11] And this set the tone both during Buckley’s tenure and the club’s long-term policy. When he took office the club owed the bank £14,000, and had made a loss for the 1926-27 season of £1500 with first team receipts totalling £15,000. By 1935-36, the club had made a profit of £17,000, were in credit with the bank to £4000 and gate receipts had increased to £32,000.[12] Football managers were often compared to ‘horse traders’, because they bought and sold players and Buckley built himself a reputation for ‘wheeling and dealing’ in the transfer market, and, importantly, finding new talent. Between 1935 and 1938 the club’s income from transferred players was £110,658, an overall profit of £68,000.[13] At the centre of this turnaround was the Wolves’ scouting system and Buckley’s ability to sell on players for large profits. In 1938, for example, Wolves sold Bryn Jones to Arsenal for a record £14,000.

To compliment this overall strategy, under Buckley Wolves developed a youth system. This was arguably his most important legacy and was to be the forerunner for clubs such as Manchester United in the 1950s. The Wolves ‘nursery system’ recruited boys of 15 and 16 following trials for over 100 during a season. There were several channels for hearing about players in addition to the club’s scouts.[14] These included former Wolves player, Mark Crook. He established a nursery club in Yorkshire for Wolves, Wath Wanderers, which produced the likes Roy Swinbourne and Ron Flowers when Stan Cullis was manager in the post-war period.[15]

However, it was also a ruthless business and Wolves were as quick to turn down as sign up players. Peter Doherty’s younger brother, Kevin, was rejected by Buckley. Wolves had signed Kevin, aged 15½, on amateur forms to play for a local works team. He had also been given a job on the ground. However, after only two months he was sent back to Coleraine. Peter Doherty, a leading football trade unionist, had argued with Buckley over his treatment of Kevin, stating that his ‘indiscriminate “sacking” of youngsters who didn’t make the grade in a very short time was unfair and did a great deal of harm’.[16]

Managerial Style

It is perhaps unsurprising that Buckley, given his background, developed a reputation as an authoritarian figure. He was the embodiment of the military model of management who projected a military-like persona when handling players. Billy Walker, probably looking back nostalgically to the 1930s, remarked that Buckley belonged to a group of managers who had an ‘absolute sense of authority’.[17] This is perhaps unsurprising as the football world that Buckley inhabited was a highly masculine one that placed an emphasis on the attributes of hardness, courage and loyalty.[18] Not dissimilar to modern managers, he also had an obsessive streak. His office at Molineux, for example, was situated in the foyer of the main stand so everyone who went in had to go past it.[19]

An early practitioner of the hair-dryer treatment, Buckley employed a form of verbal authoritarianism; the word ‘martinet’ was never far away when people described his managerial style. When he was at Blackpool, the supporters’ club had complained that the players had lost their enjoyment of the game because of his authoritarian manner and that this was the reason for the team’s lack of success.[20] Don Bilton, who joined Wolves just before the outbreak of the Second World War, said that Buckley ruled by fear and that ‘If you had a rotten game you’d hardly dare go in at half-time, you were going to get the biggest bawling at … cursed and swore at you. So from that point of view he was a terrible chap.’[21] Jackie Sewell described him as ‘a very frightening man’, when he was his manager at Notts. County, who could ‘make grown men have tears in their eyes.’[22]

Buckley probably had a preference for managing young players as it allowed him to impose his own style on them more easily than those who were both older and more worldly wise. Because of the club’s recruitment policy, young players predominated and at one point, in 1937, Wolves did not have one married man amongst the forty players on their books. It was also claimed that Buckley wanted to know when and who a player was going to marry.[23]

