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Steve Bloomer

Personal information
Full nameStephen Bloomer
Date of birth20 January 1874
Place of birthCradley, Worcestershire, England
Date of death16 April 1938(age 64)
Place of deathDerby, England
Playing positionForward

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Steve Bloomer (20 January 1874, Cradley, Worcestershire 16 April 1938, Derby) was an English footballer and manager who played for Derby County, Middlesbrough and England during the 1890s and 1900s. Bloomer remains a legend at Derby County and the club anthem, Steve Bloomer's Watchin', is played before every home game. On 17 January 2009 a bust of Bloomer was unveiled next to the home dugout at Pride Park Stadium.

During his career Bloomer was a prolific goalscorer for both club and country. Although possessing only a slight frame, he was a menace to defenders due to his quick thinking. He was also able to shoot powerfully and accurately with either foot and his speciality was the daisy cutter a low shot, hit with great power, speed and accuracy. In 536 English First Division games he scored 317 goals and, after Jimmy Greaves, he is the second highest all-time goalscorer in the first division. He also scored 28 goals in 23 appearances for England. In his last international against Scotland in 1907 he scored a stunning goal.Bloomer also played baseball for Derby County Baseball Club and helped them become British champions three times in the 1890s. He also played cricket at an amateur level. After retiring as a footballer he became a coach and worked with clubs in Germany, The Netherlands and Spain. During the First World War he was interned at Ruhleben, a civilian detention camp. The highlight of his coaching career came in 1924 when he guided Real Unión to victory in the Copa del Rey. After returning to England he served as player-coach with Derby Reserves, worked as a newspaper columnist and as a grounds man at the Baseball Ground. In late 1937, while severely ill, Derby County paid for him to go on a cruise to Australia and New Zealand. He died three weeks after returning home in April 1938. His funeral took place on the afternoon of Wednesday 20 April 1938 at Derby Cathedral. His grave can been seen in Nottingham Road Cemetery, Derby.

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