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Wilson Wainwright (left-half) 1914-16

Born: Morley, 24 July 1892

Local youngster Wilson Wainwright was given a chance at Leeds City by manager Herbert Chapman just after the start of the Great War.

Born and brought up in Morley, Wainwright was playing for his local club when Leeds scouts spotted him in 1914. He was selected to play in some trials with City reserves for whom, the Yorkshire Post reported later, he had "shown considerable promise", while the Athletic News labelled him "fearless".

Wainwright was given his first team opportunity in the Second Division clash with The Arsenal on 3 October 1914. With Val Lawrence already covering for George Law, regular left-half Mick Foley was ruled out after sustaining an injury a week earlier against Clapton Orient and Chapman turned to the inexperienced Wainwright in his desperation.

The youngster did not let City down in a 2-2 draw and JRB reported in the Leeds Mercury that he "made a useful substitute for Foley on the left of the Leeds trio".

Foley returned the following week at Derby, but Wainwright deputised for the Irishman again when City drew 0-0 at Bury on 21 November. They were "somewhat disorganised through having four men on the injured list," according to the Leeds Mercury, which added that they owed the point to "brilliant goalkeeping, a rock like defence, a first class exhibition, and a miserable forward display". City had to play for most of the game with Fred Blackman a limping passenger; they were denied victory when referee Mr G M Pardoe of Kidderminster changed his mind after originally awarding Leeds a penalty for a foul on Billy McLeod.

That was the end of Wainwright's exposure to first team football, though he remained at Elland Road for another season while he spent his days working in a local khaki factory.

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