England star hails plaque for football legend Spiksley

Gainsborough Trinity football legend Fred Spiksley, pictured in his England kit.
Gainsborough Trinity football legend Fred Spiksley, pictured in his England kit.

The seal of approval has been given by a current England player to the decision to honour the first Gainsborough footballer to play for his country.

Leicester City defender Harry Maguire, a star of England’s run to the World Cup semi-finals in the summer, had photos of himself taken with a special plaque to commemorate Fred Spiksley.

England defender Harry Maguire after scoring for England in the World Cup finals during the summer.

England defender Harry Maguire after scoring for England in the World Cup finals during the summer.

Born off Trinity Street in the town in 1870, Spiksley became a professional footballer for Gainsborough Trinity at the age of 17 and scored 131 goals for his hometown club in only 124 matches.

From 1891, he went on to play for Sheffield Wednesday, firing 100 goals in 293 games during 11 seasons with the Owls. He earned seven caps for England between 1893 and 1898 and, after he retired from playing, he took up coaching abroad, winning national league titles across the world in Sweden, Mexico and Germany.

Maguire was only too pleased to give the thumbs-up to Spiksley’s plaque on one of his visits to watch his older brother Joe play for Trinity this season.

The blue plaque will be unveiled by ex-professional striker Jason Lee, of the Professional Footballers Association, at Trinity’s Martin and Co Arena ground this Saturday at the home match against Whitby Town.

It is one of many that have been scattered around Gainsborough by the Delvers local history group to ensure worthy sons and daughters of the town are remembered.

Spiksley is remembered not only for his football exploits. During the First World War, he was arrested by the Germans but escaped from a police prison. He died at Goodwood Racecourse, aged 78, in the summer of 1948.