Nevertheless, Buckley mixed his autocratic tendencies with acts of paternalism, especially towards young players, but the underlying message was that he was in charge – always. He felt that a ‘manager must be prepared and qualified to act as a “father” to … young boys’. He impressed upon them the importance of saving money and to send money home to their parents each week.[24] On occasions, he supplied young players from poor backgrounds with new clothes. In 1938, the club purchased a hostel for them. It was fitted with recreational and educational facilities, a small medical room and a garden.[25] However, there was also an ulterior motive: to keep the players under the one roof, making their supervision easier.[26] Buckley also drew up a list of strict rules for the players, which, for example, banned dancing after Wednesday night. In addition, he had a network of spies throughout Wolverhampton’s pubs and clubs to observe whether the players were behaving themselves and not breaking any curfews.[27]

Coaching Innovations

Buckley was particularly noted for his innovations in the training and preparation of players, which singled him out from most of his contemporaries. Up to 1939, there was little coaching in English football. There were no FA coaching courses until the late 1930s while training was generally a combination of lapping, head tennis and sometimes 5-a-side. By the inter-war years, trainers were generally ex-professionals who had little knowledge themselves of coaching, apart from the experience gained during their playing days and the main part of their job was to treat players’ injuries.[28] During the week players could be denied any training with the ball because it was believed that they would be hungrier for it on a Saturday. And of course, when they did get the ball many didn’t know what to do with it. Ironically, by the inter-war period, European footballers were benefitting from the instruction of British coaches.

Buckley, like Chapman, was one of the few managers who had recognized the benefits of coaching much earlier, and had an obsession with physical as well as mental fitness.[29] During the inter-war period, there was an acceptance of the need for better coaching and training within sport more generally.[30] In athletics, for example, there was a substantial increase in the publication of technical manuals and the emergence of scientifically minded coaches such as F.A.M. Webster.[31] Soon after Buckley’s appointment at Blackpool in 1923, it was reported that a ‘pleasing feature of the training … is that the manager dons the jersey and joins the boys giving them advice and practical demonstration of what to do and how to do it’. Buckley also held practice games on Friday afternoons aimed at developing a better understanding between the players.[32] At Wolves, Buckley introduced mechanical innovations to supplement training sessions. A rowing machine was an early example. He also had a machine purpose-built that fired out footballs at different angles for players to control. A room under a stand was fitted with rubber walls at which players kicked a ball that would then return at unpredictable angles again with the aim of improving their ball control.[33] One of Buckley’s most peculiar practices was to encourage players to go ballroom dancing. This, he believed, would improve their balance and movement. On occasions, he would insist on players dancing with each other in training.[34] Buckley was very keen that all players, including goalkeepers, should be able to kick proficiently with both feet. In practice matches, for example, right-wingers would play on the left wing for this purpose. He wanted his players to be versatile and would play them in a number of different positions.[35]

Moreover, during the inter-war years, more managers began to make themselves responsible for tactics, where previously the players, especially the captain, had taken on this role. With the change of the offside law in 1925, football speeded up. There was a greater emphasis on athleticism as the game became more stretched. Arsenal had been one of the first clubs to successfully adapt to the new rule, adopting a more defensive and counter-attacking style. Under Buckley Wolves’s play became more direct and eschewed a close inter-passing game.[36] The traditional slow build-up of attacks in English football had seen the full-back pass to the half-backs who would pass the ball amongst themselves before playing the ball forward. Stan Cullis, the centre-half, was instructed to move the ball quickly to Bryn Jones, the inside-left. It was his job then to play it into a shooting position for a colleague as quickly as possible. Moreover, Buckley was not overly concerned with using wingers. Instead, the plan was to attack through the middle.[37] Critics termed this style ‘long ball’ or ‘kick and rush’. However, it worked.[38] In addition, because of Buckley’s training methods, his teams were also renowned for their high levels of fitness. To take advantage of their stamina, Buckley regularly flooded the pitch before every home game. He claimed later that a softer pitch would lead to fewer injuries.[39]

Another major characteristic of the Wolves style under Buckley was its emphasis on the physical. ‘It’s easier to play against nine or ten than eleven’, was Buckley’s philosophy it was claimed.[40] Wolves’s physical approach though fell foul of the authorities’ attempts to clean up the game.[41] In 1936-37 the club was given seventeen cautions, more than any other, and as a punishment the FA Council vetoed its proposed European tour.[42]

