Historic match ball to go under the hammer

Historic: The ball scored by Arsenal goalkeeper Frank Moss
Historic: The ball scored by Arsenal goalkeeper Frank Moss
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  • Frank Moss made history when he became the first goalkeeper to score for Arsenal in a first class match
  • Leyland-born Frank also played for England and Preston Borth End
  • The football from that match is expected to fetch around £6,000 at auction
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Leyland-born England and former Preston North End player Frank Moss made history in 1935 when he became the first, and so far only, goalkeeper to score for Arsenal in a first class match.

Now the football from that historic match is coming up for sale at an auction and it is set to fetch around £6,000.

Frank Moss

Frank Moss

On March 16,1935, in a first division match against Everton at Goodison Park, Frank Moss dislocated his shoulder.No substitutes were allowed in those days, so Moss was forced to play on the left wing for the rest of the match, with an outfield player taking over in goal.

Auctioneer Graham Budd says: “Incredibly Frank Moss then scored Arsenal’s first goal in a 2-0 win. He kept the match ball as a souvenir and both teams autographed it for him.”

Unfortunately Frank Moss never fully recovered from the injury he sustained in that match and although he played five more matches for Arsenal in the following season, the injury recurred and he was eventually advised to retire in the summer of 1937, at the age of twenty seven.

He then became the youngest ever manager of Scottish League club Hearts and was their boss between 1937 and 1940, until he was called up for war service.

Incredibly Frank Moss then scored Arsenal’s first goal in a 2-0 win. He kept the match ball as a souvenir and both teams autographed it for him.

Graham Budd

Frank Moss later returned to his beloved Lancashire and ran a pub in Chorley. He was seventy when he died in Preston on February 7,1970.

Mr Moss was born at Leyland on November 5,1909, and started playing football with Lostock Hall before joining the Leyland Motors works team. He signed amateur forms with PNE in October 1927 and then turned professional with PNE in February 1928. The following year, in May 1929, he joined Oldham Athletic. Then, on November 20 1931,the Latics sold him to Arsenal for £3,000.

That might not sound a lot of money now, but in 1931 it was possible to buy five decent houses in Preston for £3,000, as the average British house then cost £600.

Frank Moss made 143 Football League appearances for Arsenal and helped the Gunners win three consecutive Football League titles, in 1933, 1934 and 1935. He also played for Arsenal in the 1932 FA Cup final and won four England caps.

The imminent sale of the Frank Moss football – at Graham Budd Auctions in London on Monday, May 18 – neatly coincides with the eightieth anniversary this year of Mr Moss scoring his historic goal for Arsenal.