Edward Miller Carr (known as Eddie) was born in Wheatley Hill on October 3, 1917 and worked as a teenager at Wheatley Colliery.
At 17 he signed as an amateur footballer for Arsenal, going first to the Margate nursery club, and turning professional in time for the start of the 1936/7 season.
This was a period of triumph for Margate, before the league changed its rules to stop the development of nursery clubs, and with Margate Eddie won the Southern League Central Section and the Eastern Section titles in 1935/6 and the Midweek Section in 1936/7. He was also a Kent Senior Cup winner in 1936 and 1937.
He then made his debut for Arsenal on 16 February 1938 in Arsenal 2 Manchester City 1 replacing Leslie Jones at inside left – Jones shifting to inside right. This game was the third in a four match winning sequence, and part of a run when the team only lost one game in 11.
He didn’t hold his place completely, playing 11 of the 15 remaining games in various positions: centre forward, inside left and inside right.
The trouble Arsenal had at the time was that Ted Drake was getting injured regularly and so coming in and out of the side. Eddie Carr was one part of the solution, and the other was George Drury – who we’ve already looked at recently.
Amazingly for a player just starting his first team career in Division 1, Eddie Carr then scored seven times in the eleven games games he played including five in the last three games when the championship was up for grabs between three clubs.
Preston were heading for the double when Arsenal beat them 3-1 away on April 23, 1937 with two from Carr and one from Bastin. That left Wolverhampton as the main challengers, but Arsenal were now full of confidence with Carr in the team and beat Liverpool on 30 April with another Carr goal 1-0.
On the final day Arsenal were home to Bolton and won 5-0 with another two from Carr, and two from Bastin and one from Kirchen. If Wolverhampton had won they would have been the champions. But Wolverhamton had started 15 minutes ahead of Arsenal and so their result came in as Arsenal finished the Bolton game at Highbury on May 7, 1938, celebrating the championship on the pitch.
In all Eddie played 11 games that season, scored seven and was never on the losing side.
Despite his great ability he didn’t automatically start in the first team at the beginning of the 1938/9 season, but instead gave way to Ted Drake at centre forward with Leslie Jones and Bryn Jones taking up the inside forward slots. But in the fourth game of the season, with Drake having taken a knock, Eddie Carr stepped up for Arsenal v Everton on September 10, 1938. Arsenal lost 1-2, and it turned out to be Eddie’s last game.
He returned to the reserves and then shortly after suffered a serious knee injury, and did not play for Arsenal again.
At the outbreak of war he was 21, and probably because of his injury he did not serve in the armed forces, but instead returned to the pits. However by the end of the war he had recovered enough to be sold to Huddersfield Town for £1,750 in October 1945. He later played for Newport County, Bedford City and Darlington before moving into management with Darlington.
What went wrong at Huddersfield we don’t know, but clearly Eddie did manage to carry on playing, and was indeed 41 by the time he played his last games with Darlington.
What happened thereafter we don’t know either, apart from the fact that he was Darlington’s manager from 1960 to 1964, by which time he was 50. Darlington were a regular mid-table club in the fourth division at the time, but in 1963/4 slipped to 17th, so that may have been why Eddie left the club.
He died in 1998, but I regret I don’t have the date of his passing. He was 80 or 81.