09 Nov 2018


This Sunday marks 100 years since the end of the First World War. The League Managers Association takes this opportunity to recognise and reflect on the sacrifices of all that lost their lives. We join with all our friends and colleagues from the football and sport communities in remembering those who gallantly fought and surrendered their lives for our freedom and for the freedom of generations to come.


Almost as soon as war broke out in August 1914, it was up for debate as to whether it would be appropriate for the football season to start as normal. By the end of November 1914 the FA and the War Office decided to set up a Footballers’ Battalion, officially named the 17th (Service) Battalion (Football), Middlesex Regiment.  

By the following March, initially 122 professional footballers had signed for the battalion. In addition to footballers, referees, officials and football fans themselves also joined the 17th Middlesex and went on to serve with distinction. The battalion suffered several losses with over a thousand men losing their lives.


After the war, several former members of the 17th Middlesex became respected managers and coaches. Angus Seed become Aldershot Town’s first-ever manager, Haydn Green went on the manager clubs such as Hull, Swansea Town and Watford, and Charles Bell who managed Mansfield Town and Bournemouth and also coached abroad in Italy, Portugal and France.

One member of the battalion, Major Frank Buckley, became one of the most famous managers in the history of the game. Buckley was one of the first men to join the 17th Middlesex and later became second-in-command of the battalion. It was after the war that Buckley ventured into management, spending the 1919/20 season with Norwich City, where he advertised for former members of the 17th Middlesex to join him. In years to follow, it was under his guidance that Wolverhampton Wanderers became one of the leading club sides in England in the years leading up to the Second World War, twice runners-up in Division One and losing finalists in the 1939 FA Cup Final. Leaving Molineux in 1944, Buckley went on to manage Notts County, Hull, Leeds United and Walsall. He retired from the game in 1955 and died in 1964.

We at the LMA are proud to embrace the annual Remembrance Day in commemoration of British and Commonwealth military and civilian servicemen and women who contributed in the two World Wars and later conflicts. We shall not forget.