Buckley was also unafraid to experiment with emerging scientific ideas in the quest to find a competitive edge. In the 1930s, football clubs had begun to try psychology, and at one time Wolves players attended regular sessions at a local psychologist in an attempt to build up their confidence. However, it may just have been a form of cod-psychology that was popular during this period.[43]

During the inter-war years coaching had been stimulated by significant developments in ideas of the athletic body.[44] Beamish and Ritchie have argued that during the inter-war years a ‘paradigm shift’ took place in the scientific understanding of the training of athletes and the discipline of exercise physiology was pioneered in both America and Germany. The work of the British scientist, Archibald Vivian Hill on physiological responses to exercise also led to a greater understanding of the capacity of athletes’ bodies to more systematic training regimes.[45] The use of ergogenic aids was also becoming increasingly common in other sports. Aids included the use of ultra-violet light rays to speed up recovery from injuries. Sports such as cycling were also not averse to providing chemical stimulants for their athletes, and football was no different. At Blackpool, Buckley himself had handed out pep pills to players before a cup-tie in the mid-1920s.[46] Leslie Knighton also gave pep pills to Arsenal players before a cup-tie with West Ham in 1925.[47]

Buckley, however, was perhaps best known for the so-called Monkey Gland Affair in which he was accused of injecting Wolves players with a form of gland treatment in order to improve their performance. The whole episode though caused a major stir in the football world with some claiming it was immoral and a form of doping. One famous player was quoted as saying, ‘We’re not blooming guinea pigs.’[48] The implantation of ‘Monkey glands’ had been popularised by the Russian Serge Voronoff in the 1920s who claimed that the injection of testicular implants would rejuvenate the patient.[49] It was essentially an example of alternative medicine, which operated in a medical marketplace that was open to fads. In 1937, Buckley had been approached by Menzies Sharp, possibly more of a businessman than a scientist, who persuaded Buckley of the benefits of this treatment for footballers. The players were given a course of treatment over a six week period during which they received an injection every three or four days, and this was to last them over the whole season. The main idea behind their use, it was said, was to prevent staleness within players – a perennial fear amongst coaches of athletes – as well as improve their mental speed, stamina, physical fitness and resistance to illness.[50]

However, because of the improved form of Wolves, other clubs also began to experiment with gland treatment, including Portsmouth and Tottenham. Ironically, the 1939 FA Cup Final was contested by both Wolves and Portsmouth and has since been known as the ‘Monkey Gland Final’, which Portsmouth won 4-1. The treatment was not regarded as successful at other clubs. In February 1939, twelve players from relegation bound Chelsea volunteered to undergo ‘gland treatment’. However, following their demotion to division two they discontinued the treatment. The Football Association later held a conference on the matter and decreed that while the treatment was permissible, individual players had the right to refuse it.[51] With the onset of war, the matter faded out of the public consciousness.

The Myth (Making) of Frank Buckley

Finally, perhaps it would be beneficial to reflect on how the life of Frank Buckley has been constructed and to what extent this has been due to perceptions based on the sources available. There has been much recent debate over the writing of life stories of athletes.[52] John Bale, for example, has argued that there are several layers of truth in writing a biography and that in his study of Ernst Jokl, the so-called ‘father of sports science’, the edges of truth and fiction became blurred.[53] The questions Bale raises have mirrored wider methodological debates over how historians approach sources. As Martin Johnes has pointed out, many of these anxieties have revolved around a false dichotomy between postmodernism and empiricism. Most empirically-based historians though – or at least good ones – are critical in their approach to sources. They treat them with caution and don’t regard them as ‘simple repositories from where truths can be simply retrieved’.[54] Writing history, therefore, in the pursuit of knowledge, is a balancing act in which the evidence needs to be interpreted rather than taken literally.

