Robert Langton

Robert Langton : Preston North End

Robert Langton was born in Ormskirk on 8th September, 1918. He played for local football side, Burscough Victoria, before joining Blackburn Rovers in 1938. In his first season he scored 14 goals in the club's Second Division championship winning campaign.

After the declaration of war in September 1939, Adolf Hitler did not order the attack of France or Britain as he believed there was still a chance to negotiate an end to the conflict between the countries. This period became known as the Phoney War. As Britain had not experienced any bombing raids, the Football League decided to start a new competition entitled the Football League War Cup.

The entire competition of 137 games including replays was condensed into nine weeks. However, by the time the final took place, the "Phoney War" had come to an end. On 10th May, 1940, Adolf Hitler launched his Western Offensive and invaded France. In the days leading up to the final, the British Expeditionary Force was being evacuated from Dunkirk.

Blackburn Rovers got to the final by beating Bolton Wanderers, Manchester United, Sunderland, West Bromwich Albion and Newcastle United. Despite the fears that London would be bombed by the Luftwaffe, over 42,300 fans decided to take the risk of visiting Wembley to watch the game against West Ham United. The only goal was scored by Sam Small after a shot from George Foreman had been blocked by James Barron, the Blackburn goalkeeper.

Langton joined the British Army during the Second World War and served as an infantryman in India. He also played football for the army.

Langton was back playing for Blackburn Rovers in the 1946-47 season. He also won his first international cap on 28th September, 1946, for England against Northern Ireland. Langton scored in England's 7-2 victory. Over the next four years he played 10 more times for his country.

In 1948 Langton was transferred to Preston North End for £16,000. Langton played at outside left with fellow English international, Tom Finney, playing on the other wing. However, these two find players could not stop the club being relegated that season.

Langton scored 14 goals in 55 games for Preston before joining Bolton Wanderers in 1953 for a club record fee of £20,000. He played in that year's FA Cup Final that Blackpool won by 4-3.

In 1953 Langton returned to Blackburn Rovers. Although now in his thirties, he recaptured the form of his youth and over the next couple of years scored 33 goals in 105 games. Langton also played for Ards in Ireland, Wisbech Town, Kidderminster Harriers and Colwyn Bay before retiring from the game.

Robert Langton died in 1996.