Weaste Cemetery

Biographies of people buried between 1920 & 29

Thomas Arkesden (1878 - 1921)

Thomas Arkesden was a professional footballer for Burton Wanderers, Derby County and Burton United, before playing for Manchester United between 1903 and 1907. In a total of 79 matches for Manchester United he scored 33 goals.

He was born in 1878 in Warwick, Warwickshire and baptised on 11th August 1878 at St Nicholas Church, Warwick. His parents were John A Arkesden, (born 1841 at Warwick) who was a General Labourer, and Eliza Arkesden (born 1845 in Warwick). In 1881 he lived at 4, Chapel Row, St Nicholas, Warwick with siblings: William J aged 14, George aged 12, Arthur aged 8 and younger sister Eliza aged 0.

In 1891 the family lived at Goodman Street, Horninglow, Burton-upon-Trent, Staffordshire. Thomas's father John was a Labourer for the Board of Health, his three elder brothers were Brewer's Labourers, Thomas was aged 13, Eliza was aged 10 and newcomer Annie was aged 8. (Arthur was later to play football for Burton Wanders).

Thomas's first football club was Ashby Albion in 1894, before he became a professional footballer when he signed for (Second Division), Burton Wanderers in 1895. He played in 25 matches and scored 5 goals. In 1898, he transferred to (First Division) Derby County Football Club where he played in 51 matches and scored 14 goals. One of the matches Thomas played for Derby County was on 15th April 1899, the FA Cup Final versus Sheffield United at Crystal Palace, in front of a crowd of 73,833. Unfortunately, Derby lost 4 – 1.

The 1901 census shows Thomas was in lodgings at Shardlow, Derbyshire, with a colleague John Boag (Derby County). Later in 1901 he moved back to Burton to play with (Second Division) Burton United FC. In two seasons he played 53 matches and scored 27 goals, being top scorer for both seasons with 14 and 13 goals, and scoring a hat-trick against Gainsborough Trinity in March 1902. On 2nd February 1903 he transferred to Manchester United where he played 79 matches and scored 33 goals. One of his early matches was against his old team Burton United. It was a 4 goal thriller ending in a 2-2 draw and Thomas scored both the Manchester United goals. In 1907 he was transferred to Gainsborough Trinity FC, but only played in 6 matches, scoring 1 goal.

In 1903, Thomas married Annie Williams at Burton-upon-Trent. Annie was born in 1883 in Burton-upon-Trent. The 1911 census shows that Annie lived with Thomas's family at 273 Goodman Street, Burton-on-Trent, whilst Thomas was boarding with the Morgan family in Rhonda, Glamorganshire, where he was a Colliery Labourer (Above Ground). Also in this house was William Morgan, Professional Footballer. A short time later he must have moved back to Manchester as in June 1921, Thomas Arkesden died at Henry Street, Hulme, Manchester, aged 42. He was buried in the Dissenters portion of Weaste Cemetery on 24th June 1921, by Rev J Lees. There is no record of what happened to Annie, as the two other people buried in the same grave as Thomas are Arthur Wardle, buried 1919 and Ellen Lavinia Chambers, buried 1929!