Charlie Wayman

Charlie Wayman

Charles (Charlie) Wayman was born in Bishop Auckland on 16th May 1921. After leaving school he became a coalminer and played football for Chilton Colliery and Spennymoor United before writing to Stan Seymour for a trial with Newcastle United. He joined the club in September 1941 and during the Second World War scored 35 goals in 71 appearances.

At the beginning of the 1946-47 season Stan Seymour sold Albert Stubbins to Liverpool. As Brian Glanville pointed out: "When the red-headed Albert Stubbins, an altogether larger centre-forward, left Newcastle United for Liverpool at the end of the 1945-46 season, it was Wayman, only 5ft 6ins and 10st 12lbs, who took his place. Quick both in movement and anticipation - a lethal finisher and accomplished ball player - he was instantly effective, scoring four hat-tricks that season. One of them was in the 4th round of the FA Cup, against Southampton, helping Newcastle to win 3-1 after the Saints had taken the lead. Wayman scored 34 goals that season."

In October 1946 Stan Seymour signed Len Shackleton for a record fee of £13,000. Wayman was now a member of a forward-line that included Shackleton, Tommy Walker, Jackie Milburn and Ernie Taylor. It was hoped that Newcastle United would get promotion to the First Division that season. However, they only finished in 5th place. Wayman was top scorer with 34 goals. However, Wayman became involved in a dispute with Stan Seymour and in October 1947 he was sold to Southampton for £10,000.

Wayman was a great success at his new club and in the 1948-49 season was the league's top goalscorer. After scoring 77 goals in 107 games for Southampton, he was transferred to Preston North End in September 1950 for £10,000 plus another player. In the 1952-53 season he was once again the league's top scorer. He also scored in every round of the 1954 FA Cup but was a member of the team that lost the final 3-2 to West Bromwich Albion.

As Ivan Ponting pointed out: "Endowed with exquisite mastery over a moving ball, he loved to demonstrate a trademark trick, which involved flicking the leather over the head of a bemused opponent, nipping round the other side and catching it on his instep before clouting an invariably ferocious shot towards goal. It wasn't that he was flamboyant - in fact, for all his pugnacious manner on the pitch he was an engagingly unassuming individual - but it was a crowd-pleasing manoeuvre that the brave, elusive little marksman simply couldn't resist."

Wayman was considered unlucky never to be selected for England. However, he faced stiff competition from Nat Lofthouse, Tommy Lawton, Stan Mortensen and Jackie Milburn.

In September 1954 Wayman was sold to Middlesbrough for £8,000. He had scored 105 goals in 157 appearances for Preston North End. Once again he was a prolific scorer with 31 goals in 55 games. He had a short spell with Darlington but a knee injury ended his career in April 1958. After retiring from the game he lived in Bishop Aukland and worked for Scottish and Newcastle Breweries.

Charlie Wayman died on 26th February, 2006.

© , September 1997 - April 2014

Primary Sources

(1) Ivan Ponting, The Independent (3rd March, 2006)

Charlie Wayman was an ebullient, bouncily inventive, prodigiously prolific centre-forward, a pint-sized predator who topped the scoring charts for a succession of major football clubs in the decade immediately after the Second World War. Many knowledgeable observers deemed the affable north-easterner a world-class finisher, and it was an outrage to them that he didn't win a single England cap.

The most obvious explanation for the omission was that Wayman was in competition for his country's No 9 shirt with the stellar likes of Tommy Lawton, Nat Lofthouse and Roy Bentley. A more contentious theory was that he couldn't find favour with members of the selection committee with which the team coach Walter Winterbottom was required to work - a group often derided by professionals for its collective lack of knowledge about the game - because they believed that, at 5ft 6in, he was too short for the international arena.

Such a stance was risible, as anyone would testify who had witnessed the quicksilver left-footer making buffoons out of towering defenders and rattling in the goals, 255 of them in 382 League appearances, season after season for Newcastle United, Southampton, Preston North End, Middlesbrough and, at the tag-end of his career, humble Darlington. Intelligent team-mates did not play the ball to Wayman in the air. They would deliver it to his feet, or into space behind his markers, a territory of uncertainty in which he was lethal.

Endowed with exquisite mastery over a moving ball, he loved to demonstrate a trademark trick, which involved flicking the leather over the head of a bemused opponent, nipping round the other side and catching it on his instep before clouting an invariably ferocious shot towards goal. It wasn't that he was flamboyant - in fact, for all his pugnacious manner on the pitch he was an engagingly unassuming individual - but it was a crowd-pleasing manoeuvre that the brave, elusive little marksman simply couldn't resist.

(2) Brian Glanville, The Guardian (7th March, 2006)

When the red-headed Albert Stubbins, an altogether larger centre-forward, left Newcastle United for Liverpool at the end of the 1945-46 season, it was Wayman, only 5ft 6ins and 10st 12lbs, who took his place. Quick both in movement and anticipation - a lethal finisher and accomplished ball player - he was instantly effective, scoring four hat-tricks that season. One of them was in the 4th round of the FA Cup, against Southampton, helping Newcastle to win 3-1 after the Saints had taken the lead. Wayman scored 34 goals that season.

But Newcastle United in those days were a club continually in chaos, and when they illogically dropped Wayman from their semi-final team against Charlton Athletic (who proceeded to win 4-0), Wayman not surprisingly requested a transfer; Southampton were the beneficiaries in October 1947.

At the Dell, he quickly struck up a fruitful understanding with his inside-right, Ted Bates, who later became Southampton's manager. Sadly for the Saints, all Wayman's multiplicity of goals could not haul them out of the Second Division. In the 1947-48 season, they took third place, four points behind Newcastle, one of the two clubs promoted. The following season saw them as racing certainties to be promoted, with Wayman scoring goals galore - 32 in the end - only to be so seriously injured that he missed the last five games. Southampton won no more games, finished a point behind West Bromwich Albion, a couple behind the leaders, Fulham - and stayed down.

Wayman's next stop in September 1950 was at Preston North End, who were promoted to the First Division, where despite his cornucopia of goals, the club were twice narrowly denied, first in the championship, then in the FA Cup.

In the 1952-53 season, he was joint top scorer in the championship with 23 goals, but Arsenal edged North End out of the title on goal average. The following season, Wayman's goals helped the team to the FA Cup final against West Bromwich Albion. He gave Preston a 2-1 lead, but Albion, with two goals from Ronnie Allen, recovered to take the cup 3-2.

Then, in 1955, it was back to the Second Division with Middlesbrough, for whom he was joint top scorer in his first season, with 16 goals, and chalked up another 15 in his second. But because of injury, goals ceased to flow, and the following season he was sold to Darlington in the Third Division North, where he could score only eight goals in 16 matches. But his touch had not wholly deserted him, and the following season, though able to make only seven appearances, he scored six times. Throughout his career he scored 250 goals in 382 appearances.