Thursday, January 2, 2014

2 January 1922 - A Handy Man To Have Around

On 2 January 1922, 41-year old Cardiff trainer George Latham became the club's oldest debutant when he filled in for a match against Blackburn.

A half back, he had played before, including spells with Newtown (1897-1902), Liverpool (1902-09), Southport (1909-10), and Stoke City (1910-11). He also made ten appearances for Wales between 1905 and 1913. For his last cap, a 1-0 win over Ireland on 18 January 1913, he was the team's trainer, but filled in at right-half.

After serving in World War I with great distinction, he returned to Wales and took up a position as a trainer with Cardiff City under manager Fred Stewart. Then, with the team away at Blackburn in January 1921 for a Division One match, two of their players became ill, requiring Latham to step in once again, one day after his forty-first birthday. Cardiff went on to win 3-1.

While he never played again, he remained with the team and was an assistant coach under Stewart when Cardiff won the FA Cup over Arsenal in 1927.

He died in 1939 at the age of 58. In 1951, Newtown, his first club, opened a new stadium named Latham Park in his honor.

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