Fatty’s real clean sheet...

The Football League Paper - - FINAL THIRD -

THERE are var­i­ous the­o­ries as to the ori­gin of the term ‘clean sheet’ – but fi­nal third likes the one con­cern­ing heavy­weight goal­keeper Wil­liam ‘Fatty’ Foulke.

In his com­pre­hen­sive ‘ A History Of Brad­ford City AFC In Ob­jects’, au­thor John Dewhirst tells a tale about Foulke, who weighed more than 20 stone and spent the bulk of his ca­reer with Sheffield United, but also had shorter stints with Chelsea and Brad­ford City.

“In Fe­bru­ary 1907, Brad­ford City played Ac­cring­ton in the FA Cup sec­ond round at Val­ley Pa­rade.The colour of the visi­tors’ shirts clashed with that of Wil­liam Foulkes who wore a red jersey.

“It is re­ported that a change could not be found for him so a white sheet was wrapped around his waist.

“On the ba­sis that the tie was won 1-0 and Foulkes did not con­cede a goal, it has been sug­gested that this was the ori­gin of the term ‘keep­ing a clean sheet’.”

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