Harry Marshall

Harry Marshall : Blackburn Rovers

Henry (Harry) James Marshall was born in Portobello, Scotland on 24 November, 1872. He was a boatman who also played football for Portobello Thistle and St Bernard's before joining Heart of Midlothian in the Scottish League.

A hard-tackling wing-half, Marshall earned the nickname of "Beef". In 1892 Marshall joined Blackburn Rovers. Two other Scottish players, George Anderson and Johnny Murray joined at the same time. That year Blackburn Rovers finished in 9th place in the league. 28,000 spectators watched Blackburn Rovers beat Sunderland, 3-0 in the 3rd round of the FA Cup. Unfortunately Blackburn lost 2-1 in the semi-final to Wolverhampton Wanderers.

The following season Tom Mitchell, the secretary of Blackburn Rovers went back to Scotland to improve his squad. Adam Ogilvie was signed as the new goalkeeper. He joined fellow Scotsmen, Harry Marshall, Johnny Murray, George Anderson, Johnny Forbes, George Dewar, Coombe Hall, Tom Brandon and Harry Campbell in the side.

Blackburn's defence was now completely made up of Scotsmen. However, the club did have three talented Englishmen in the forward line: Harry Chippendale, Jimmy Whitehead and Jamie Haydock. In fact, Chippendale and Whitehead both obtained their first international caps in March 1894 in a game against Ireland. That year Blackburn finished in 4th place in the First Division of the Football League.

In September 1894 Marshall suffered an injury that appeared to have ended his career. During his time at Blackburn Rovers he had played 51 games. He returned to Scotland where he worked as a boatman.

Marshall eventually made a full recovery and in 1896 he rejoined Hearts. In his first season he helped his club win the First Division of the Scottish League. In 1899 Marshall moved to Celtic and on 18th March won his first international cap playing for Scotland against Wales. The following year he captained his country against Ireland. He was also a member of the Celtic side that won the Scottish FA Cup in 1900.

In 1903 Marshall joined Clyde in the Second Division of the Scottish League. He also played for non-league Broxburn Athletic before retiring in 1906.

Harry Marshall died on 16 September, 1936.

Primary Sources

(1) Mike Jackman, Blackburn Rovers : An Illustrated History (1995)

In defence, Johnny Murray was signed from Sunderland to replace full-back Mick McKeown, who returned to Scotland to join Cowlairs... After an opening day win (in the 1892-93 season), a narrow 4-3 victory over Newton Heath at Ewood Park, the Rovers then began on a sequence that brought five draws and five defeats from their next 10 League games. It was during the later stages of this sequence that Tom Mitchell was again dispatched to Scotland to find players of genuine quality. Within a matter of a month the club had made several significant signings. George (known as Geordie) Anderson was signed from Leith Athletic to occupy the centre-half position, while Harry Marshall, an outstanding Scottish international half-back, was signed from Hearts.