Harry Bradshaw 1904-1909

Harry Bradshaw

The first person to have the title of Manager at Fulham was Harry Bradshaw, who took over at the Cottage in April 1904 when he was approaching his 50th birthday.

Never a professional player himself, he began as secretary of Burnley in 1891, became chairman in 1893 and then manager three years later, turning the Lancashire outfit into a major footballing force.

He did the same for Woolwich Arsenal when he moved south in June 1899. In five years at Plumstead, he took Arsenal into the First Division, the first London team to compete at this level.

It was, therefore, something of a coup for Fulham, newly formed as a company and playing in the First Division of the Southern League (effectively the Third Division), to acquire Bradshaw as Manager in the spring of 1904. He did not disappoint.

Within two years, Fulham were Southern League champions, a title they defended successfully in 1906/07, which paved the way for entry to the Second Division of the Football League. In their top-flight debut, Fulham came within a whisker of promotion and reached the Semi-Finals of the FA Cup.

After the promising start to Fulham's league career, 1908/09 was anti-climatic and, on the expiry of his five-year contract, Bradshaw left the Cottage to become secretary of the Southern League, a post he retained until his retirement in 1921.

At the time of his death, in September 1924, he was living in Chelverton Road, Wandsworth, a senior citizen much respected throughout football and fondly remembered at Craven Cottage.