Player profile

Albert Stubbins

Albert Stubbins

Birthdate: 13 July 1919
Birthplace: Wallsend, England
Date of death: 28 December 2002
Other clubs: Whitley & Monkseaton (1934-35), Sunderland (1935-36), Newcastle United (1936-46); Sunderland (2 - wartime guest), Ashington (1953-54)
Bought from: Newcastle United
Signed for LFC: £13,000, 12.09.1946
Liverpool debut: 14.09.1946
Last appearance: 03.01.1953
Debut goal: 14.09.1946
Last goal: 22.03.1952
Contract expiry: September 1953
Win ratio: 43.82% W:78 D:44 L:56
Games/goals ratio: 2.14
Honours: League Championship 1946/47
LFC league games/goals: 159 / 75
Total LFC games/goals: 178 / 83

Player profile

Centre-forward Albert Stubbins was one of Liverpool's most popular players in then period immediately following the end of World War II and is rightly remembered as a legend at Anfield as well as at Newcastle United. Stubbins was already vastly experienced and a prolific marksman when signed from Newcastle where he scored a record of 244 goals in wartime that included 23 hat-tricks. Everton and Liverpool were both interested in his services and had both offered a £1,000 less than the record transfer figure, £14,000, paid by Arsenal to Wolverhampton for Bryn Jones in 1938. Stubbins was at the Newcastle News Theatre when there came a notice on the cinema screen: ‘Would Albert Stubbins please report to St James’ Park’."This was about six o’ clock and I went up there to meet Mr George Kay and Mr Theo Kelly, representing Everton," Stubbins said. "Stan Seymour, the Newcastle director said: ‘Which representative would you like to see first?’ I said: ‘Let’s flip a coin. Heads Liverpool. Tails Everton.’ It came down heads – Liverpool. Bill McConnell, the Liverpool chairman and George Kay and myself discussed matters and I was impressed with them both, and with the possibilities of Liverpool, so said I would go to Anfield. I also knew several of the Liverpool players at the time like Willie Fagan and Jack Balmer. That probably gave Liverpool the slight edge and in the end I never spoke to Everton because I had been so impressed with Liverpool’s offer."

“A-L-B! E-R-T! Albert Stubbins is the man for me…”

Stubbins scored on his Reds debut at Bolton and only missed two more League fixtures for the rest of the season, which ended with him winning the League Championship. He was equal top-scorer at the club with Jack Balmer with 24 goals each. Stubbins scored four times, including a memorable hat-trick against Birmingham, during Liverpool's run to the FA Cup semi-final that season. His most memorable goal came on 1st March 1947 in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, here described by Liverpool's talisman at the time, Billy Liddell. "When I put the ball over it was going a bit off course, but Stubbins literally threw himself through the air to meet it with his head when parallel with the ground, about two feet above the turf. It went in like a rocket, giving Gil Merrick absolutely no chance, and Albert slid on his stomach for several yards on the frozen pitch before coming to a stop." Stubbins was of course very proud of this astonishing goal that displayed his bravery: "It was an icy ground and both of my knees were lacerated and bleeding but it was certainly worth it." Stubbins again scored 24 League goals in 1947/48, which included four, two in each half, when Huddersfield Town visited Anfield on 6 March 1948 even though he had been threatened before the game: "On the morning of the match I received a telegram and although I can’t remember the exact wording, the general consensus was if I scored, my legs would be broken. I didn’t want to worry the rest of the team so I kept it to myself. It was obviously meant to frighten me, but it didn’t work. I never did find out who sent it. Perhaps it was George Kay’s way of geeing me up!"

The Geordie became embroiled in a contractual dispute with his employers in the 1948/49 season. He had already planned for the future and wanted to become a journalist when his career was over. Chairman Bill McConnell had arranged for him to write a column in the Football Echo when he signed his Liverpool contract. "When Bill died, the board felt they weren’t responsible for his promise. There was some confusion and that’s why I delayed signing-on. It was all very amicable and at no time did the club and myself ever fall out. It was a private matter and that’s why so few people knew the real reason behind the dispute. It was widely assumed that my family was unsettled on Merseyside." Partly because of this dispute and partly because of injury problems, Stubbins only played 18 games that season. Stubbins again reached double-figures in the League in the 1949/50 season despite missing 14 first division matches and was also a member of the team defeated by Arsenal in the 1950 FA Cup final. By now in his early-30's, Stubbins' name was less frequently on Liverpool's teamsheet and the last of the 178 first-team appearances he made for the club came at Stoke on 3 January 1953. He had kept up his record of scoring a goal almost every other game and was a popular figure. "Even if I had a bad game the crowd would never crucify me like they would some players,” Stubbins told Mark Platt at LFC.tv. Stubbins enjoyed a great following among Reds that was reflected in the formation of "The Albert Stubbins Crazy Crew", an appreciation society set up by the sons and grandsons of Kopites who adored him. "My son, Eric, says they'd never have started a fan club if they had seen me play," Stubbins quipped.

