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Stan Kirkham

Stan Kirkham is one of a number of players who had their football careers interrupted by World War Two. Either side of the war he made 43 appearances for St Albans City and a further 50 during the war itself.

He joined the club for the start of the 1937-38 season and went straight into the Reserve team before making his First team debut at Watford’s Vicarage Road ground. The game was a second replay FA Cup 4th Round Qualifying tie against Spartan League leaders Uxbridge on 1st December. City led 2-0 at one stage but three goals in the final 25 minutes condemned Stan to defeat on his debut.

HCC Runners Up 1937 38 Stan KIrkham 1HCC Runners Up 1937 38 Stan KIrkham 2Once in the First team he became an almost permanent fixture in the side at left half and played in 27 of the final 29 games that season. He collected a Herts Charity Cup runners-up medal on 9th May when City went down 4-3 in a thrilling final against Barnet at Underhill. Barnet secured the cup from the penalty spot five minutes before the end of extra time.

He didn’t appear in the First ream at all during 1938-39 but was a regular in the Reserves up until Christmas. Stan next pulled on a City shirt on 20th September 1941, by which time the club were members of the Herts & Middlesex League; the Isthmian League had been suspended for the duration of the war. He made 50 wartime appearances for the City, the fourth highest of any player during the war years, and scored six times. He appeared in three cup finals for St Albans City during the war, two in the Herts Senior Cup and one in the Herts Charity Cup. Unfortunately, he gained just one winners medal, that came on 2nd May 1942 when City defeated Hitchin Town 5-0 at Clarence Park in the Charity Cup. Centre forward Ron Burke scored a hat trick that day and went on to join Manchester United after the war. Kirkham and Burke appeared together in 19 wartime games.

kirkmanandkingarmyvdefence1942During the war he also represented the Army and on 16th May 1942 took part in the Inter-Allied Services Cup Final at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea. Stan had scored in the semi-final when the Norwegian Army were beaten 7-1, but The British Police Association proved too strong in the final and, with the aid of five goals from Leslie Compton, won 6-2. Prior to the game the two teams were introduced to King George VI. Stan Kirkham, No.6, is on the left.

Stan continued to play for St Albans after the war, making 11 appearances in 1945-46 and five the following season. He also signed for Watford after the war but only played for their Reserve side.

St Albans were invited to play in the Slough Hospital Cup on 2nd March 1946 against Slough United, at the Slough Social Centre Stadium, and contrived to lose 6-5 with the Rev. Johnstone Patrick scoring four times for the Saints on his debut. Snow fell throughout most of the afternoon and the game was settled during extra time. At the end of the season he was also in the City side that went down 4-0 to Barnet in the final of the Herts Charity Cup.

Stan picked up an injury during City’s 3-0 defeat away to Tufnell Park, played at Cheshunt, on 28th September 1946 and left the club shortly after.

Fleetville 1931 32During his formative years Stan attended Fleetville School in Hatfield Road. On 9th March 1930 he scored the goal that secured victory for the school over Watford Fields, at Watford, in the final of the first Wix Shield Junior Final. Two years later and he added a Wix Shield winners medal from the senior competition to his collection as Fleetville, in beating Luton side Beech Hill, became the first St Albans school in 23 years to win the competition. Right, Fleetville’s victorious 1932 team.

Below, Stan’s Wix Shield medals from 1930 and 1932.

Prior to joining St Albans City, he also gained winners medals in the Hertfordshire Minor Challenge Cup, 1934-35, and the St Albans league in 1936-37.

 Wix Shield 1931 32 Stan Kirkham 1 Wix Junior Shield 1929 30 Stan Kirkham 1

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Stan Kirkham's playing record
Season Started. Used Sub. Goals Yellows Reds
Season 1937-38 27 0 0 0 0
Season 1945-46 11 0 0 0 0
Season 1946-47 5 0 0 0 0
Total 43 0 0 0 0
By season | In opening squad | Substituted in | Goals | Yellow cards | Red cards

Stan Kirkham's full debut
01.12.1937 at 19:00 Amateur Cup / 4th Qualifying Round (2nd Replay) N Uxbridge 2 - 3

Latest opening squad appearances (max.10)Stan Kirkham started
28.09.1946 at 15:00 Isthmian League A Tufnell Park 0 - 3
21.09.1946 at 15:00 FA Cup / Prem H Apsley 5 - 1
14.09.1946 at 15:00 Isthmian League H Leytonstone 1 - 7
07.09.1946 at 15:00 Isthmian League A Kingstonian 1 - 2
31.08.1946 at 15:00 Isthmian League H Ilford 2 - 2
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