Think also of Bury FC footballer Teddy Bullen and many millions more like him.
Teddy was a good footballer and talented enough to play in the old First Division. He was born in Warrington but raised in Altrincham and the Shakers signed him up from Altrincham in 1906.
He made his first team debut in 1907 and by the start of WWI had played 188 times for the first team as a wing-half but suffered bad luck with injuries. He was an integral player in the Bury team of the time which was a reputable First Division outfit.
The life of a professional footballer in those days was vastly different to those of today's Premier League stars and like many of his fellow players Teddy signed up for the war effort, continuing to play for the club during wartime fixtures whilst on leave from the front.
Teddy Bullen played for Bury in a wartime fixture against Liverpool as late as February 3rd 1917. Just six months later on 11th August, ironically the start of the football season and a Saturday to boot, Teddy was killed at Vaulx, Vracourt, some 15 miles south east of Arras.
He was one of a number of burials in Vracourt Copse cemetery during the 1920s which these days holds over 100 casualties of the 1914-1918 war who died in the village or surrounding areas.
There is a memorial to Teddy Bullen which today hangs in the 1885 Suite at Gigg Lane. It reads...’A playing member of this club who fell in action at Vaux on the 11th day of August 1917. Loyal to this club, loyal to his country’.
Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.
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