Inside-forward Arthur ‘Digger’ Maw was a major player for Leicester City in the 1930s.
Before Peter Hodge, in his second spell as Leicester City’s manager, brought him to Filbert Street in July 1932, 22-year-old Maw had played for his local team Scunthorpe and Lindsey (later Scunthorpe United) in the Midland League and then for Second Division Notts County.
Maw was seen as a necessary younger player to strengthen the ageing Leicester City side which had finished runners-up in the league three years earlier.
Digger’s impact was immediate. Following his first team debut in January 1933, his 14 goals in the remaining 18 games of the season made him the Club’s top scorer and saved City from relegation.
Maw played under three different Leicester City managers during the 1930s.
In his second season (1933/34), Maw was selected as England’s travelling reserve for the match against Ireland in Belfast in October 1933. In a photograph belonging to his son Alex, Arthur can be seen wearing a suit in a picture of the England team taken on the pitch just before the match.
However, despite the legendary Arsenal inside-forward Alex James rating him as ‘the best uncapped inside-forward in the country’, Arthur was never selected for England.
During the summer of 1934 manager Hodge died unexpectedly. For the next two seasons, Arthur was a regular in the side under the new manager, the ex-Leicester City star Arthur Lochhead, but the Club was relegated in 1935.
Arthur was the Club’s top scorer in 1935/36, but in the following season, Lochhead was replaced as manager by Frank Womack, who led Leicester to the Second Division title in 1937.
Leicester City, 1936
Maw, pictured in No.26 shorts, as part of the 1936 Leicester City side.
Maw played only a small part that season, largely due to Womack signing Eric Stubbs from Nottingham Forest together with Digger’s old Scunthorpe team-mate, the ex-England international Jack Bowers, from Derby County.
Back in the top flight, Maw was reinstated into the side for the next two seasons. When Leicester City were relegated in May 1939, he left the Club and returned to Scunthorpe and Lindsey but after only three matches into the new season, the outbreak of war resulted in the football season being cancelled.
Apart from a few Wartime League guest appearances for Grimsby Town, Arthur’s football career was over. Returning to Lincolnshire, he became a bookkeeper for 20 years until his death in 1964, aged only 54.
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