Between 1906 and 1932, Teddy (Edwin) King was a long serving and key member of the Football Club. He made over 350 appearances for Leicester Fosse and its successor Leicester City before joining the coaching staff in 1924. He also played for Leicestershire County Cricket Club.
Five years ago, Teddy’s grandson, Kelly Allen, from Newcastle, provided us with many of Teddy’s contracts with the Club.
These fragile and yellowing documents provide a fascinating insight into the life of a professional footballer 100 years ago. They indicate that the trainer had sole discretion as to how best to keep the player in the best physical condition. They state that expenses incurred in training and playing had to be met by the players. They also insisted that the player lived in Leicester (revealing that Teddy lived at 38 Windemere Street, and then at 125 Filbert Street).
Each contract was renewed annually on 1 May. Teddy made his first team debut, as a late replacement, against West Bromwich Albion in April 1907. His reward was a contract which paid him £1 per week with a £1 a week extra "during such times as the player is taken away from his work (in the shoe industry) by the Club".
The following season, playing in the reserves, Teddy earned £2 (£1.50 in the close season). Then, as he became an established first teamer in the six years leading up to the cessation of league football in April 1915, due to the First World War, he earned between £4 and £4.50 per week, with close season earnings varying between £2 and £3.50.
In the five years after the war, Teddy’s earnings were typically £6 per week (£5 in the close season). For the first three seasons Teddy, a regular in the first team, was paid a £1 bonus for playing matches, as well as for winning and drawing. He continued to earn £6 per week for the following two seasons when he only played for the reserves.
The contracts also reveal that in 1911/12 and in 1919/20, Teddy was granted benefit matches, each guaranteeing him £150 (worth about £16,000 today).
After eight years as a coach and 26 years after he had first signed for Leicester Fosse as a player, Teddy left Filbert Street in 1932.
Kelly sent us four glowing references written by Peter Hodge, the manager, and by three directors, L.H. Burridge, W.H. Squire and M.J. Rice. Even the letter headings tell a story. They indicate that Burridge was in partnership running a hosiery factory with fellow director Dick Pudan, an ex-Fosse player, and that M.J. Rice, who inaugurated the Rice Bowl trophy, still played for annually by local schools, owned the impressive Crown Sole Plate Boot factory in Syston.
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