Appearances per season

Season League FA LC Europe Other Total
Totals 159 19 0 0 0 178
1946-1947 36 6 0 0 0 42
1947-1948 40 2 0 0 0 42
1948-1949 15 3 0 0 0 18
1949-1950 28 7 0 0 0 35
1950-1951 23 1 0 0 0 24
1951-1952 12 0 0 0 0 12
1952-1953 5 0 0 0 0 5

A more detailed look at the player's appearances

Total Opponent
11 Arsenal
10 Bolton Wanderers
10 Derby
10 Burnley
9 Huddersfield Town
9 Blackpool
9 Everton
8 Aston Villa
8 Stoke City
7 Sunderland
7 Manchester United
7 Wolves
6 Blackburn Rovers
6 Newcastle United
6 Chelsea
6 Charlton Athletic
6 Portsmouth
6 Middlesbrough
5 Grimsby Town
4 WBA
4 Preston North End
3 Sheffield United
3 Fulham
2 Tottenham
2 Brentford
2 Birmingham City
2 Nottingham Forest
2 Manchester City
2 Leeds United
1 Norwich City
1 Walsall
1 Exeter City
1 Notts County
1 Stockport County
1 Sheffield Wednesday
Total Competition
159 League
19 FA Cup

Goals per season

Season League FA LC Europe Other Total
Totals 75 8 0 0 0 83
1946-1947 24 4 0 0 0 28
1947-1948 24 2 0 0 0 26
1948-1949 6 1 0 0 0 7
1949-1950 10 1 0 0 0 11
1950-1951 6 0 0 0 0 6
1951-1952 5 0 0 0 0 5
1952-1953 0 0 0 0 0 0

A more detailed look at the player's goalscoring

Total Competition
75 League
8 FA Cup
Total Open play/Penalty
83 Open play

Milestone Appearances

# Date Against Stadium Competition
1 14.09.1946 Bolton Wanderers Burnden Park League
50 17.09.1947 Charlton Athletic The Valley League
100 30.04.1949 Burnley Turf Moor League
150 25.11.1950 Burnley Turf Moor League

Milestone Goals

# Minute Date Against Stadium Competition
1 82 14.09.1946 Bolton Wanderers Burnden Park League
50 57 26.03.1948 Sheffield United Anfield League

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Daily Post obituary on 31 December 2002 by Nick Hilton.More

Gifts of a god on the Tyne

Simon Turnbull meets Albert Stubbins, one of the men who helped create a legend; Alan Shearer will find striking similarities with a past hero as he seeks to shoulder imposing inheritance. From 4 August 1996.More

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Albert Stubbins epitaph

Albert Stubbins epitaph in the Daily Telegraph on 6th January 2003.More

Study your studs when grounds are icy!

Liverpool Echo in December 1954.More

Empty of goals and emnity

The Liverpool Daily Post on 29 August, 1949. More

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Related Quotes

"The sixth round of the Cup saw Liverpool at home for the third time running. We won 4-1 against Birmingham, and all who saw that match will never forget an amazing goal by Albert Stubbins. When I put the ball over it was going a bit off course, but Stubbins literally threw himself through the air to meet it with his head when parallel with the ground, about two feet above the turf. It went in like a rocket, giving Gil Merrick absolutely no chance, and Albert slid on his stomach for several yards on the frozen pitch before coming to a stop."

Billy Liddell on Stubbins' wonder goal on 1st March 1947

"My association with the Anfield Club has brought me some of my finest memories of my career. Probably the most enduring, next to playing in the semi-final against Everton, was the game against Wolverhampton at Molineux in 1946-47. It was the last match of the season, and our victory ensured that the Championship came to Anfield."

Albert Stubbins in 1950

It’d always been my intention to pursue a career in journalism once my playing days ended. When I signed for Liverpool the chairman Bill McConnell arranged for me to write a column in the Football Echo. When Bill died, the board felt they weren’t responsible for his promise. There was some confusion and that’s why I delayed signing-on. It was all very amicable and at no time did the club and myself ever fall out. It was a private matter and that’s why so few people knew the real reason behind the dispute. It was widely assumed that my family was unsettled on Merseyside.

Albert Stubbins went on a much-publicised, self-imposed strike prior to the 1948/49 season.

I was brought up on tales of Stubbins. In the stories I was told he was a giant who could rattle in goals, deliver titles and solve society's ills in his time off. He won VCs and saved drowning children. Albert was the greatest of heroes. The Beatles thought so, too, and put him on the cover of St Pepper, one of the greatest albums of all time. George Best, on the other hand, featured on the cover of a record by The Wedding Present. Small time.

Tony Evans from Times online on Albert Stubbins

Other Clubs

Club Season Club rank League apps League goals Total apps Total goals
Whitley & Monkseaton 1934-1935 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Sunderland 1935-1936 England First Division 0 0 0 0
Newcastle United 1937-1938 England First Division 1 0 1 0
Newcastle United 1938-1939 England First Division 23 4 24 4
Newcastle United 1946-1947 England Second Division 3 1 3 1
Ashington 1953-1954 North Eastern League N/A N/A N/A N/A
Total 27 5 28 5
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