Players - Cyril Sidlow

Cyril Sidlow
Birthdate: 26 November 1915
Birthplace: Colwyn Bay, Wales
Date of death: 12 April 2005
Other clubs: Colwyn Bay United (1931-33), Abergele (1933-34), Colwyn Bay United (2 / 1934), Flint Town (1934-35), Llanludno (1935-37), Wolverhampton Wanderers (1937-1946); Notts County, Wrexham, Darlington, Burnley, Hartlepools United (wartime guest), New Brighton (1952-53), Wolverhampton Wanderers (2 / 1953-55)
Bought from: Wolverhampton Wanderers
Signed for LFC: £4,000, 21.02.1946
International debut: 19.10.1946 vs Scotland
International caps: 7/0 - 15.10.1949
Liverpool debut: 31.08.1946
Last appearance: 04.11.1950
Contract expiry: 30.06.1952
Win ratio: 47.27% W:78 D:42 L:45
Honours: League Championship 1946/47
Wartime games/goals: 9 / 0
League games / goals: 149 / 0
Total games / goals: 165 / 0
League clean sheets: 47
Total clean sheets: 54

Player Profile

The Welshman had just captured the number one jersey at first division Wolves in the 1938/39 season when his professional career was stopped in its tracks by the outbreak of World War II. After appearing for Wolves during the war he was deemed surplus to requirements as the League resumed due to the emergence of future England 'keeper, Bert Williams. The thirty-year-old jumped straight into George Kay's team and before the final League game of the season he was in a curious situation. Manchester United, Stoke and Wolves had the chance to win the title along with Liverpool and fate would have it Sidlow faced his old team at Molineux. Sidlow was still living in Wolverhampton and was neighbours with Wolves' goalkeeper, Williams. Bob Paisley recollected Sidlow's "plight" in his book ‘My 50 Golden Reds’: "He trained with Wolves throughout the week, linking up with us on match-days only. So you can imagine what it must have been like for him having to walk down the streets towards Molineux that Saturday afternoon. They were his mates he was playing against and he knew that, unlike us, he would have to suffer whatever the result. If we won – and deprived Wolves of the title – then he knew he wouldn’t be able to walk out of the front door of his little house in Wolverhampton without folk pointing at him as the man who had stopped their team becoming champions of the Football League." Billy Liddell, Liverpool's talisman, was impressed by Sidlow's performance in Liverpool's 2-1 win that eventually sealed the title for the Reds: "Cyril made save after save when it seemed certain that he must be beaten." Sidlow couldn't resist to pay a visit to Bert Williams next door: “After I had received my League champions’ medal, I took it round to Bert to show him. I don’t know whether he appreciated that very much!"

Sidlow kept his place for most of the next three years and helped the club reach its first Wembley Cup final but it ended in disappointment with a 2-0 defeat to Arsenal. Sidlow conceded four goals in his final Liverpool appearance in a home first division game against Newcastle United on 4 November 1950. The much-younger Russell Crossley who replaced Sidlow had ironically been recommended to the club by the Welshman himself. "Russell did me a good turn when I was in the Army. When we had matches to play for the Army team he would play so that I could get off and play for Wolves in the wartime leagues," Sidlow explained. "He wasn't as old as I was and when he came out of the Army I told George Kay that he should sign him up and he became my understudy for a season or so before taking over." Sidlow moved to neighbours New Brighton in the Lancashire Combination after he had been released at the end of the 1951/52 season. He returned to Wolves in 1953 as an emergency cover for Williams. He did never turn out for the first team but did a good job of coaching youngsters at the club.

Sidlow became known for throwing the ball to his teammates rather than kicking it aimlessly up field. "Cyril was another in the long school of accomplished goalkeepers to be at the club," Bob Paisley said. "Reading the game was one of his major strengths and while sometimes that isn't quite as flashy as the goalkeeper who is diving about all the time, I know which style most outfield players prefer in their side. Maybe it was that ability which explained why he was never hailed as being as good as he was by supporters. A goalkeeper who is flinging himself about all over the place catches the eye and people will say: 'He's brilliant.' In fact, they are making it hard work for themselves whereas goalkeeping was an easy art for the big Welshman."
Appearances per season
Season League FA LC Europe Other Total
Totals 149 16 0 0 0 165
1946-1947 34 6 0 0 0 40
1947-1948 29 0 0 0 0 29
1948-1949 38 3 0 0 0 41
1949-1950 37 7 0 0 0 44
1950-1951 11 0 0 0 0 11
A more detailed look at the player's appearances
Apps Minutes Opponent
10 900 Derby
10 900 Everton
8 720 Wolves
8 720 Bolton Wanderers
8 720 Aston Villa
7 660 Burnley
7 630 Arsenal
7 630 Sunderland
7 630 Middlesbrough
7 630 Charlton Athletic
7 630 Manchester United
7 630 Chelsea
7 630 Blackpool
6 540 Manchester City
6 540 Blackburn Rovers
6 540 Portsmouth
6 540 Huddersfield Town
5 450 Sheffield United
5 450 Stoke City
5 450 Birmingham City
4 360 Grimsby Town
4 360 Preston North End
4 360 Newcastle United
2 180 Leeds United
2 180 Brentford
2 180 Fulham
2 180 WBA
1 90 Tottenham
1 90 Stockport County
1 90 Exeter City
1 90 Notts County
1 90 Walsall
1 90 Nottingham Forest
Total Venue
83 Home
78 Away
4 Neutral
Total Competition
149 League
16 FA Cup
Total Manager
165 George Kay
Clean sheets per season
Season League FA LC Europe Other Total
Totals 47 7 0 0 0 54
1946-1947 11 3 0 0 0 14
1947-1948 11 0 0 0 0 11
1948-1949 12 2 0 0 0 14
1949-1950 11 2 0 0 0 13
1950-1951 2 0 0 0 0 2
Wartime Appearances / Goals
Season Appearances Goals
1945-1946 9 0
Milestone Appearances
# Date Against Stadium Competition
1 31.08.1946 Sheffield United Bramall Lane League
50 27.09.1947 Everton Goodison Park League
100 26.03.1949 Stoke City Anfield League
150 01.04.1950 Charlton Athletic Anfield League
Related Articles
Sidlow Still Unbeaten in 1949

Published on 7 February 1949 in The Evening Express.

Related Quotes

"As a youngster I had four ambitions. They were to get an amateur international cap, a senior cap, a championship medal, and a Cup winners’ medal. I have been fortunate enough to achieve the first three. What about the fourth? I’m keeping my fingers crossed."

Cyril Sidlow in 1950

Cyril Sidlow was unbeatable - 29 April 1950
Cyril Sidlow was unbeatable - 29 April 1950
Victory over Wolves was the clincher
Victory over Wolves was the clincher
Other Clubs
Club Season Club rank League apps League goals Total apps Total goals
Colwyn Bay United 1931-1933 Birmingham & District League N/A N/A N/A N/A
Abergele 1933-1934 Wales N/A N/A N/A N/A
Colwyn Bay United 1934 Birmingham & District League N/A N/A N/A N/A
Flint Town 1934-1935 Welsh league N/A N/A N/A N/A
Llandudno 1935-1937 Welsh League North N/A N/A N/A N/A
Wolves 1937-1938 England First Division 3 0 3 0
Wolves 1938-1939 England First Division 41 0 47 0
New Brighton 1952-1953 Lancashire Combination N/A N/A N/A N/A
Wolves 1953-1955 First Division 0 0 0 0
Total 44 0 50 0