Arthur Chandler

The Transfer Record: Arthur Chandler

In a new long-running series on LCFC.com, Club Historian John Hutchinson looks at the stories behind a selection of Leicester City's transfer records.
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After the Football Club's reconstruction in 1919, following the demise of Leicester Fosse, Leicester City has since broken its transfer record over 30 times.

Paddington-born striker Arthur Chandler was one of Leicester's first four-figure signings when he was purchased for a Club-record fee of £3,000 in June 1923. 

This was an inspired signing by secretary-manager Peter Hodge, who established the foundations for Leicester City’s halcyon days of the late 1920s.

It was quite a gamble for the Club to pay this amount for a 27-year-old who until then had scored a career total of 18 goals in the old Third Division South for Queens Park Rangers.

Few would have predicted that, over the next 12 years, Chandler would become Leicester City’s all-time record goalscorer. He was transformed in Leicester City blue.

An ever-present during his first two seasons at Filbert Street, Chandler scored 62 league and cup goals, culminating in City becoming Second Division champions in 1925.

Chandler then scored 203 top-flight goals in the next 10 seasons, by which time he was nearly 40. He netted 154 of them in the first five seasons in the First Division.

These included the 34 strikes he registered during the 1928/29 campaign, when Leicester City agonisingly came within just a point of winning the First Division league title.

Chandler's final tally of 273 goals in 419 games is still a Club record. His total included 16 hat-tricks and one double hat-trick, scored in October 1928 in a 10-0 victory over Portsmouth.

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.

The Club’s archives contain several newspaper cuttings detailing his career, several brittle sepia photographs of him in action and every one of his yearly contracts with Leicester City.

Shirt crests from outings for the Football League and the FA's tour of South Africa in 1929 are on display in the reception area of King Power Stadium today.

Browsing through some of the press cuttings, Chandler's talent and personality come to life.

For example, when England selectors came to watch Arthur in a game against Sunderland, Chandler scored twice - his 100th and 101st goals for the Club - in the first five minutes.

There was a problem though. Both goals occurred before the selectors had taken their seats. Seven minutes after their arrival, meanwhile, he went off injured.

He never was picked for England, despite scoring five goals in his comeback game against Aston Villa and converting another five against West Bromwich Albion a month later. 

Another time, on the other hand, Chandler was told on a Sunday evening, while training with Leicester City in Skegness, that he had been selected for an England trial.

The trial was in Sheffield the following afternoon. He started the long car journey at 6am on the Monday and broke down, meaning he arrived just a couple of hours before the game.

In typical Arthur Chandler style, it did not distract him and the Leicester City legend still found the net.

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