Albert Groves, Bristol, Bury Football Club, Evans Street, football, Manchester City, Port Vale Football Club, Wales, Walsall Football Club, Willenhall Football Club, William Perrett, Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club
Albert was born in Newport, Monmouthshire in about 1886 (although his census entry states his place of birth as Bristol), the son of Henry and Emily Groves. He became a professional footballer, signing for Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club in 1909. He made his first appearance for the club on 30 April 1910 against Manchester City, and he went on to make 200 league appearances and scoring 18 goals for the team until 1920. In 1911, he was staying at the home of John Hale at 88 Evans Street, along with fellow professional footballer, William James Perrett. In this photograph, Albert appears second from the right in the first seated row (behind the three men on the ground). He is seated next to Jack Needham. Our building, the Molineux Hotel, can be seen in the background.
When War broke out, English League and Cup football was suspended for four years from 1915 onwards. Albert apparently served in the Army (although I have been unable to confirm details of this), as well as guesting for various clubs including Port Vale, Bury and Sunbeam Motors (Coventry). He captained the “A. Groves’s’ XI” in the charity football match at the Molineux Grounds on 27 December 1915. He returned to Wolves in 1919, before becoming a player-manager at Walsall FC, 1920 – 1921, who he continued to play for until 1924. He had a brief stint at Willenhall, before retiring to run the Hope & Anchor public house in Willenhall.