Bobby Skinner & British scoring record

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Bobby Skinner & British scoring record

Postby Carlucci » Sun Dec 17, 2006 12:20 am

Could you give some information about Bobby Skinner , the man who playing for Dunfermline set a British record with 53 goals in the Scottish Second Division in season 1925-26. How many goals did he score in his career ? Which clubs did he play for? When did he make his debut in the Scottish League & the last game he played there?

Could you also tell me about the British scoring record and the men who have held that record over the years? Does that record include all the goals scored in the League Championship & the F.A.Cup (or Scottish Cup) in each season or just the goals scored in the League Championship? Thanks. Warmest Regards.
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Postby Scottish » Sun Dec 17, 2006 3:00 am

I'll try and get back to you about Bobby Skinner later - unless someone else provides the details first.

These are the men who have the held the British record for goals scored in LEAGUE MATCHES ONLY.

1888-89 21 J Goodall Preston
1889-90 24 J Ross Preston
1890-91 26 J Southworth Blackburn
1891-92 32 J Campbell Sunderland
1907-08 32 J Simpson Falkirk
1908-09 38 B Freeman Everton
1910-11 38 W Reid Rangers
1916-17 39 B Yarnall Airdrie
1920-21 43 H Ferguson Motherwell
1921-22 49 W Crilley Alloa
1925-26 53 R Skinner Dunfermline
1926-27 59 G Camsell Middlesbrough
1927-28 66 J Smith Ayr United

A few things to bear in mind. In the first two seasons the Football League was the only League in existence. Before the first world war there were fewer league games played and before the 20th century fewer still. Until Crilley all players mentioned played in the top division. From Crilley onwards they all played at the second level. The offside law was changed before the start of 1925-26. Previously three defending players were required to be between the attacking player and the goal in order for the latter to be onside.

Record TOP division scorers after 1921
1921-22 45 D Walker St Mirren
1926-27 49 J McGrory Celtic
1927-28 60 WR Dean Everton

English TOP division record scorers
1888-89 21 J Goodall Preston
1889-90 24 J Ross Preston
1890-91 26 J Southworth Blackburn
1891-92 32 J Campbell Sunderland
1908-09 38 B Freeman Everton
1920-21 38 J Smith Bolton
1925-26 43 E Harper Blackburn
1927-28 60 WR Dean Everton

Scottish TOP division record scorers
1890-91 20 J Bell Dumbarton
1891-92 23 J Bell Dumbarton
1898-99 25 RC Hamilton Rangers
1903-04 28 RC Hamilton Rangers
1906-07 29 J Quinn Celtic
1907-08 32 J Simpson Falkirk
1910-11 38 W Reid Rangers
1916-17 39 B Yarnall Airdrie
1920-21 43 H Ferguson Motherwell
1921-22 45 D Walker St Mirren
1926-27 49 J McGrory Celtic
1931-32 52 W McFadyen Motherwell

Jimmy Smith scored 84 goals in all competitions (50 games) in 1927-28 (66 league, 2 Scottish Cup, 1 Ayr Charity Cup, 15 others). Dean scored 82 (60 league, 3 FA Cup, 13 Internationals, 6 Inter-league) These totals were beaten as a UK record by Joe Bambrick of Linfield in 1930-31 who scored 94 (50 Irish League, 10 Belfast City Cup, 9 Belfast Charity Cup, 7 Irish Cup, 6 Internationals, 5 Inter-League, 5 County Antrim Shield, 1 Gold Cup, 1 Conder Cup). In turn Bambrick's record was eclipsed the following season by Fred Roberts of Glentoran who scored 96 goals (47 games) - 55 Irish League (in 26 matches), 27 Belfast City Cup, 7 County Antrim Shield, 4 Irish Cup, 2 Belfast Charity Cup, 1 other.

Dean remains the top scorer in both England and any UK top division, Smith the top overall, McFadyen the best in Scotland's top flight and Roberts the best in Northern Ireland and the UK as a whole.
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Postby Scottish » Sun Dec 17, 2006 2:23 pm

The first season I can find Bobby Skinner is 1923-24 when he played for three clubs. He scored once for St Mirren in four league outings then nine times for Morton in sixteen appearances before dropping down a division to join Dunfermline in February 1924. He scored eight goals for the Pars that season to take his total to 18 overall. Despite playing in fewer than half their league games he was Morton’s top scorer.

A dispute over his share of the transfer fee and an argument about close season wages led to Skinner leaving East End Park for Ayr United before the start of 1924-25. He scored seven times in fourteen league games before re-joining Dunfermline in November 1924 and he went on to score a further 25 league goals for them.

1925-26 was Skinner’s best season. He took advantage of the change in the offside law to become the first player in British football to score fifty league goals in a season. His tally of 53 was almost half Dunfermline’s total of 109 which saw them win the Second Division title.

Although Skinner had played in the top flight for St Mirren, Morton and Ayr, 1926-27 was his first full season in Division One and he was again Dunfermline’s top scorer with 25 league goals which proved vital in avoiding relegation. As in the previous season he scored almost half his club’s league goals. Dunfermline scored 53 in total – the same number as Skinner had scored by himself in 1925-26. He scored ten goals in sixteen appearances in 1927-28 before signing for Airdrie for what was the then considerable fee of £2,500 – and 25 times as much as he had cost when rejoining the Pars from Ayr – in November 1927.

Skinner’s move was seen as an upward one as Dunfermline were bottom of the table and on course for relegation while Airdrie were the top provincial challengers to the Old Firm in the 1920s with four runners-up finishes in the league and victory in the Scottish Cup in 1924.

His first game for his new club proved to be memorable – but for all the wrong reasons. In the first half of the match against Aberdeen at Pittodrie on Dec 3rd 1927 an elderly spectator collapsed and died. In the second period Skinner suffered a fracture in his right leg. He didn’t return until 1928-29 was well under way and even though he played just 22 league matches his ten goals helped him to become joint leading scorer at Broomfield.

In 1929-30 Skinner was back to his best and scored 24 league goals for Airdrie to end up leading scorer for the season. Next season he scored nine times in the league in 23 games.

Skinner wasn’t as prolific in the Scottish Cup. His first goals in that competition didn’t arrive until 1926-27 when he scored three for Dunfermline – all against Bathgate over two games. In 1928-29 he scored three times for Airdrie – one each v Hearts, Cowdenbeath and Motherwell. 1929-30 was his best season when he scored five times. One of these was against former club Dunfermline. The other four were against Murrayfield Amateurs. In 1930-31 Airdrie met Dunfermline again and Skinner scored twice in a 6-2 replay victory when he had a particularly outstanding performance.

His only representative appearance was for the Scottish League in October 1927 while still with Dunfermline. He scored both goals in a 2-1 win over the Irish League at Windsor Park, Belfast.

I can’t find a record of Skinner after 1930-31 (does anyone have this information?) Until the end of that season I make it that he scored 196 career goals – 181 league (121 Dunfermline, 43 Airdrie, 9 Morton, 7 Ayr, 1 St Mirren), 13 Scottish Cup (10 Airdrie, 3 Dunfermline) and two for the Scottish League.

There is an old Scottish Football Historian which credits Skinner with 131 goals for Dunfermline but I believe that is based on a match programme article which incorrectly allocated 35 goals to Skinner for 1926-27.
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