Following in the footsteps of Edgar Chadwick, Alf Schofield first saw the light of day through the mill chimneys of Blackburn in Lancashire.  He was born 16th of July 1876 at 39 Alexandra Street the 4th child of David, a Machine Maker, and his Wife Betsy. However, following the early death of her Husband, Betsy moved Alfred and his siblings to the comfortable surroundings at 48, Brighton Road in Birkdale where, on the 1881 census, she is reported to be “living by own means”.

Alfred Schofield joined Everton, as an amateur, in December 1895 and was first scene by the Goodison spectators on Boxing Day when he replaced Alf Millward for the visit of the Scottish side, Celtic where he scored the deciding goal in 3-2 victory. He made his Football League debut, 7th of March, in 3-2 home win over Preston North End and scored – during the final game of the season – as Everton won 2-1 at Stoke. Schofield next signed a professional form and was paid a wage of £2 per week plus a “suitable position” of employment that had been found by the club. Nevertheless, he failed to make the decisive breakthrough and had made just 13 Football League appearances when he left Everton, in April 1900, to sign for Division 2 side, Newton Heath.

On the 1st of September he made his debut in 1-0 defeat at Glossop and quickly settled down to life with the Manchester club. Schofield had previously played cricket for Bootle but now transferred his services to the East Lancashire club in Blackburn where he remained for several seasons. He was on the Newton Heath playing staff when they survived a “winding up” order and assisted the new club, now playing as Manchester United, to regained their First Division status in 1906. Schofield retired from playing football in 1907 and returned to his home in Liverpool having made 137 Football League appearances and scored 15 goals. He was granted a benefit match from which he received the sum of £50.

During his time at Goodison Park, Alfred Schofield had married Florence Fayer at West Derby Registry Office in 1899. She was the younger sister of former Everton player Thomas H Fayer and had been born in America. The 1911 census finds the couple living at Rosedale Road in the Walton area of Liverpool where Alfred is now a Coal Merchant employing several people. They have 4 children and all of them have been born in Liverpool.

During World War One he enlisted in the Kings Liverpool Regiment and was wounded in action while serving with 3rd battalion. He was treated in Hospital and returned home safely having been awarded the appropriate medals to acknowledge his service.

After the War he became a Turf Commission Agent with an office 59 South Castle business and moved to live at 9 Woburn Hill in Old Swan. After World War 2 he purchased a fine house at Dry Grange off Allerton Road,  but his health was now giving cause for concern. Alfred John Schofield, after a long illness, died on the 24th of February,1953 and was cremated at Anfield Crematorium in Liverpool.


Mark Wylie,

Manchester United FC.