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Allenby Chilton 1939-1955 391 games 3 goals

November 15, 2009

Written by: Robi Prosser

Born in South Hylton, County Durham in 1918, Allenby Chilton signed for United in November 1938. Ten months later he made his first-team debut, at Charlton Athletic on 2nd September, 1939. The next day Britain declared war on Germany and Chilton’s footballing career was put on hold for 6 years.
Having played wartime football for Charlton Athletic, helping them to win the League Cup South in 1944, Chilton resumed is Manchester United career in 1946, aged 28, and continued to play for the club for another 9 seasons.
Matt Busby moved Allenby Chilton from the old wing-half position to the center of the defence. Being a tall and powerful player, it was a position that suited Chilton, and his rock-like presence helped to boost the morale of the rest of the Manchester United team, who were playing their mathces away from a bomb-damaged Old Trafford.
In the first post-was season, with Chilton steadying the Manchester united defence, Matt Busby’s side finished second in the First Division. It Was a League position that the club would occupy for four of the next five seasons. Between 1909 and 1948, United did not win a single trophy, but this was soon to change. Allenby Chilton recieved his first United winners medal in the 1948 FA Cup winning side.
In 1951 Chilton finally earned an England cap, at the age of 32, playing against Northern Ireland. His only other cap was against France a year later.

Chilton picked up another winners’ medal with United in the 1951-52 season, when they pipped Tottenham Hotspur to the League Championship. The following season, 19520-53 , he continued as an ever-present, and so regularly was his name on the team sheet he set the record for the most consecutive League appearences for the club of 166 games only to be bettered by Steve Coppell three decades later.
As Matt Busby began to take the wraps of his young “Babes”, the older players began to move aside to make way for their successors. Allenby Chilton was no exception, and he lost his place to the young Mark Jones in February 1955.
Chilton left Manchester United in March 1955, but stayed in the game, first as player-manager at third-division Grimsby Town, then as manager of Wigan Athletic and Hartlepool United.

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