Harry Bedford

Harry Bedford

Henry (Harry) Bedford was born in Calow on 15th October 1899. After leaving school he worked as a coalminer before joining Nottingham Forest in 1919. At the time the club was in the Second Division of the Football League. After scoring 8 goals in 18 games he was signed by Blackpool for a fee of £1,500.

Bedford was the country's top goalscorer in the 1922-23 with 32 goals. He repeated the feat the following season with 34 goals. Despite playing in the Second Division, he won his first international cap for England against Sweden on 21st May 1923. The following year he scored one of the goals in England's 3-1 victory over Northern Ireland. He also scored four goals playing for the Football League against the Irish League in 1924. Bedford only played twice for England because at the time he faced competition for the centre-forward position from players such as Dixie Dean, Gordon Hodgson, Tom Waring and George Camsell.

After scoring 112 goals in 169 games for Blackpool, Bedford was transferred to Derby County for £3,000 in 1925. In his first season he helped the club win promotion to the First Division. Bedford was the club's top goalscorer for five seasons in succession. During his time at the club he scored 142 goals in 203 games.

In December 1930 Newcastle United paid £4,000 for Bedford services. As Paul Joannou pointed out in The Black 'n' White Alphabet: "He arrived at St James Park nearing the veteran stage of his footballing days and was played largely out of position at inside-forward." Bedford still managed to score 17 goals in 30 games before moving to Sunderland for £3,000 in January 1932. He played only seven games for his new club before moving to Bradford Park Avenue where he scored 15 goals in 33 games in the 1932-33 season.

Bedford played for Chesterfield in the 1933-34 season. By the time he took up the post of trainer of Heanor Town he had scored 326 goals in 485 games.

In October 1937 Bedford was appointed trainer of Newcastle United. He also worked for Derby County in a similar role before becoming manager of Belper Town (1954-55) and Heanor Town (1955-56). He was worked for 23 years in the Rolls-Royce fire service.

Harry Bedford died in Derby on 24th June 1976.