Hall of Fame - Thomas Bradshaw
Bradshaw was born in Liverpool, Merseyside and was signed for Liverpool from Northwich Victoria in October 1893 by manager John McKenna. Originally playing as a centre-forward, Bradshaw made his debut against Woolwich Arsenal, in a Football League Division Two game, scoring the last goal in a 5-0 victory. He went on to score seven in the remaining fourteen matches of the 1893-94 season, helping Liverpool to the Second Division title and promotion to the top tier of English football, after a Test Match victory over Newton Heath.
During the following season Bradshaw was the only ever-present and scored seventeen times, in a Liverpool team that struggled and were eventually relegated back down to Division 2. Liverpool again topped the Second Division at the end of the 1895-96 season with Bradshaw scoring twelve goals from his new position on the left-wing, his versatility giving Liverpool an extra dimension to their attack.
Tom gained one England cap when he played against Ireland on 20 February 1897 and holds the distinction of being Liverpool's first ever player to achieve International recognition.
Bradshaw left Liverpool in May 1898, returning briefly to Northwich Victoria before joining Tottenham Hotspur. His brief stay at Northumberland Road was marked with a little piece of history when his goal in an F A cup tie in 1899 helped Spurs become the first lower division club ever to come from behind to beat top flight opposition in the shape of Sunderland . Tom then made the journey from North to East London that summer, joining Thames Ironworks, the team that would later become West Ham. He was immediately appointed as the club's captain.
During a Southern League match on 7 October 1899, Bradshaw sustained an injury in The Irons 1-0 win over Bedminster that would begin a series of events that would see the condition of his health deteriorate. He still managed to make a strong contribution, scoring a goal in The Irons biggest win of the season, 7-0 away to Dartford. Bradshaw played his last Southern League game ever, in a 0-0 home draw against New Brompton on 11 November. Only a week later, The Irons had to play New Brompton again, this time in the FA Cup, and a 0-0 draw, was followed by 2-0 replay win, setting up a next round tie against Thames Ironworks' arch-rivals Millwall. The clearly ailing Tom Bradshaw was rested for the next two games, in preparation for the tie against Millwall, which was to follow 16 days later. In the game on 9 December, Bradshaw made his comeback, scoring the only goal in a 1-2 defeat. This would be his last game for the club, and indeed in football in general.
Tom Bradshaw finally succumbed to his lengthy illness on Christmas Day 1899. His cause of death was recorded as consumption. Bradshaw's passing was remembered by Thames Ironworks player and future West Ham manager Syd King, in his brief history of the club:
Birthplace: Liverpool, England
Other clubs: Liverpool Nomads (amateur), Northwich Victoria; Tottenham (Southern league), Thames Ironworks [West Ham] (Southern league)
Bought from: Northwich Victoria
Signed for LFC: úN/A 14.10.1893
International debut: 20.02.1897 vs Ireland
International caps: 1/0
Liverpool debut: 28.10.1893
Last appearance: 02.04.1898
Debut goal: 04.11.1893
Last goal: 19.03.1898
Contract expiry: May 1898
LFC league games/goals: 118 / 42
Total LFC games/goals: 138 / 50