Eighty-six years ago this week, on 9th October 1926, Leicester City’s record goal scorer, Arthur Chandler, scored his 100th goal for the Club in a 2-0 victory over Sunderlandat Filbert Street.
He had only played 139 league and cup games for Leicester. It was a major landmark in a truly remarkable career which had started very slowly.
When ‘Channy’ signed for Leicester City in 1923 he was already nearly 28. Up until then, he had only scored 18 goals for QPR in the old Third Division South.
Once he arrived at Filbert Street, the picture changed dramatically.
An ever-present in his first two seasons at Leicester, he scored 61 league and cup goals, culminating in Leicester becoming Second Division Champions in 1925.
He then scored 212 league and cup goals in the next 10 seasons, by which time he was nearly 40. He scored 154 of them in the first five seasons in First Division. He scored 34 goals in 1928/29, when Leicester came within a point of winning the league title.
He also scored a phenomenal 33 goals in 16 games on the FA tour to South Africa in 1929. In addition, he scored in all three of his England trials.
His final tally of 273 goals in 419 games, including 17 hat-tricks, is still a Club record. Arthur left Filbert Street for a brief spell at Notts County in 1935, before joining Leicester’s backroom staff, where he served in various capacities until he retired in 1969, aged 73.
Purely by coincidence, three days before the 86th anniversary of Channy’s 100th Leicester City goal, the Bristol City mascots at King Power Stadium on Saturday were Alex and Oliver Chandler. Together with their father, Colin, and their uncle, Alex and Oliver are the nearest direct living relatives of ‘Channy’.
Colin, Arthur and Alex arrived in Leicester for the match against Bristol City after driving up from their home in Somerset. I had the privilege to meet them in Reception, where they admired Micky Bates’ model of Filbert Street, the scene of so many of Arthur’s triumphs. We also looked at a picture on display in Reception of ‘Channy’ receiving treatment from a physio. We then went upstairs to the Chandler Suite to admire the displayed memorabilia relating to Arthur’s career.
Also on hand, from the Club’s vaults, were the shirt crests from Arthur’s Football League representative appearance against Scotland in 1927, his Three Lions shirt crest from the FA Tour of South Africa and Rhodesia in 1929 and every one of Channy’s Leicester City contracts, which were renewed on an annual basis.
Alex, Oliver and Colin were very proud to be photographed holding these valuable items. They were also very proud to be invited to the Directors’ Lounge after the game to meet the Bristol City and Leicester City Directors and to admire the picture of their famous ancestor currently on display there.
Colin also provided the Club with much new and fascinating information about the Chandler family. This has been added to the Club’s archive. This new material, together with some previously unpublished photographs, will appear in the ‘Family Memory’ Feature in the Brighton Matchday Magazine.
By sheer coincidence, one of the guests in the Directors’ Lounge was 92 year-old Jim Burton, who had actually witnessed one of the most memorable afternoons of Channy’s career. This was when he scored his famous double hat-trick in the 10-0 victory over Portsmouth in 1928. After his fifth goal, five swans flew over the pitch. Then a sixth, straggling swan appeared prompting ‘Channy’ to score his sixth goal. The Chandler family had been able to look at this ball before the game, as it is on display in the Chandler Suite.
The presence in the same room of a fan who saw this game and of the relatives of the man who scored the goals was quite remarkable. The presence of swans on the canal, visible through the window, added to the sense of occasion, as did the fact that we were only three days away from the 86th anniversary of Channy’s 100th goal for Leicester City.