Joe Wade

Despite spending 11 years as a professional at Arsenal, full-back Joe Wade only enjoyed one season as a regular in Tom Whittaker's team.

He joined the Club as an amateur in 1944 and signed professional terms in 1945, four months after making his first-team debut against Reading.

Only very occasional appearances followed - Wade featured just once between December 1947 and October 1951. But in August 1952 he was plunged into the first team and missed just two matches of that season.

The following campaign started equally well for Wade but in the autumn he was forced out by the presence of Leonard Willis. In the 18 months that followed he featured more prominently than in earlier years but remained a bit-part player.

He left to be player-manager at Hereford Town in August 1956.

"Most will point to the collision with Joe Mercer in April 1954 when Mercer broke his leg and waved goodbye from a stretcher knowing his career was over. Joe Wade was devastated. However Wade was coach of our football team at Hackney Downs Grammar School and since I was the only boy with an Arsenal shirt at practice he often had a special word for me."
Michael Shocket, New Marlborough, MA, USA

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