Some of the sources used in this essay have been the staple for the history of sport: newspapers, both local and national, and autobiographies.[55] The use of newspaper sources reminds us how the experience of sport has been derived essentially from the meanings communicated through the media. In Britain, until the 1960s, the newspaper was the primary means by which people ‘knew’ sport; how to understand, interpret and make sense of it. However, newspapers were also businesses and had their own agendas; they constructed their own stories around real events to appeal to a particular audience. As Hill has argued, ‘Themes of community, locality, “our town” provided the main tropes of local newspaper reportage. The voice assumed by the local press was the voice of ‘us’, the locality; the local spoke, or was felt to speak, for the people of the community it served’.[56] By contrast, the national tabloids, especially from the 1930s, developed a more populist and sensationalist tone due to a circulation war. There was a greater emphasis on personalities and human-interest stories.

Football and the press established a symbiotic relationship at an early stage. First secretaries then mangers were the first point of contact for reporters. Managers, therefore, became the de facto public face of a football club. During the 1930s, a proficiency in public relations, with the aim of drumming up publicity by keeping the club’s name in the papers, was becoming part of a manager’s job. It was also an important aspect of twentieth century modernity. When he was at Blackpool, Buckley changed the colour of the club’s shirts to tangerine to this effect.[57] Herbert Chapman had certainly recognized this and even more so his successor at Arsenal, George Allison, who was the BBC’s first football commentator. In addition, as the papers increasingly reported on the actions of clubs in terms of managerial activity, football managers were becoming ‘the story’. Because Buckley was at its centre, the coverage of the Monkey Gland Affair demonstrated, how significant a figure a manager had become by 1939. However, the press tended to construct reality as well as reflect it, and the powers that managers actually held did not always reflect the media’s perception of these powers. Instead, managers fulfilled a particular role for the media, but in the context of the aims of the local or national press.

Managers were not passive agents in this relationship with the media. Buckley was more aware than most of its power and used the media to create a certain amount of myth-making about himself. He cultivated his own mythology and an aura of an all-powerful figure. His autobiography, ‘Football is My Life Story’, was serialized in the little known paper, Guide and Ideas, in May and June 1937. It was a tabloid in its appearance as the paper mixed short paragraphs, large headlines with pictures and an aggressive, sensationalist tone. It can be argued that these articles contain a number of statements in which the edges between truth and fiction may have become blurred. When he took over at Wolves in 1927, for example, he claimed that he ‘decided on a five year plan and though advancement was slow, it was nevertheless steady and in the right direction’.[58] This statement suggests more than a sense of history with hindsight; that Wolves’s success – and admittedly, the club was relatively successful under him – had all been carefully planned from the beginning to an inevitable conclusion with Buckley in control at the helm. However, it fails to acknowledge any sense of the anxieties and uncertainties of the moment in which the future is difficult to predict in football management or any other activity. Moreover, as has been mentioned above, it was only six years after he took over that Buckley was given sole power over picking the team, and there is unsurprisingly no reference of this as it would dent his all-powerful image.

Newspapers though also gave managers a forum to pontificate their opinions on a wide range of footballing matters. Herbert Chapman, for example, had a regular column in the Sunday Express. Buckley used his autobiography to express his views on the future of football. In it he stated ‘I foresee the game being played indoors on rubber pitches illuminated by powerful floodlighting.’ Other predictions were equally prophetic and included ‘the formation of [a] super international league embracing all the leading European clubs. Every club will own its own twenty-two seater air-liner.’ He warned that football in England must be ready for ‘progressive reforms’.[59]


Of course, just by having this platform, it both reinforced and reflected the notion that the football manager was now an important and central figure within the football world, and that Buckley was one of the most prominent practitioners. Along with Herbert Chapman, he had helped to modernise the role. Not only with respect to the skills required in becoming a manager but also in elevating the public perception of the job through the media. This image was further enhanced when in 1939 Buckley led out his team (along with Portsmouth’s Jack Tinn) at the FA Cup Final.[60] Yet Buckley was also a man of his time. He left Wolves in 1944 for Notts. County for a then huge salary of £4,500, making him the highest paid manager in the country. However, he failed to replicate his success at Wolves at his next four clubs. His abrasive and authoritarian manner had become outdated with players who like in other areas of post-war Britain society were becoming increasingly less deferential. Nevertheless, through the reputation he established at Wolves ensured that his story, whether truth or fiction, would continue to be part of football’s history.




