The name of Eddie Lowe will be unfamiliar to most Fulham fans under the age of 50. It was back in May 1963 that he played his last game for us. Yet he was a player who made an immense contribution to the Club in the early post-war seasons.
Eddie was the first to make 500 first class appearances for Fulham and his total of 511 League and Cup games has been bettered only by the great Johnny Haynes.
Although Eddie spent 13 seasons with Fulham, he had already played 117 First Division games for Aston Villa and won three full international caps for England before he signed in 1950. Born in Halesowen in July 1925, he played as an amateur for Millwall, Finchley and Walthamstow Avenue in wartime football before joining Villa in September 1945 from Kynoch’s, a Birmingham works side. He won his first England cap in May 1947, against France, and his third and last came the same month in a 10-0 victory over Portugal.
When he lost his place in the Villa side, he moved south to the Cottage in the summer of 1950, with his full-back brother Reg, for a combined fee of £10,000. This was our second season in the top-flight and we went on a bit of spending spree that close season, signing several internationals, however, Eddie was to prove the best of the purchases. He made his debut against Manchester United, at Old Trafford on the opening day of the 1950/51 season, and only injury kept him out until his retirement 13 years later.
During this time, he played at full-back or wing-half, usually on the left side, but finished his career at centre-half. He was a model of consistency and the ultimate team player and his colleagues were always fulsome in their praise of his natural ability. He was a tenacious tackler and powerful in the air, with a sound positional sense and good distribution, if a little lacking in pace. His balding pate made him easily identifiable on the pitch and whilst he was always in the thick of the action, he was never booked or sent off.
In his time at the Cottage, Eddie was part of the Fulham teams that reached the FA Cup Quarter and Semi-Finals, that were relegated and promoted, and were amongst the most exciting of our history. He also played a special part in a memorable match against Manchester United on Boxing Day 1951, scoring twice in a 3-3 draw, despite being injured, including the first goal at the Cottage direct from a corner.
On leaving Fulham, he became player/manager at Notts County but, after two seasons, Eddie left football to become a purchasing manager for a central heating company in Nottingham. He settled in Nottingham and in retirement was an active bowls player. In many ways, Eddie was a throwback to a simpler age, a naturally talented player, who was a fine sportsman, a loyal clubman and a very nice man… There are too few like him today.
“Eddie was a very correct man, and always very well turned out. He had a very good wit and I don’t know anyone that had a bad word to say of him.
“He was a terrific footballer, and complemented Johnny Haynes very well indeed. He was a great tackler and he covered ground very well for a tall man. He was rather unfortunate to not get more caps than the three he did.
“Eddie was quite a bit older than me when I came into the team, but he acted as a tutor of sorts, always offering advice to a young player. Being in the team as a 17-year-old, he had plenty to say to me if it needed to be said, and you took that advice because he was a very experienced man.
“He was one of those guys that you could always rely on and one of nature’s gentlemen. Everybody liked Eddie Lowe.”