Arthur Cowell was born in Lower Darwen on 20th May 1886. He played local football for St. Peter's before joining Blackburn Rovers in 1905. A left back he eventually established an excellent partnership with Bob Crompton.
Blackburn Rovers finished in 12th place in the 1906-07 season. They were knocked out of the FA Cup by Tottenham Hotspur but won the Lancashire Cup when they beat Liverpool 3-0. Jack Martin proved to be a great buy and ended up the club's leading scorer with 17 goals.
1907-08 season was very disappointing. Blackburn Rovers was knocked out of the FA Cup in the first round when they were defeated by Second Division Leicester Fosse. They also had a first round exit in the Lancashire Cup. Blackburn's league form was little better and after a late rally they finished in 14th place. Billy Davies, Edwin Latheron and Jack Martin, ended up as joint top scorers with 9 goals each. After scoring 25 goals in 57 games Martin was surprisingly allowed to join Brighton & Hove Albion.
Blackburn's new signings failed to shine. The Blackburn Times commented: "The second-rate players might advantageously be reduced and the money thus saved be utilized in paying the maximum wage to first-class men."
Robert Middleton appointed the former Preston North End star, Bob Holmes, as trainer. This had a good impact on the team as they obtain 4th place in the 1908-09 season. Billy Davies scored 19 goals in 27 league appearances. This included four goals against both Bristol City and Everton. Ellis Crompton (10) and Edwin Latheron (9) added to the impressive number of goals scored that season. Blackburn also won the Lancashire Cup and the East Lancashire Charity Cup that season.
Blackburn Rovers continued their good form the following season and by October 1909 they became leaders of the First Division of the Football League. Arthur Cowell was in great form and on 12th Febuary, 1910, he won his first international cap for England against Ireland.
Blackburn lost their position in January 1910 and finally finished in 3rd place behind Aston Villa and Liverpool. Blackburn's 45 points was the best total they had ever accumulated in a season.
Blackburn's defence was outstanding that season. In goal was England international Jimmy Ashcroft. Bob Crompton and Arthur Cowell were a formidable full-back pairing. George Chapman played at centre-half whereas Albert Walmsley and Billy Bradshaw were the wing-halfs.
An injury to Billy Davies caused the club serious problems in front of goal. Wattie Aitkenhead was top scorer with 14 goals and the consistent Edwin Latheron added 10 more.
Ellis Crompton, who had the impressive record of scoring 20 goals in 35 games, joined Tottenham Hotspur in 1910 in order to get first-team football. Blackburn's away form that season was disastrous with their only win coming on the last day of the season. Although they won 12 games at home they could only finish in mid-table. This was very disappointing considering their 3rd and 4th positions in the previous two seasons. Top scorers were Billy Davies (16), Wattie Aitkenhead (13) and Edwin Latheron (11).
In 1911 Robert Middleton signed Jock Simpson from Falkirk for a fee of £1,800. He joined a foward line that included at different times in the season, Edwin Latheron, George Chapman, Walter Anthony, and Wattie Aitkenhead. Middleton also signed Alf Robinson as Blackburn's new goalkeeper. The defence now looked very strong with players like Arthur Cowell, Bob Crompton, Albert Walmsley, Percy Smith and Billy Bradshaw in the side.
The 1911-12 season began badly with Blackburn Rovers losing two of its first three games. Robert Middleton decided to move George Chapman from centre-half to centre-forward. This was a great success and Blackburn's form gradually improved and the team went on an unbeaten run that lasted three months. This took them to the top of the league.
Despite being defeated by Bolton Wanderers and Arsenal, Blackburn went on another good run and by the end of the season they had three more points than main challengers, Everton. It was the first time in Blackburn's history that they had won the Football League title. Top scorers were Wattie Aitkenhead (15) and George Chapman (9). Alf Robinson played well and Blackburn only conceded 43 goals league goals. Only Everton let in fewer goals that season.
Blackburn started the 1912-13 season very well and were undefeated until December. This was followed by five successive defeats. In an attempt to regain the championship, Robert Middleton broke the British transfer record by buying Danny Shea from West Ham United for £2,000. Patsy Gallagher, described Shea as "one of the greatest ball artists who has ever played for England... his manipulation of the ball was bewildering."
Robert Middleton also purchased another forward, Joe Hodkinson for £1,000. Shea scored 12 goals but it was not enough and Blackburn finished 5th that season. Edwin Latheron (14), Wattie Aitkenhead (13), George Chapman (10) were the club's other top scorers. The defence played well and conceded only 43 goals league goals. Only Manchester City had a better defensive record that season.
In July 1913, Alec Bell, the Scottish international left-half, joined Blackburn from Manchester United for £1,000. Bell was recruited as cover for the half-back line of Albert Walmsley, Percy Smith and Billy Bradshaw.
In the 1913-14 season Blackburn once again won the league title. Danny Shea was in great form scoring 27 goals. Edwin Latheron also did well that season with 13 goals. Both men also won international caps for England that season. They joined other Blackburn players, Billy Bradshaw, Jock Simpson, Bob Crompton and Joe Hodkinson in the England team. The defence also performed well and only let in 42 league goals that season.
Cowell returned to the Blackburn Rovers team after the First World War. By the time he left the club in 1919 Cowell had played in 280 games for the club. Cowell later worked as Blackburn's trainer and the manager of Wrexham.
Arthur Cowell died in 1959.