Sam Chedgzoy



Sam Chedgzoy was born in Ellesmere Port in 1889 and, after playing alongside Joe Mercer's father in local non-league football, he made his Everton debut on Boxing Day 1910.

He struggled to make an impression initially and it wasn't until 1914 that he properly established himself in the side. From then on though his was the first name on the teamsheet and he would go on to make 300 appearances in a career, interrupted by the first World War, that lasted until 1926.

He was a brilliant and inventive outside right who seemed to get better and better as he got older. He won a League Championship medal in 1914-15 and was rewarded with 8 England caps - but he seems to be best remembered for an incident in 1924 that forced the footballing authorities into a rule change.

Everton were at home to Arsenal and, before the match, a local sports reporter had persuaded Chedgzoy (a £2 payment helped!) to try an experiment to highlight a flaw in the laws of the game, if-and-when Everton won a corner. The moment arrived in the first half.

Instead of hoisting the ball into the goalmouth as usual, Chedgzoy - to the amazement of everyone (including his teammates, who knew nothing about his intentions) - dribbled the ball himself into the penalty area and smacked it into the back of the net. Despite Chedgzoy's protestations that the rules said nothing to prevent him from doing what he'd done, the referee disallowed the goal (and Everton actually lost 3-2!). However, the referee was wrong. The rules at the time made no mention of corner-takers being allowed only one touch of the ball - an anomaly that was rectified within 48 hours.

(Postscript: Well, that's how the story has always been told but, after reading the above, Roy Chedgzoy - Sam's great grandson - got in touch. He revealed that Sam's dribble into the penalty area ended with a shot into the side-netting, with some of the crowd mistakenly thinking a goal had been scored. The referee didn't disallow a goal - he simply awarded a goal-kick.  This true version of events is also confirmed in Gavin Buckland's brilliant book 'Everton Strange But Blue', which also gives a fascinating in-depth account of the whole bizarre event).

The incident shouldn't overshadow Chedgzoy's playing brilliance though. He was fast and he was stylish and he could cross a ball as good as anyone - a skill of prime importance in the days of huge battering-ram centre-forwards.

After retiring, Chedgzoy emigrated to Canada and died there in 1967. His son, Sid, joined Everton as well but never got as far as the first team.


The stats:

  
 League
FA Cup
Total
  
Apps
Gls
Apps
Gls
Apps
Gls
1910-11
3
0
0
0
3
0
1911-12
0
0
0
0
0
0
1912-13
1
0
0
0
1
0
1913-14
7
1
0
0
7
1
1914-15
30
2
5
1
35
3
1919-20
18
3
1
0
19
3
1920-21
35
5
5
0
40
5
1921-22
35
5
1
0
36
5
1922-23
36
3
2
1
38
4
1923-24
38
4
2
1
40
5
1924-25
38
2
3
0
41
2
1925-26
38
7
2
0
40
7
 Total
279
32
21
3
300
35