R.I.P Arthur Rowley

Last updated : 21 December 2002 By @blades_mad1889

He was often seen at the Gay Meadow in recent times, including last Saturday's match against Bournemouth.

George Arthur Rowley joined Shrewsbury Town on June 5th 1958 and in the next decade scored 152 goals for the club as player manager.

That still stands as the club record today, and his tally of 38 league goals in the 1958-59 season is a mark no town player has ever matched.

Arthur Rowley in his Leicester days
Arthur Rowley in his Leicester days

He'd arrived at the Gay Meadow already renowned and with 251 goals to his credit for Leicester - but he'll also be fondly remembered at Fulham and West Bromwich Albion.

His 434 goals in 619 games over 19 years earns him a place in the football league's legends website, which says: 'Arthur Rowley stands head and shoulders above anybody else in league history for goalscoring'.

He was player manager when Shrewsbury beat First Division giants Everton in the League Cup and were within minutes of reaching the final before losing out to Rotherham.

Rowley left Shrewsbury to manage Sheffield United and Southend, but returned to the town when he retired and was regularly seen at the Meadow, despite his ailing health in recent years.

Born in Wolverhampton in 1926, Rowley went to Manchester United at the age of 14, but signed for West Brom when he turned professional at the end of the war. But he didn't set the world alight, scoring only four times in 23 games, and was transferred to Fulham, where he did much better, netting 27 goals in 56 outings.

But it was at Leicester City's Filbert Street where he made his mark over eight seasons, twice helping them gain promotion to the old First Division, and becoming the club's top scorer.

From Leicester it was on to Shrewsbury Town, guiding them to promotion to the Third Division in his first season as player manager - and scoring 38 goals in 43 games.

He finished his playing career at the Town, hanging up his boots in 1965, although he stayed on as manager for another three years.

And after his spells with Sheffield Utd and Southend, he returned to Shropshire, firstly to manage Oswestry Town for a brief spell and then Knighton in Powys.

Telford Utd manager Jake King, a former Shrewsbury Town captain and manager, led the tributes to Rowley.

He said: "He was a quiet man. It's a sad day for Shropshire."