Concept

Ted Bates (footballer)

Summary
Edric Thornton Bates MBE (3 May 1918 – 28 November 2003) was an English professional footballer who played as a forward. He spent the majority of his career at Southampton F.C. as a player, manager, director and president which earned him the sobriquet Mr. Southampton. Bates was the son of Eddie Bates, who played cricket for Yorkshire and Glamorgan and football for Bolton Wanderers and Leeds United. He was the grandson of Billy Bates who was one of the finest all-rounders for England in the early years of international cricket. Bates was born in Thetford and joined Saints on his 19th birthday in 1937, transferring from Norwich City. He soon forced his way into the first team as a centre-forward. His career was interrupted by the Second World War, during which league football was suspended in England. He initially joined the War Reserve police force, spending his time on guard duty at the Shell-Mex oil depot at Hamble or the Pirelli-General cable works at Woolston. In the early part of the war, Bates still managed regular appearances for Saints in the wartime cups and leagues. On 8 June 1940, Bates married Mary Smith at St. James's Church in Shirley, and that evening watched Saints play Charlton Athletic at The Dell. Shortly afterwards the Bates' home was bombed and they moved to West Wellow, where Mary found work with the NAAFI. Bates resigned from the War Reserve and went to work at the Folland Aircraft factory at Hamble, who also had a very good works football team, Folland Aircraft F.C. which, as well as Bates, included other professional players such as Bill Dodgin (Southampton), Harold Pond (Carlisle United), Bert Tann (Charlton), Dick Foss (Chelsea), Bill Bushby, Cliff Parker and Bill Rochford (all Portsmouth). Most of these players also guested for Saints in the War leagues. Bates' finest playing days came between 1947 and 1951 when he formed a great partnership with Charlie Wayman. After some declining performances on the pitch, Bates made his last first-team appearance on 20 December 1952 at home to West Ham United.
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