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Hall of Fame – Charlie Leyfield

Charles ‘Charlie’ Leyfieldirene-davies-daughter-of-charlie-leyfield-accepts-award

Place of Birth: Chester

Date of Birth: 30th October 1911

Date of Death: 1st April 1982 (heart attack)

Position: Winger – outside left

(Pictured Charlie’s Daughter, Irene Davies, accepting the award on  his behalf)

Playing Career:

  • Representative appearances : Chester School Boys
  • Brickfield Athletic – Chester & District Football League 1926-27 to December 1930 signed for Everton FC

Brickfield Athletic were based in Handbridge (Charlie lived at 3, Pretoria Street), their home ground pitch was on Eaton Road (opposite the Garrison Ground) & they were one on the best teams in the area during the 1920s regularly winning Trophies & attracting Scouts from Football League Clubs

  • Representative appearance : Northern Counties Amateur Championship match – played for Cheshire v Lancashire @ Darwen on Saturday 29th November 1930

He had ‘Trials’ with several Clubs including Liverpool but after 2 successful ‘Trail’ appearances for Everton Reserves in the Central League, he joined Everton as a Professional Football Player on 27th December 1930

  • Everton Reserves (Central Midlands League) – 1930-31 to 1936-37
  • Everton 1st Team (Division One) – 1934-35 to 1936-37; Football League debut: 2 v 1 win against Leicester City @ Goodison Park on Saturday 25th August 1934, Charlie scored one of the goals & the other goal was scored by William Ralph ‘Dixie’ Dean

Charlie went on to make 38 1st Team appearances & scored 13 goals

He went on Everton’s Tour to Switzerland in the summer of 1935 – this was the first time Everton had played under floodlights (floodlights were not installed @ Goodison Park until 1958)

  • Representative appearance : Special Grand match – played for the joint Everton & Liverpool team v F.C. Austria @ Anfield on 28 Nov 1934
  • Representative appearance : George V Jubilee match – played for the Football League v Wales & Ireland @ Goodison Park on Saturday 11th May 1935 (scored in a 10 v 2 win) – it was second of only two occasions when the FA have trialled using ‘Two-Referees’ (the first was in the other George V Jubilee match at The Hawthorns three days earlier when the Football League beat West Bromwich Albion 9v6)
  • Transferred to Sheffield United (Division Two) – 1937-38
  • Transferred to Doncaster Rovers (Division Three North) – 1938-39

Chester also in Division Three North wanted to sign him but they could not afford Sheffield United’s £2,000 Transfer valuation (Doncaster Rovers signed him for £1,700)

The 1939-40 season commenced on Saturday 26th August & he scored both goals in Doncaster Rovers 2v0 home win against Rochdale @ Belle Vue. However Saturday 2nd September was to be his final Football League appearance as due to the outbreak of WW2 the Football League & all other Leagues including the CDFL were suspended (the CDFL resumed after a month of playing ‘Friendly’ matches; the Football League resumed in 1946).

He got a job as a joiner in the Sheffield / Doncaster area (his trade prior to becoming a Professional Football Player)

War-Time Football was organised into regions with the Football League Clubs in the North West playing against each other. A lot of the Pre-War Professional Football Players were drafted into the Armed Forces.

  • On-Loan to Chester (War-Time guest on 30 shillings a match) – debut Saturday 30th September 1939 in a Friendly v Wrexham @ Sealand Road Stadium

Unfortunately for Charlie he suffered a broken ankle in Chester’s away fixture with Manchester City at Maine Road on Saturday 9th December 1939 (he was taken to Manchester Royal Infirmary) & he was unable to play for the following 14 months. Due to injury he lost his civilian job that he had obtained outside of Chester.