[1] Percy Young, A History of British Football (London: Arrow, 1968), 254.

[2] The Times, December 24, 1964, 11.

[3] He played for Aston Villa (1903-1905); Brighton (1905-06); Manchester United (1906-07); Manchester City (1907-09); Birmingham (1909-11); Derby (1911-14); and Bradford City (1914). The onset of war ended his professional playing career.

[4] Guide and Ideas, May 29, 1937, 8; See Patrick J. Quirke, The Major: The Life and Times of Frank Buckley (Stroud: Tempus, 2006), 52-9. After Wolves, he would also manage Notts County (1944-46); Hull City (1946-48); Leeds United (1948-53); and Walsall (1953-55).

[5] Quirke, The Major, 41.

[6] Quirke, The Major, 60.

[7] Interview with Pat Carter, December 30, 1998.

[8] Tony Collins, ‘Amateurism and the Rise of Managerialism: The Case of Rugby Union, 1871-1995’, Sport in History 30, no. 1 (2010): 112.

[9] Express and Star, June 28, 1927, 7.

[10] Wolverhampton Wanderers FC Minutes, 23 August 1933, 29 August 1933, 3 October 1933.

[11] Athletic News, May 2, 1927, 19.

[12] Guide and Ideas, May 1, 1937, 3.

[13] P.M. Young, Centenary Wolves (Wolverhampton: Wolverhampton Wanderers FC, 1976) 109; Stanley Cullis, All for the Wolves (London: Rupert Hart-Davies, 1960), 94.

[14] Guide and Ideas, May 15, 1937, 4; June 5, 1937, 8.

[15] Young, Centenary Wolves, 128; Ron Flowers, For Wolves and England (London: Stanley Paul, 1962), 19; Cullis, All For The Wolves, 45.

[16] Peter Doherty, Spotlight on Football (London: Art and Educational Publishers, 1947), 17-19.

[17] Billy Walker, Soccer in the Blood (London: The Soccer Book Club, 1960), 107.

[18] Neil Carter, The Football Manager: A History (London: Routledge, 2006), 3-10.

[19] Interview with Don Bilton, February 26, 1999.

[20] R. Calley, Blackpool: A Complete Record, 1887-1992 (Derby: Breedon Books, 1992), 60.

[21] Interview with Don Bilton, February 26, 1999.

[22] Rogan Taylor and Andrew Ward, Kicking and Screaming: An Oral History of Football in England (London: Robson Books, 1996), 34

[23] Albion News, January 16, 1937, 195. Evidence of the club’s long-term policy of developing young players came in 1932 when it paid out a record six benefits. Young, Centenary Wolves, 106, 114

[24] Guide and Ideas, May 8, 1937, 5.

[25] Young, Centenary Wolves, 114.

[26] Express and Star, December 23, 1964, 8.

[27] Interview with Don Bilton, February 26, 1999.

[28] See Neil Carter, ‘The Rise and Fall of the Magic Sponge: Medicine and the Transformation of the Football Trainer’, Social History of Medicine 23, no. 2 (August 2010): 261-79.

[29] The Times, December 24, 1964, 11; Peter Morris, The Team Makers (London: Pelham, 1971), 39.

[30] For a wider discussion of coaching in this period, see Neil Carter, ed. Coaching Cultures (London: Routledge, 2011).

[31] Neil Carter, ‘From Knox to Dyson: Coaching, Amateurism and British Athletics, 1912-1947’, Sport in History 30, no. 1 (2010): 68-72.

[32] Blackpool Times, July 31, 12; August 7, 1923, 5.

[33] Express and Star, August 3, 1927; Interview with Don Bilton, February 26, 1999.

