Player profile

Ernie Blenkinsop

Ernie Blenkinsop

Birthdate: 20 April 1902
Birthplace: Cudworth, Yorkshire, England
Date of death: 24 April 1969
Other clubs: Cudworth Village (1917-21), Hull City (1921-23), Sheffield Wednesday (1923-34), Cardiff City (1937-39); Buxton, Bradford Park Avenue, Halifax Town, Bradford City, Hurst (wartime guest)
Bought from: Sheffield Wednesday
Signed for LFC: £6,500, 15.03.1934
International debut: 17.05.1928 vs. France
International caps: 26/0 (at Sheffield Wednesday) - 01.04.1933
Liverpool debut: 17.03.1934
Last appearance: 04.09.1937
Contract expiry: 26.11.1937
Win ratio: 40.85% W:29 D:16 L:26
Total games/goals opposite LFC: 12 / 0
LFC league games/goals: 71 / 0
Total LFC games/goals: 71 / 0

Player profile

Blenkinsop began his professional career at Hull City which paid his local club in the mining village of Cudworth £100 and a barrel of beer (80 pints) for his services. Blenkinsop worked in the Grimethorpe and Brierley pits from the early age of 13 until he was 18. He once cheated death when the roof fell in the gallery in which he was working. He threw himself to the ground where he was buried by the debris. He was certain that if he had stood upright he would have been killed. Blenkinsop, who had been scouted by Doncaster Rovers before Hull made their move, wanted to serve out his notice in the mines but his manager insisted on that he joined Hull straight away as a week was a long time in that hazardous profession. He started out as an inside-left, but was early on converted to left-back. He was very skilful, his positional play impeccable and his delivery accurate. Blenkinsop preferred to play the ball out of defence instead of just hoofing it up field. The former England captain was almost 32 years of age when he joined Liverpool from Sheffield Wednesday where he had played 424 games from 1923-1934 and won the League Championship two years in succession in 1929 and 1930. Blenkinsop is a proper Wednesday legend and said to have been one of the best left-backs England has ever produced.

Sir Stanley Matthews had memorable battles with Blenkinsop as he wrote in his autobiography: “I found the first tackle a full-back ever made on me in a game was usually the hardest as he tried to unnerve me for the remainder of the match. Ernie Blenkinsop, who played for Sheffield Wednesday and later captained Liverpool, would do this. His first tackle could be a bone crusher if you weren’t careful and as we both came out of it he’d say, ‘That’s just to let you know I’m here’. As if I needed reminding, and this from a player who had been spotted playing for his local church team in Yorkshire.” 

Blenkinsop was at Anfield for three and a half years, during which he shared the captaincy with former England colleague Tom Cooper. "Cartilage trouble," as he referred to his injuries himself, suffered against Derby on 24 November 1934 ruined his first full season. He was operated on successfully and only missed five League matches in the 1935/36 season. His bad luck continued in the following season when more cartilage damage in the knee, picked up against Everton on 19 September 1936, sidelined him for the rest of the campaign. Prior to signing for the club in the 1937/38 season a clause was included that stated if Blenkinsop was not a regular member of the first team at the end of September his engagement would be reconsidered. Only having featured in two games in the season he joined Cardiff City in Third Division South on 26 November 1937. 

The Yorkshireman kept a detailed autograph book which he would leave outside the dressing room for players to sign over a 3-4 year period in the 1930’s. This great collection contains signatures from his time at Sheffield Wednesday, England and Liverpool. He even collected the signatures of the medical staff who operated on his knee in the Liverpool Nursing Home! Blenkinsop set a record for consecutive international appearances, playing in every England game from 17 May 1928 to 1 April 1933, 26 in total, and he captained the national team on four occasions. 

Appearances per season

Season League FA LC Europe Other Total
Totals 71 0 0 0 0 71
1933-1934 9 0 0 0 0 9
1934-1935 16 0 0 0 0 16
1935-1936 37 0 0 0 0 37
1936-1937 7 0 0 0 0 7
1937-1938 2 0 0 0 0 2

A more detailed look at the player's appearances

Total Opponent
6 Portsmouth
5 Huddersfield Town
5 Manchester City
4 Leeds United
4 Arsenal
4 Derby
4 Sheffield Wednesday
3 WBA
3 Grimsby Town
3 Stoke City
3 Birmingham City
3 Preston North End
3 Chelsea
3 Blackburn Rovers
3 Everton
3 Wolves
2 Bolton Wanderers
2 Charlton Athletic
2 Middlesbrough
2 Aston Villa
2 Brentford
1 Sunderland
1 Leicester City
Total Competition
71 League

Milestone Appearances

# Date Against Stadium Competition
1 17.03.1934 Birmingham Anfield League
50 29.02.1936 Aston Villa Villa Park League

Related Articles

Liverpool Football Echo report

Liverpool Football Echo report on Everton 2 - 0 Liverpool played on September 19, 1936. More

Ernest Blenkinsop the man of the match

Daily Mail press report on Brentford – Liverpool on 14 December 1935.More

Other Clubs

Club Season Club rank League apps League goals Total apps Total goals
Cudworth Village 1917-1921 Barnsley Association League Senior Division N/A N/A N/A N/A
Hull City 1921-1922 England Second Division 3 0 3 0
Hull City 1922-1923 England Second Division 8 0 8 0
Sheffield Wednesday 1922-1923 England Second Division 16 0 18 0
Sheffield Wednesday 1923-1924 England Second Division 42 0 45 0
Sheffield Wednesday 1924-1925 England Second Division 14 0 14 0
Sheffield Wednesday 1925-1926 England Second Division 41 4 42 4
Sheffield Wednesday 1926-1927 England Second Division 37 0 40 0
Sheffield Wednesday 1927-1928 England First Division 39 0 43 0
Sheffield Wednesday 1928-1929 England First Division 39 1 41 1
Sheffield Wednesday 1929-1930 England First Division 39 0 45 0
Sheffield Wednesday 1930-1931 England First Division 40 0 32 0
Sheffield Wednesday 1931-1932 England First Division 37 0 37 5
Sheffield Wednesday 1932-1933 England First Division 23 0 23 0
Sheffield Wednesday 1933-1934 England First Division 26 0 29 0
Cardiff City 1937-1938 England Third Division South 10 0 11 0
Total 414 5 431 10
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