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Real Name: Matthew Brunton
Normal Position: Forward
Born: 20/04/1878 (Burnley)
Died: 29/12/1962 (Burnley)

Matt Brunton

A small but nippy centre-forward whose career commenced at the age of 16 with Vale FC in the Burnley and District League.

Subsequently he joined the South Lancashire regiment who were runners-up for the Irish Army Cup in 1897- 98 and winners of the Army Cup in the following year.

In August 1899, when he joined Preston North end, he was described as a “Sprite young soldier who has warned Her Majesty’s colours for 3 years and 9 months. He has only just attained his majority and, in the company of men more experience than himself, should improve a great deal. All who have watched him up to now will be surprised and disappointed if he does not prove an efficient centre-forward.”

Throughout his lengthy and varied career Brunton was a real source of danger to any defence. At the slightest semblance of an opening his lightning reaction immediately placed the opposing goal in jeopardy.

He was with the Army team for almost four years, after which he joined Preston North End, who bought his released from the Army. Although he scored in both of the opening matches of 1899 -1900 he made only eight League appearances, a dislocated shoulder sidelining him for some weeks.

The first of four separate spells with Accrington Stanley followed. After season with Burnley in which he scored 8 goals in 30 league matches, he returned to Accrington and scored 40 goals in the Lancashire Combination Division 1 championship winning side. Stanley additionally won Sutcliffe medals to adorne their watch chains which were awarded to the non-league club reaching the highest position.

It was in fact the first time the championship had not been won by the Reserve side of a Football League club.

Brunton failed to settle with either Leicester Fosse or Nelson but on return to Accrington Stanley he assisted the team to a second Championship success in season 1905-06.

He achieved back-to-back Championship wins in the following season with Oldham Athletic for whom he appeared in every much, spearheading a virile attack that registered over a century of goals in league matches. His contribution materially assisted in their subsequent entry into the football league. Sadly he remained in reserve for almost all of the first Football League season with Frank Newton dominating the center-forward line with 30 goals in 39.

A series of unusual moves wound up with a final spell at Accrington Stanley.

He was working as a swimming instructor at Burnley Baths when he rejoined the army. In January 1916 he was in the North Lancashire Military Hospital suffering from wounds sustained whilst serving as a sergeant in the South Lancashire regiment. His leg was said to be badly smashed but in an interview with the local press he cheerfully said “I cannot grumble as I’ve had a good run and one can think himself fortunate to not being more seriously wounded.”

Profile reproduced from “Oldham Athletic AFC 1896-1915” by Garth Dykes




Statistics include the following competitions
FA Cup , FA Trophy , Football League Cup, League, PLAY OFFS , Welsh Cup,

Season Apps Subs Goals
1908/1909 3309
Total 33 0 9


Games where player was named on the team sheet

Date Competition Venue Opponents Score
17/04/1909 LeagueA ACCRINGTON STANLEY 4 - 6
09/04/1909 LeagueH ACCRINGTON STANLEY 0 - 2
03/04/1909 LeagueA BURY RESERVES 1 - 2
27/03/1909 LeagueA BOLTON WANDERERS RESERVES 0 - 5
20/03/1909 LeagueH WORKINGTON 3 - 2
13/03/1909 LeagueA PRESTON NORTH END RESERVES 0 - 1
06/03/1909 LeagueA OLDHAM ATHLETIC 1 - 0
27/02/1909 LeagueA COLNE 0 - 4
20/02/1909 LeagueH BLACKPOOL RESERVES 4 - 1
13/02/1909 LeagueH PRESTON NORTH END RESERVES 0 - 2
06/02/1909 LeagueA WORKINGTON 0 - 0
30/01/1909 LeagueA DARWEN 0 - 1
23/01/1909 LeagueH BOLTON WANDERERS RESERVES 1 - 2
16/01/1909 FriendlyA CREWE ALEXANDRA 1 - 0
09/01/1909 LeagueH BURY RESERVES 2 - 0
02/01/1909 LeagueH CARLISLE UNITED 1 - 1
01/01/1909 LeagueA LIVERPOOL RESERVES 1 - 4
25/12/1908 LeagueH EVERTON RESERVES 3 - 3
19/12/1908 LeagueA MANCHESTER UNITED RESERVES 0 - 1
12/12/1908 LeagueH ROSSENDALE UNITED 1 - 1
05/12/1908 LeagueA BLACKPOOL RESERVES 1 - 2
28/11/1908 LeagueA NELSON 0 - 2
21/11/1908 FriendlyA ST HELENS TOWN 2 - 2
14/11/1908 LeagueA ROSSENDALE UNITED 1 - 1
07/11/1908 LeagueA BLACKBURN ROVERS RESERVES 2 - 0
31/10/1908 LeagueH OLDHAM ATHLETIC 2 - 1
26/10/1908 Lancashire Senior Cup / 3H MANCHESTER CITY 1 - 2
24/10/1908 LeagueH MANCHESTER UNITED RESERVES 1 - 1
17/10/1908 LeagueH BURNLEY RESERVES 3 - 2
15/10/1908 Lancashire Senior Cup / 2A ST HELENS RECREATION 2 - 0
10/10/1908 LeagueA BURNLEY RESERVES 0 - 0
03/10/1908 LeagueA CARLISLE UNITED 4 - 0
26/09/1908 LeagueH COLNE 1 - 2
19/09/1908 LeagueA ATHERTON 3 - 1
12/09/1908 FA Cup / PrelimA DARWEN 0 - 1
05/09/1908 LeagueH ATHERTON 5 - 1
01/09/1908 LeagueA EVERTON RESERVES 4 - 4

Games where player has scored

Date Competition Venue Opponents Score
09/01/1909LeagueH BURY RESERVES 2 - 0
02/01/1909LeagueH CARLISLE UNITED 1 - 1
01/01/1909LeagueA LIVERPOOL RESERVES 1 - 4
21/11/1908FriendlyA ST HELENS TOWN 2 - 2
31/10/1908LeagueH OLDHAM ATHLETIC 2 - 1
26/10/1908Lancashire Senior Cup / 3H MANCHESTER CITY 1 - 2
17/10/1908LeagueH BURNLEY RESERVES 3 - 2
03/10/1908LeagueA CARLISLE UNITED 4 - 0
26/09/1908LeagueH COLNE 1 - 2
01/09/1908LeagueA EVERTON RESERVES 4 - 4
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