Andy Ducat's name won't ring any bells with many Arsenal fans - but he was an incredible sportsman.
Years later, Arsenal's Denis Compton would represent his country at cricket and his brother Leslie, also a cricketer, would play football for Arsenal and England. That takes some doing but Ducat trumped them both. He was good enough to earn England caps in both sports.
Ducat the cricketer hit 52 centuries for Surrey and played one Test against Australia in 1921, a year after being named as one of the Wisden Cricketers of the Year. Ducat the footballer made six appearances for England over the space of 10 years.
Perhaps the reason Ducat is not a household name is that Arsenal were not a household name when he played for them. Ducat joined Woolwich Arsenal in 1905 and stayed for seven years, scoring 21 goals in 188 matches, but he enjoyed more success when he left for a bigger club of that era, Aston Villa.
Nonetheless, Ducat developed well at Arsenal. He made his debut in February 1905 in a 2-0 win against Blackburn Rovers. Ducat played as a centre forward that day but, after losing his place the following season, he was switched to right half.
Ducat blossomed in that position and was a regular in the Arsenal side in 1907/08 and 1908/09. During his stint at Arsenal, Ducat won three England caps, making his international debut in a 6-1 victory over Ireland in February 1910. He scored the only goal against Wales in his second appearance a month later.
Ducat was a key man for Arsenal but, with the club in the midst of financial problems, he was sold to Villa in 1912. It proved a wise move - Ducat captained Villa to FA Cup glory in 1920 and won three more England caps that year.
Within 12 months he had also represented his country at cricket, capping a remarkable sporting career, but Ducat's life would end on the cricket pitch too. In 1942, he died of an apparent heart attack while playing in a wartime cricket match at Lord's.
This list of 50 Gunners Greatest Players was determined by tens of thousands of Arsenal fans from across the world. The vote took place on the club’s official website in 2008. To help prevent multiple voting by a single person, only registered members of Arsenal.com could take part.
Copyright 2024 The Arsenal Football Club Limited. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source.