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Fred Tunstall

Personal information
Full nameFred Tunstall
Playing positionOutside Left

     Home | Football | Fred Tunstall

Fred Tunstall (May 28, 1897 in Darfield, South Yorkshire, England July 21, 1971 in Boston, Lincolnshire, England) was a footballer who played for Sheffield United and England.

Tunstall started his footballing career with amateur side Darfield St George's, before joining Midland League side Scunthorpe & Lindsey United. In 1922, he signed for Sheffield United from Scunthorpe for £1,000. Tunstall who played at outside-left was part of a United team who were always guaranteeing attractive and enterprising play at the time. He made his debut for United on December 4, 1920, against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane.

The left wing pair of Tunstall and Billy Gillespie was one of the dominating partnerships in the Football League in the early 1920s. Their mutual understanding of each other, ability to command instant superiority by quick thinking, accurate passing, and determination to seize an opportunity when within goal-range, were alone sufficient to keep the Blades in contentment and respectability. The third part of an apparent attacking triangle was striker George Green, who had the ability to move the ball sweetly around the field. And between the three of them, they became one of the most admired and feared attacking units in the Football League. Only Sunderland scored more goals than United in the 1923-24 season, and Tunstall, Gillespie and Green contributed in no small way to a final league position of 5th in Division One.

Tunstall was a major part of the Sheffield United team which won the F.A. Cup in 1925. On their way to their FA Cup Final victory that year; they beat Sheffield Wednesday 3-2 in the 2nd round. And in the 3rd Round, the Blades were at home to Everton. The match at Bramall Lane in front of 51,745 belonged to Tunstall. The match was won 1-0 by United, and it was Tunstall's goal that won the tie. After three minutes a quick throw-in confused the Everton defenders and Tunstall - who was one of the most powerful shots of his time, scored a magnificent goal. In the 4th Round; United went through at the expense of West Bromwich Albion with Tunstall scoring one of the goals and Harry Johnson the other in a 2-0 home win in front of a record crowd of 57,197 spectators. In the Semi-final at Stamford Bridge, United beat Southampton with two of the goals scored by Tunstall. In the final, United met Cardiff City at Wembley Stadium in front of 91,763 fans. United won the match 1-0 and it was Tunstall who scored the winning goal. An error by Cardiff right-half Harry Wake allowed Tunstall to round him and score the only goal of the game. In the 1924-25 season, Tunstall scored 20 goals, which at the time was a post war record for a player who played exclusively on the left wing. He was revered at Sheffield United so much that "fetch Tunstall" was still the cry in the early 1960s if a home player missed a penalty at Bramall Lane.

While with Sheffield United, he won seven caps for England between 1923 and 1925, and was England captain for the international matches against Canada and France respectively. His debut for England was against Scotland at Hampden Park on April 14, 1923.

Between 1920 and 1932, Tunstall made a total of 437 appearances for Sheffield United and scored 129 goals. His final appearance in United colours was in a benefit match for Jimmy Waugh (a former United player) against Darlington on April 27, 1932.

In February 1932, he joined Halifax Town where he made 105 appearances scoring 40 goals. On August 1, 1936, he joined Boston United as the player-manager. Boston's biggest ever win in the F.A. Cup victory occurred on September 18, 1937, when they beat Bilsthorpe Colliery 10-0. The star of the Boston United side was winger Tunstall. And he finished off the scoring and brought the score up to double figures with a penalty awarded in the last minute.

Fred had one sister Nellie Tunstall who, whilst her brother left the small village, remained in Darfield all of her life. Nellie married Matthew Aylward and had 7 children; 5 sons; Eric, Peter, David, Clifford and Stephen, and twin daughters Mavis and Iris. Tragically, Nellie and Matthew lost two children when they were very young. Clifford died at the young age of 23 and David was just 9 months.

Of their remaining children, and Fred's neices and nephews, Eric married and had two children Richard and Phillip; Peter married Sandra and had one daughter Fiona; Mavis married Jack Jones and had Susan, Jack and Carol; Iris married Fred Lloyd and had Geoffrey; and Stephen married Ruth and had Leanne, Kerry and Scott.

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