Journeyman player to overseas coach

A training session at Luton Town FC Kenilworth Road

ROGER WEST chronicles the life of Randolph Septimus Galloway, born in 1896 in Sunderland, who enjoyed a short but nomadic professional football career within the English League, playing for several prominent clubs in the 1920s then becoming a successful coach in Europe, South America and National Coach for Costa Rica. He was also the only coach/manager of Sporting Lisbon to win the Portuguese Championship on three consecutive seasons

Randolph Septimus Galloway the coach

Randolph Septimus Galloway the coach

Randolph Septimus Galloway (1896-1964) might not be a name that springs to the lips of every fan when discussing former footballers over a pint. But he carved out an impressive journeyman football career and against all the odds eventually become a successful coach on foreign soil.

Randolph was born the sixth child of seven of boilermaker Francis Jewitt and Mary Ann Graham on December 22nd 1896 in the Parish of St Mark, North Bishopwearmouth, and lived at 15 Ropery Road, Deptford, Durham.

As a boy he was despatched to what was once the local Ragged & Industrial School, a boarding establishment designed to prevent impoverished children slipping into delinquency.

However, his sporting talents came to the fore and he was recognised as both athlete and rugby player, but it was on the football field that he shone the brightest.

In 1910, aged 14, he signed on the dotted line for The Yorkshire Regiment and saw active service in The Great War, and the army reinforced his love of sport. For a while he swapped his soccer boots for rugby boots, joining an Irish rugby team, and he also represented the Irish Army in London, winning both the 100 and 250 yard races.

After demob and service in Ireland and India, Randolph returned to the North East, eventually signing for Sunderland Tramways, where many considered him to be one of the most outstanding defenders in the North Durham Wednesday League.

At the age of 25, however, rumours were rife in his home town that he was to be given a trial with Derby County FC, arriving in October 1921. The four weeks experiment proved successful for the young full back and it was thought that Galloway, at 12st 5lbs and 5ft 10ins, possessed the “generous lines, enterprise and ability” to be offered the No 9 shirt as centre forward.

Derby County FC v Bury FC away fixture at Gigg Lane, Bury March 1923

Derby County FC v Bury FC away fixture at Gigg Lane, Bury March 1923

He did not secure a place in the first team immediately, but scored 17 goals from 39 appearances and four in cup ties. His first team debut proved a 2-0 home defeat against Southampton in Division Two witnessed by a crowd of 10,000 fans at The Baseball Ground.

Over his short tenure with Derby County, Galloway amassed a total of 25 Division Two goals and 5 FA Cup goals from 76 fixtures. His final appearance in a Rams shirt was at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea on 15th November in 1924, the outcome a 1-1 draw played out in front of 33,000 fans.

Liverpool came in with an offer for Galloway of £1,500 at this time, which was eventually declined. But he caught the eye of Derby’s arch rival Nottingham Forest, who made a more substantial offer. The transfer became a done deal on 24th November 1924, Galloway making his City Ground debut three days later in a goal-less draw against Burnley.

Despite his efforts for the Reds over the remainder of the 1924/25 season in which he scored 2 goals from 11 appearances, Forest finished bottom of the First Division. During Galloway’s second and final season there he played 24 fixtures and scored 7 goals.

A Luton Town matchday programme from RSG's playing days

A Luton Town matchday programme from RSG’s playing days

Galloway’s travels continued as he left Nottingham Forest for Luton Town, where in match-day programme notes he is regarded as a hustling centre-forward with shooting power from both boots.

But he only made two appearances for The Hatters, the first at Southend in August 1927 and then Bournemouth the following month where he scored in a 2-2 draw.

January 1928 saw Galloway move again, this time to Coventry City FC, scoring on debut in a 5-1 win over Torquay United and keeping the number nine shirt for the next two league games. He only made one more start for The Blues first team and several for the second string that season.

Next stop for Galloway was to Tottenham Hotspur at the beginning of the 1928/29 season. Once again scoring on his debut, this time at Southampton, he was on the score sheet again the following fixture at home to Wolves but did not feature after a 0-2 reverse at Notts County in which he picked up an injury that kept him out of the first team for the remainder.

Galloway played out the rest of that season for Spurs in the A team and the reserves, notching five goals in seven Combination games and 16 for the Third Eleven.

Football Echo 1925

Football Echo 1925

Following a career total of 35 goals from 111 outings, he made the decision to retire from playing in 1929 and move back to the East Midlands, though he did make two amateur appearances for Grantham Town FC against Gainsborough Trinity and Staveley Town later that year.

But the journeyman footballing story of Randolph Septimus Galloway was far from over. He was now all set on a coaching career that was to take him to Spain, Costa Rica, Uruguay, Switzerland and finally Portugal.

Aged 33, he moved to Spain in 1929 to begin a six-year coaching career, first with Real Sporting de Gijon. Arriving in the Asturian city on November 29th Galloway was unable to speak a word of Spanish and needed a translator the whole time he was there. He stayed with the Second Division club for two seasons, proving a more than capable “el Mister”.

Valencia CF, a Spanish First Division club, had Galloway on their radar and moved in for the coach. Again, he completed a solid stewardship before moving to Racing Santander in 1933. This job lasted for two seasons before the threat of a Spanish Civil War interrupted his coaching career, forcing Galloway and his wife Mabel back to England in 1935.

Randolph and Mabel settled first in West Bridgford and later Mapperley, Nottingham, Randolph dedicating his coaching talents to shaping the futures of schoolboy and amateur teams.

After the war, he was enticed to manage the Costa Rica National Football Team in 1946. This he did successfully alongside Hernon Bolanus, a Nicarguan ex-professional footballer, and between them they oversaw seven victories from 11 international fixtures. Bolanus eventually retired to study dentistry and latterly became the Costa Rican ambassador to Chile.

Randolph next took over the stewardship of CA Penarol of Montevideo, one of Uruguay’s top-tier football clubs. Here, he coached several Uruguayan footballers who would go on to lift the World Cup in 1950. At his disposal he had the services of “The Death Squad 1948” – Penarol’s five offensive players of Ghiggia, Hohberg, Migues, Schiaffino and Vidal. But the love affair in South America was short-lived.

In a new assembly held on October 14th 1948 at the old HQ of the Spanish Association on Paraguay Street, and with the presence of over 500 footballers, it was voted unanimously to take strike action. Galloway, maybe saddened and deflated by the politicking, departed from Buenos Aires in July 1949, bound for England with Mabel.

He travelled next to Switzerland where he coached and managed SC Young Fellows Juventus of Zurich for a brief yet reasonable few months. Next came a move to Portugal and a glorious three seasons of silverware with Sporting CP of Lisbon.

After winning the Portuguese National Championship for three successive terms under Galloway’s stewardship, Sporting where granted their second Monumental Cup in 1953, the only manager in Sporting CP history to achieve this reward.

RSG celebrated in a Spurs' matchday programme

RSG celebrated in a Spurs’ matchday programme

Galloway left Sporting in May 1953 and returned to Portugal a year later to take charge of Vitoria SC, but sadly he never recaptured the previous glory days.

Randolph Septimus Galloway returned to the East Midlands, settling in Mapperley, Nottingham where he lived out the remainder of his days eventually passing away on 10th April 1964 aged 68.