Links With The Past: Arthur Rowley’s Souvenir Booklet
In his eight seasons at Filbert Street, he averaged 33 goals a season. This total included 16 hat-tricks and 41 penalties. Although he fell eight goals short of Arthur Chandler’s Club goalscoring record, Rowley achieved his total in 98 fewer games. His 44 league goals in 1956/57 is still a Club record.
The fantastic strength of his left-foot shot earned him the nickname ‘The Gunner.’ When Rowley left Filbert Street in June 1958 to become Shrewsbury Town’s player-manager, his league goal total stood at 282, as he had also scored a total of 31 goals for West Bromwich Albion and Fulham prior to signing for Leicester City.
This booklet in the Club’s archives was published by Shrewsbury Town in 1961 to commemorate the fact that Rowley had by then increased his league goal total to 380, thus breaking the legendary Dixie Dean’s English record of 379 league goals.
To commemorate this achievement, the booklet contains tributes from, amongst others, the FIFA President, Sir Stanley Rous, the Football League Secretary, Alan Hardaker, and from his former clubs.
The Leicester City tribute was penned by Norman Bullock, the manager who signed him in 1950 from Fulham. He wrote that signing Rowley was the best transaction that he ever made.
Rowley also contributed an article reviewing his goalscoring achievements. He concluded by looking forward to the possibility of breaking the British national goalscoring record by beating Glasgow Celtic’s Jimmy McGrory’s total of 410 league goals.
He surpassed this total in 1962, on his way to a final career tally of 434 league goals. This booklet marks an important stage in Rowley achieving this phenomenal total, a British record which is unlikely to be ever beaten.
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