By Audlem Webteam - 1st May 2009 12:00am
Detailed forensic research has discovered that an Audlem-born footballer played for both Manchester United and Manchester City, a feat later emulated by no less a player than Denis Law.
Herbert C Broomfield was born in Audlem on 11th December 1875 (although his Wikipedia record makes him a few years younger). He was a goalkeeper during a footballing career that took him to both Manchester clubs as well as Bolton Wanderers and Northwich Victoria. He is thought to have been playing for United in 1908.
Fine research by the Audlem District History Society's Celia Bloor has discovered much about Herbert. He was the son of Thomas, an agricultural labourer, and Mary. Thomas came from Keele and she from Wrenbury. In 1871 the family was living in Sandy Lane. By the 1881 census, Herbert had arrived and the family was now living in Salford (ours, not the larger one near Manchester). It appears that his mother had died when he was young and he seems to have been the youngest of six children, three boys and three girls.
By the 1891 census he is working with Francis Tomkinson, a painter & decorator, as apprentice, aged 15. The family has now moved to Stafford Street and are listed as living between the Purcells and Thurmans which puts them very near to the Post Office. By 1901 he is visiting his sister Emily in Rawtenstall Lancs, age 26, and is a House Decorator and employer.
He is thought to have been playing for Manchester United around 1908, which puts him in his early thirties. If anyone knows anything more about Herbert, both the webteam and Audlem District History Society would love to learn more.
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