Q Roy Shoesmith
asks Can anybody advise me of how many games the brothers
Corbett played for Heart of Midlothian during the
late 1930's? The brothers' names were Willie, David and Norman.
I would appreciate the dates of birth of the three...if that is
A David John Corbett
born Camelon 01/02/1910, died 1995, was the oldest. His clubs were
Old Plean Amateurs, Linlithgow Rose, Hearts, Camelon Juniors, Ayr
United, Dundee United, West Ham, Southport, Dumbarton
and St Mirren. It seems he didn't make the grade with
Hearts and returned to the juniors for a spell.
He played First Division football with Ayr, making
six League appearances in 1932-33 but turned out on a more regular
basis for Dundee United in Division Two, making 32 League appearances
in 1933-34. He joined West Ham in 1936 and played four times for
them and once for Southport in 1938.
During the war he played six times at right-back for Dumbarton in
1941-42. No trace after that and he definitely wasn't in the St
Mirren team that won the Summer Cup in 1943, nor did he appear in
Norman George Corbett born Falkirk 23/06/1919, died 1990,
also joined West Ham in 1936, from Hearts. He would
have been 17 at the time and thus unlikely to have featured in the
first team. He was more successful down south and played in 166
League games for the Hammers between 1936-49, scoring three times.
The third brother, William R Corbett, born Falkirk 31/08/1922,
doesn't appear to have featured for Hearts at all. He signed for
Celtic from Maryhill in 1941 and made 48 League appearances
for them in the first two post-war seasons, 46-47 and 47-48, scoring
three goals. He also made seven League Cup and five Scottish Cup
appearances before joining Preston in 1948. He made 19 League
appearances there in 48-49 then moved on to Leicester where
he played 16 times in 1949-50.
He then joined non-league Yeovil Town in 1950, returning
to Scotland in November 1951 when he signed for Dunfermline where
he played 19 League, five League Cup and three Scottish Cup games.
He joined Morton in November 1952 and turned out in 11 League
matches for them in 1952-53.
So while all three played for plenty of clubs and two were on Hearts
books it seems they didn't make any actual first-team outings for
the Tynecastle side, certainly not in the period Roy mentions.
None of the Corbetts played a League game for Hearts at any time
in the 1930s.
Incidentally, Roy tells us he saw Norman play for West Ham in 1948-49
and that he was a long throw-in expert, a real rarity in those days
Q Stephen Mitchell wants to
know: Where can I find a copy of the 1953-54 C Division
A There were two C Divisions
that season - North East & South West.
Best place to find them in print is a publication like the Sunday
Chronicle Football Annual for 1954-55. A recent search on abebooks
showed two available - one at £6 and the other at £12,
both exclusive of postage and packing.
That season was notable as it was the only occasion after the division
was regionalised in 1949 that a team won promotion when Brechin
City won the NE section.
Actually, Stephen's query gives us the chance to examine this Division
which existed between 1946-55.
After the war, Scottish football was re-organised into two main
divisions - 'A' and 'B' - consisting of sixteen and fourteen teams
This was controversial as 'A' Division contained teams that had
been in the Division Two in 1939, like Queen's Park and Morton,
while SIX First Division sides went into the 'B' Division!
The 'C' Division consisted of the five lowest placed teams in 1939,
new members Stirling Albion (who had replaced King's Park)
and - controversially - Brechin City. I say controversially,
as Brechin had actually finished above Morton in 1939 and the Greenock
team were put into the top flight!
Three reserve teams - those of St Johnstone and the two Dundee sides
- made up the numbers.
At the end of 1946-47 the 'B' Division was increased to sixteen
teams with 'C' Division champions Stirling Albion and third-placed
Leith Athletic (Dundee Reserves were second) promoted.
The 'C' division added reserve teams from East Fife, Kilmarnock,
Arbroath, Leith and Raith (while losing Dundee) so reserves now
outnumbered first elevens by seven to five
For the next two seasons there was promotion and relegation between
'B' and 'C' on the basis of one up, one down with East Stirling
replacing Leith then being replaced in turn by Forfar.
The top four in 'C' Division in 1948-49 were all first elevens.
Only bottom club Edinburgh City (who resigned from the
League) finished below the reserve teams. Nevertheless the division
was regionalised for 1949-50 into South East and South West sections.
Stranraer joined the latter and were the only non-reserve
side of the 18 teams in the division while four first elevens -
those of Brechin, East Stirling, Leith and Montrose played alongside
twelve reserve teams in the other section.
Promotion and relegation still theoretically applied but only if
one of the sections was won by a non-reserve outfit. This was to
prove virtually impossible.
In 1950-51 the South East section was renamed North East and East
Stirling joined the South West section. In 1951-52 Berwick Rangers
(not even in Scotland, let alone the North) joined the
North East section!
In 1952-53 Leith Athletic finished bottom of the NE section and
dropped out of the League. But in 1953-54 Brechin City upset the
applecart by winning the NE section, finishing a point ahead of
Aberdeen and Dundee's reserves. In the SW section, Stranraer almost
equalled Brechin but ended up third, two behind Rangers reserves
and one behind Partick Thistle's second eleven.
There was an almighty scramble to avoid relegation to this twilight
zone of Scottish football with only two points separating six clubs
at the foot of the Second Division. Dumbarton were ultimately
the unlucky losers, being relegated by virtue of a worse goal average
than Dundee United.
The Sons joined the SW section with East Stirling
moving to the NE for 1954-55. At the end of that season the 'A'
division was increased to 18 clubs and the five first elevens in
the two 'C' Divisions - Berwick, Dumbarton, East Stirling, Montrose
and Stranraer - all joined 'B' Division at the start of 1955-56
bringing the number of clubs there to nineteen.
For the record Stirling Albion, East Stirling and Forfar Athletic
were the champions of the unified 'C' Division. The winners of the
SE/NE section from 1949-50 onwards were the reserve teams of Hibs,
Hearts, Dundee, Aberdeen, then Brechin City and finally Aberdeen
Reserves again. In the SW Clyde Reserves won the first two titles,
Rangers the next three and Partick Thistle the last one.
The only side - first eleven or reserve - to maintain continuous
membership of 'C' Division 1946-55 were Montrose.
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