Harry Grundy – An Everton Winger

The Shropshire-born player briefly represented Everton and Lincoln City in the early 1900s and went on to fight in World War I and was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal

Tony Onslow 06/04/2019 0comments  |  Jump to last

When Elizabeth Bradley moved to work in Liverpool from Chirk she caught the eye of William Grundy, then working as Groom, and they were married, in 1870, at the Welsh Chapel dedicated to St David on Brownlow Hill. The couple then settled at 4 Moorside in Neston where the head of the household worked as a coachman. It was here, on the 15th of March 1883, that their 6th child Thomas Henry was born. He became known affectionately as Harry.

The 1891 census finds the family now living at 25 Parkgate Road where William has become the clerk at the local parish church of St Mary. He was still working at this occupation when Harry, having completed his education, began work as a bricklayer and play football for West Cheshire League club, Heswell. During the months of summer, he would earn as much as £80 competing in various athletic events and also received accolades for the skill he displayed at the game of Quoits.

Harry Grundy later signed Chirk and represented them in the 1905-6 FA Cup tournament. He was approached by members of the Everton executive after a re-played tie against Tranmere Rovers and accepted a wage of 25s per week. He immediately went in to the clubs Lancashire Combination side and made his debut against Stockport County.

Grundy had to wait until the 30th of December to make his Football League debut when he replaced Harold Hardman in a 0-0 draw with Middlesbrough at Ayresome Park. The reporter from Athletic News commented that…Grundy repeatedly spoiled his comrades’ efforts by infringements to the offside law. Harry made his second, and final appearance, in a “patched up” Everton side that was beaten 4-2 on the home of Newcastle United. He was then placed on the transfer list for an asking price of £25. Grundy spent next season with Western League side Reading before returning to the Football League with Lincoln City.

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He made his debut, 7th of April, 1907 in 1-0 win at Derby County and appeared twice more before the season came to an end. The Imps, however, finished bottom of the table and found themselves playing in the Midland League. Grundy signed on again and played a major role as they regained their Football League status at the first attempt. He had played 44 games for the Sencil Bank club, scoring 6 goals in process, when he returned to the family home in Neston.

The 1911 census reveals that Harry is now living at the Greenland Fisheries Tavern, where his Father is Landlord, and lists his occupation as professional footballer. He later returned to his trade as a Bricklayer and ended his football career with West Cheshire League side Neston Institute before enlisting in the armed forces.

Sometime around June 1916, Private 4335 Harry Grundy is found in the 4th Territorial Battalion of the Cheshire Regiment when they land in France. Upon arriving he was transferred to the 7th Battalion, Kings Own Shropshire Light Infantry and given the number 26331. On the 1st of May 1907 they “went up the line” and relived the 1st Battalion, Royal Scots Fusiliers near Tilloy to the east of Arras. On the 6th of May Harry Grundy was severely wounded and taken to the 18th Base Hospital near Camiers from where he was shipped back to England. Records reveal he was then admitted to Hospital at Colchester and treated for wounds to his mouth, nose and eye. When discharged, he was permitted to wear the British War Medal and the Victory Medal on returning to his home at Neston.

On the 4th of April 1929, Harold Grundy married Lillian Heaps at Birkenhead Registry Office and the couple set up home on Parkbridge Road. They later moved to Prenton Park Road where the head of the household died in March 1948 and was interred at Landican Cemetery.

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