[34] Interview with Don Bilton, February 26, 1999; Taylor and Ward, Kicking and Screaming, 34-5

[35] Interview with Don Bilton, February 26, 1999; Cullis, Wolves, 13.

[36] Taylor and Ward, Kicking and Screaming, 31-2; Morris, Team Makers, 33

[37] Cullis, All For the Wolves, 42-3.

[38] In 1927, when Buckley was appointed, Wolves were in the second division. They gained promotion in 1932 as Division 2 champions, and remained in the first division throughout the 1930s, steadily improving their position. Their league positions were: 1933 – 20; 1934 – 15; 1935 – 17; 1936 – 15; 1937 – 5; 1938 – 2; 1939 – 2.

[39] Taylor and Ward, Kicking and Screaming, 33; Young, Centenary Wolves, 115.

[40] Jimmy Guthrie, Soccer Rebel: The evolution of the professional footballer (Newton Abbot: Readers Union, 1976), 17.

[41] Nicholas Fishwick, English Football and Society (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1989), 83-85

[42] Football Association Council Minutes, April 30, 1937; Football Association Disciplinary Committee Minutes January 18-June 26, 1937. Buckley did not help Wolves’ cause by a curt letter he sent on the matter to Stanley Rous, the FA secretary.

[43] Cullis, All For The Wolves, 16; Morris, Team Makers, 39; Tony Pawson, The Football Managers (Newton Abbot: Readers Union, 1973), 34.

[44] Neil Carter, ‘From Knox to Dyson’: 67.

[45] Rob Beamish and Ian Ritchie, ‘From Fixed Capacities to Performance-Enhancement: The Paradigm Shift in the Science of ‘Training’ and the Use of Performance-Enhancing Substances’, Sport in History 25, no. 3 (2005): 418; Bassett, David R., ‘Scientific contributions of A.V. Hill: exercise physiology pioneer’, Journal of Applied Physiology 93 (2002): 1573-8.

[46] Ray Daniels, Blackpool Football: The Official Club History (London: Robert Hale, 1972), 36.

[47] Bernard Joy, Forward Arsenal (London: Phoenix, 1952), 32-3

[48] For a wider discussion on this point see Paul Dimeo, A History of Drug Use in Sport 1876-1976: Beyond Good and Evil (London: Routledge, 2007), 44-46.

[49] Deborah Brunton, ‘The Rise of Laboratory Medicine’, in Medicine Transformed: Health, Disease and Society in Europe, 1800-1930, ed., D. Brunton (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2004), 101-02.

[50] News of the World, April 3, 1938, 19; Express and Star (Wolverhampton), March 29, 1939, 12.

[51] Bob Ferrier, Soccer Partnership: Billy Wright and Walter Winterbottom (London: Heinemann, 1960), 88-9.

[52] See John Bale, Mette K. Christensen and Gertrud Pfister, eds, Writing Lives in Sport: Biographies, Life-histories and Methods, (Aarhus, DK: Aarhus University Press, 2004).

[53] John Bale, ‘The Mysterious Professor Jokl’ in Writing Lives in Sport: Biographies, Life-histories and Methods, eds, John Bale, Mette K. Christensen and Gertrud Pfister, (Aarhus, DK: Aarhus University Press, 2004), 25-39.

[54] Martin Johnes, ‘Archives, Truths and the Historian at Work: A Reply to Douglas Booth’s “Refiguring the Archive”’, Sport in History 27, no.1 (March 2007): 127-35.

[55] Buckley’s had an autobiographical account of his life and career serialised in Guide and Ideas, May-June 1937.

[56] Jeffrey Hill, ‘Anecdotal Evidence: Sport, the Newspaper Press and History’ in Deconstructing History: A Postmodern Analysis, ed., Murray G. Phillips, (Albany, NY: State University of New York, 2006), 121.

[57] Quirke, The Major, 61.

[58] Guide and Ideas, May 1, 1937, 3.

[59] Guide and Ideas, June 19, 1937, 8.

[60] This was possibly the first time this had happened.