Ted Harper

Edward (Ted) Harper was born in Sheerness on 22nd August 1901. Harper played for local sides, Whitstable Town and Sheppey United before joining Blackburn Rovers in the First Division of the Football League in 1923.

In February 1925 Blackburn bought Syd Puddefoot from Falkirk for £4,000. He provided the passes for Ted Harper to score 43 goals in 37 games in the 1925-26 season. This was a new Football League record.

Harper was a consistent goalscorer and over the next four seasons he scored 106 goals in 144 games. In 1926 his good form resulted in him being awarded an international cap for England against Scotland. However, he failed to score and was never given another chance to play for England.

In 1927 Harper moved to Sheffield Wednesday. He only stayed for 18 games but during that time he scored 13 goals. His next club was Tottenham Hotspur. In 1930-31 he set a new club record with 36 goals in 30 games. An injury brought an early end to his season.

In 1931 Harper was sold to Preston North End for £5,000. Harper joined a talented squad that included Robert Kelly, Bill Shankly, Jimmy Dougal, Frank Gallimore, Ted Harper, Jimmy Milne, Billy Hough, Bill Tremelling, John Palethorpe, John Pears, Henry Lowe, George Fitton, George Holdcroft and George Bargh.

In his first season Harper scored 24 league goals in 23 games. Harper had a great start to the 1932-33 season. He scored four against both Burnley and Lincoln City and hat-tricks against West Ham United and Manchester United. By the end of the season he had scored 37 league goals, beating the club record previously held by Tommy Roberts. Despite Harper's goals, Preston only finished in 9th position and once again failed to get promotion to the First Division.

The following season Ted Harper moved back to Blackburn Rovers in order to get First Division football. During his time at Preston he had scored 67 goals in 75 games. He was replaced by the English international, George Stephenson, who had considerable goalscoring success at Derby County, Aston Villa and Sheffield Wednesday.

Although now aged 33, Harper still scored a goal every two games. Harper retired at the end of the season and joined the Blackburn coaching staff.

Ted Harper died in 1959.

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