Bill Harper

Bill Harper's £4,000 move to Arsenal in November 1926 was then a goalkeeping transfer record.

Harper had two separate spells with the Club between 1925 and 1931, in between a period in the American Soccer League with several teams.

Profile

Name Bill Harper
Arsenal Career 1925 - 1931
Position: Goalkeeper
Appearances 73 (73 starts, 0 as a sub)
Goals 0

He made his league debut in a 6-1 win against Bury in November 1925 and played 19 times in his debut season ahead of rivals Dan Lewis and Jock Robson.

Harper missed out to Lewis in Arsenal's 1927 FA Cup final defeat to Cardiff City, however, which the Gunners lost 1-0.

He left at the end of that season to cross the Atlantic with Fall River Marksmen (twice), Boston and New Bedford Whalers before returning to Highbury in September 1930.

Harper, a blacksmith by trade, served with the 5th Brigade Scots Guard in France during the First World War. He was brigade heavyweight boxing champion and captain of the Guards rugby team.

In his second spell, Harper again became first choice, this time ahead of Charlie Preedy and Gerard Keizer. Arsenal won the title in 1930/31, with the goalkeeper playing 19 times.

He transferred to Plymouth Argyle in December 1931.

Harper retired from playing in 1939 and became trainer at Plymouth. He worked in the dockyard in Rosyth during the Second World War and returned to Plymouth until 1950.

Then groundsman until 1964, Harper finally became an odd-job man for a number of years.