16 December 2006

Bert Smith


Name: Ernest Edwin Smith
Born: 4 January 1896, Donegal
Died:
Height:
Weight:
Position: Centre-Half
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Representative Honours: Ireland: 4 Full Caps (1921-1923).
Club Honours: (with Cardiff) Football League Division Two Runner-Up 1920/21; Welsh Cup Winner 1921/22, 1922/23.
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Club Career:
Clubs
Seasons
Signed
Fee
League
FA Cup
Other
Army
-
-
-
-
-
-
Cardiff City
20/21-23/24
Aug-19
-
105/2
18/1
-
Middlesbrough
23/24-24/25
Jan-24
-
21/0
-
-
Watford
25/26-26/27
Sep-25
-
50/1
?/?
-
Emsworth
-
-
-
(Hampshire)
TOTALS
£475
176/3
18/1
-

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Biography:
Bert Smith gained early footballing experience while serving in the Indian Army during the First World War. Come peace-time he signed for Cardiff City, then in the Southern League, and was a regular as they finished fourth and, as the highest placed Welsh side, were invited to join the Football League Second Division (the rest of the Southern League First Division formed the Football League's Third Division).

Smith's League debut was also Cardiff's, a 5-2 win at Stockport County on 28th August 1920. He was a virtual ever-present for the Bluebirds over the next three seasons, gaining a reputation as one of the club's finest ever defenders. He helped the club to promotion to the top-flight for the first time in their history, scoring their first First Division goal in a 2-1 defeat by Aston Villa.

Mid-way through the 1923/24 season Smith joined Middlesbrough, making his debut in a 2-1 defeat by Preston. He was a regular member of the side that finished bottom of the First Division, so suffering the first relegation in the club's history. He retained his place in Boro's defence at the start of the following season, but his form dipped and he was dropped. With the club forced to settle for a disappointing mid-table finish on their lower-league return, Smith was shipped on to Third Division South side Watford. He finished his playing career with non-league Emsworth.

Capped four times for Ireland, all while a Cardiff player, Smith made his debut in a 2-0 defeat by Scotland at Windsor Park in February 1921. The Scots' victory was recorded as well-deserved, but Smith was noted as being prominent in the Irish half-back line, thoroughly justifying his selection. It would be another year-and-a-half before he took the field for Ireland again, but on that occasion he was awarded the captaincy as the Irish lost 2-0 against England at West Bromwich.

It was on his third international appearance that Smith first tasted victory, putting in a determined defensive display along with his fellow backs, as Ireland recorded a deserved 2-0 win over Wales at Wrexham. Another stout defensive performance in October 1923 allowed Ireland to record a rare victory over England at Windsor Park. It was a fitting finale for Smith's brief but distinguished international career.
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Ireland Cap Details:
26-02-1921 Scotland H L 0-2 BC
21-10-1922 England. A L 0-2 BC
14-04-1923 Wales... A W 3-0 BC
20-10-1923 England. H W 2-1 BC
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Summary: 4/0. Won 2, Drew 0, Lost 2.


Club career details courtesy of Martin O'Connor.

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