Player profile

Arthur Riley

Arthur Riley

Birthdate: 26 December 1903
Birthplace: Boksburg, South Africa
Date of death: July 1984
Other clubs: Transvaal
Bought from: Transvaal
Signed for LFC: August 1925
International debut: 24.09.1924 vs Ireland
International caps: 2/0 - 02.11.1924
Liverpool debut: 24.10.1925
Last appearance: 06.05.1939
Contract expiry: 1940
Win ratio: 36.98% W:125 D:87 L:126
Wartime games/goals: 11 / 0
LFC league games/goals: 322 / 0
Total LFC games/goals: 338 / 0

Player profile

The visit of a South African football team that beat Liverpool 5-2 in a friendly on 1 October 1924 was a remarkable one. Not only did the guests exhibit “joyous football, a goal-getting game that showed us that South-African football has improved more quickly than our own” but two players in particular caught the attention of the Liverpool Board and the Echo’s correspondent, Bee; Gordon Hodgson and “the goalkeeper, a tall, keen fellow who has reach, anticipation and a safe pair of hands, is only twenty, but he looks more like thirty-five." Riley and Hodgson were signed by Liverpool in the 1925/26 season. The 21-year-old Riley was bought mainly as cover for Elisha Scott, ten years his senior. The Irishman's form and reputation kept the South African mostly out of the first-team picture until he finally started an extended run in the side in October 1927. But it wasn't until near the second part of the following season that he could really feel safe about being first choice. Scott was a hard act to follow but Riley proved a more then capable replacement. Scott, who was now 38 years of age reclaimed his spot in the 1931/32 season and held on to it until February 1933 when Riley returned. 

The 1930s were very mediocre as far as the club's results were concerned and twice, in 1936 and 1937, they flirted dangerously with relegation. Although Alf Hobson took over in goal for much of the 1936/37 season, Riley's courage and agility probably turned a number of games which could have left the club's first division status even more at risk. The last of Riley's 338 appearances for Liverpool came away to Manchester United on the final day of the 1938/39 season. It was a shame such loyalty was never rewarded by being part of a successful Liverpool team. The highest final League placing during any of the years Riley was at Anfield was fifth in 1929.

Appearances per season

Season League FA LC Europe Other Total
Totals 322 16 0 0 0 338
1925-1926 3 0 0 0 0 3
1926-1927 10 0 0 0 0 10
1927-1928 25 2 0 0 0 27
1928-1929 20 3 0 0 0 23
1929-1930 34 1 0 0 0 35
1930-1931 27 1 0 0 0 28
1931-1932 5 0 0 0 0 5
1932-1933 15 0 0 0 0 15
1933-1934 32 0 0 0 0 32
1934-1935 39 2 0 0 0 41
1935-1936 39 2 0 0 0 41
1936-1937 10 0 0 0 0 10
1937-1938 28 5 0 0 0 33
1938-1939 35 0 0 0 0 35

A more detailed look at the player's appearances

Total Opponent
19 Arsenal
18 Birmingham City
18 Huddersfield Town
17 Derby
16 Middlesbrough
16 Bolton Wanderers
15 Sunderland
15 Leeds United
14 Manchester City
14 Sheffield Wednesday
13 Everton
13 Aston Villa
12 Blackburn Rovers
11 Leicester City
11 Grimsby Town
11 Portsmouth
10 Sheffield United
9 WBA
9 Chelsea
8 Wolves
8 Stoke City
8 Manchester United
7 Preston North End
7 Newcastle United
6 Blackpool
6 Brentford
5 Burnley
5 Tottenham
5 Cardiff City
4 West Ham United
2 Crystal Palace
1 Yeovil Town
1 Darlington
1 Bristol City
1 Swansea City
1 Bury
1 Charlton Athletic
Total Competition
322 League
16 FA Cup

Wartime Appearances / Goals

Season Appearances Goals
1939-1940 11 0

Milestone Appearances

# Date Against Stadium Competition
1 24.10.1925 Tottenham White Hart Lane League
50 13.02.1929 Manchester United Anfield League
100 01.09.1930 West Ham United Upton Park League
150 04.09.1933 Stoke City Victoria Ground League
200 29.12.1934 Blackburn Rovers Ewood Park League
250 07.03.1936 Portsmouth Anfield League
300 18.04.1938 Middlesbrough Anfield League

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