  • First competitive match after recovering from injury was for the Chester ‘A’ team v Army XI @ Sealand Road Stadium on Saturday 17th May 1941 
  • On-Loan to Fulham (War-Time guest) while he was serving in the Army (Royal Artillery) in the South East
  • Guest Appearance for Chester away v Wrexham @ The Racecourse on Saturday 15th January 1944; Wrexham won 3v0 (he was not available for the return match the following Saturday)
  • Representative appearance : British Army International match – played for England v Scotland on 4th December 1943 @ Goodison Park
  • Representative appearance : Armed Forces Charity match – played for Western Command v RAF on Saturday 20th May 1944 @ Goodison Park

He was Discharged from the Army in February 1945 due to injuries to his legs sustained from football – he retired from playing – in the previous 7 years he had broken both legs, a broken shoulder & broken ribs.

In a letter to football correspondent ‘Pilot’ Don Kendall of The Evening Express (3rd March 1945) he said that “despite the ill-luck he had enjoyed every minute of his footballing life – a life made as much by the people in it as the game itself.” Don Kendall went on to say that “Charlie will be visiting our local grounds for he is back home in Chester. I hope he makes a speedy & complete recovery.”

  • Wrexham – Head Trainer 1947-48 to 1949-50 (he joined Everton when his contract with Wrexham expired in 1950)
  • Wales – Trainer 1947-48, 1948-49 & Team Manager-Trainer 1949-50 (promoted in October 1949 for the World Cup qualifying matches)

He was involved in Wales first-ever tour to Europe in the summer of 1949 (it was the first time that the national team had been on Tour)


June 27, 1950.

The Evening Express

Assistant Trainer

Succeeds Alex Stevenson

By Pilot (Don Kendall)

Charlie Leyfield the Welsh international trainer and former England war-time outside-left, is returning to his old “love” Everton. Leyfield has been appointed assistant trainer to Head Trainer Harry Cooke in succession to Alex Stevenson.”And it is with genuine warmth that we say to Charlie Leyfield “Welcome back and good luck.” Leyfield was always a great Everton loyalist, ever since he came to Goodison Park as a junior from Chester junior circles. During the war Charlie played as a guest with Chester & Fulham and he secured representative honours in a wartime match –actually at Goodison Park. A broken leg seriously jeopardized Leyfield’s playing career, but for the past three seasons he has been head trainer to Wrexham with whom his contract expired a few months ago. Leyfield is a man with ideas and industry, in fact many of his schemes were operated with immense success by Wales, including the better use of throws-in. During Charlies’s work at Wrexham, he was appointed trainer to the Welsh international side and eventually the position of team manager-trainer. Such is Charlie’s enthusiasm for football that last season he played in all the “old timers” matches organized on Merseyside.

  • Assistant Trainer (to Head Trainer, Harry Cooke) 1950-51 to 1952-53 – he was in charge of the Everton Reserves team in the Central Midlands League
  • 1st Team Trainer 1953-54 to 1956-57 – he was put in temporary charge of the 1st Team when the Manager, Cliff Britton resigned in February 1956. In July 1956 Ian Buchan was appointed to replace Cliff Brittion however his title was Head Coach not Manager & the Board ran the 1st Team by ‘committee’ until 1958.

He went on Everton’s Tour to the USA in the summer of 1956 (18th May to 17th June) – 10 matches

When he retired from Everton in the late 1950s, Charlie became the Landlord of the City Arms pub in Saltney, & later on he became the Landlord of The Bird in Hand pub in Guilden Sutton (his former Everton team mate from the 1930s, William Ralph ‘Dixie’ Dean was Landlord of the Dublin Packet pub by the Town Hall).

Charlie also did some Scouting for Preston North End; their Manager was Cliff Briton (one of the first Managers to pioneer a network of scouts in order to spot & develop good youth players) & he was good friends with Charlie from their time together at Everton.. Charlie also did some Scouting for Tranmere Rovers.

Everywhere Charlie went he was always known for his enthusiasm for football, his cheerful personality & his smile.

Click on the link below for the the Charlie Leyfield information page on toffeeweb