Harold Wadsworth

Links With The Past: Harold Wadsworth

Club Historian John Hutchinson reveals another link with the past from the Club’s historic collections and archives, a rare colourised photograph of Harold Wadsworth.
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Last month, the Club added a new acquisition to its ever growing historical archive. It is a collection of memorabilia and press cuttings relating to the career of Harold Wadsworth, a left-winger who joined Leicester City from Liverpool in June 1924. The collection was bequeathed to the Club in the will of Jane Graham who was Harold’s granddaughter.

In his first season at Filbert Street, Harold was an ever-present in the side which won promotion to the top flight as Second Division champions in 1925. He then became a key player for the next two seasons as the Club established itself in the First Division. He moved to Nottingham Forest in April 1927, having made 106 league and cup appearances for City.

One of the items in the collection is this hand-coloured photograph of Harold. It is possibly the only one in existence. It measures eight-and-a-half inches by 6-and-a-half inches and is mounted on card described as gold.

Until the mid-1940s the majority of all photographs were black and white. Hand-colouring such photographs was a time consuming process which made them expensive to purchase.

Although it is nearly 100 years old, this colourised photograph is in remarkable condition. As the colours were painted on to the surface of the photograph, it could easily have become scratched or damaged by humidity or heat if it had been stored incorrectly. 

On the reverse of the card to which the photograph is attached there are hand written instructions. These are written in faded pencil and detail the colours to be used by the artist hand-colouring the picture.

The hair was to be brown/black, the ‘jersey’ was to be blue, the collars, cuffs  and ‘knickers’ were to be white , the ‘stockings’ were to be navy blue with a white band and the boots were to be ‘usual’: in other words brown.

Interestingly, the colour of the shirt is a significantly lighter blue than the current Leicester City shirts.




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