Phil Kelso 1909-1924

Phil Kelso's reign at the Cottage began in May 1909 and lasted until the end of the 1923/4 season.

He remains the Club’s longest-serving Manager after 15 years at the helm (four seasons were lost to the First World War).

He was essentially an administrator who never played professionally, although he did once turn out for Fulham in an emergency during the War at the age of 47.

Kelso was a Scot, born in Largs on the Firth of Clyde in 1871, and managed Hibernian before succeeding Harry Bradshaw at Woolwich Arsenal in 1904. His principal achievements were to take the Gunners to two FA Cup Semi-Finals, but in January 1908, he decided to return to Scotland to run a hotel. When Bradshaw left Fulham, Kelso was persuaded back into football.

Stern and abrasive, Kelso was a remote figure to the players. He succeeded in keeping Fulham in the old Second Division throughout his term of office.

Kelso was only 53 when he called it a day, but he stayed in the area as the landlord of The Grove in Hammersmith and then the Rising Sun in the Fulham Road. A keen golfer and bowls player, Kelso was also chairman of the Football League Managers and Secretaries Association. He died, aged 64, in February 1935, and is buried in Sheen Cemetery.