Great players: Art Fairley

Art Fairley represented Hamilton in many representative games and also starred for Falconbridge Falcons. In 1933 he tried his luck with Plymouth Argyle in England.

Arthur Gray Monteith Fairley was born in Bellshill, Lanarkshire, Scotland, in 1912. He grew up in Gartsherrie, Coatbridge, Scotland, where he helped his school team win two Schools Cups. Arthur emigrated to Hamilton, Ontario, in May 1924. He joined the Hamilton City junior team and progressed to the senior team in 1930. He could play in any of the half-back positions.

On July 8, 1931 Art played for the Ontario All-Stars against the touring English Football Association team. The English F.A. team won 10-2 in Toronto.

After impressing for Hamilton City in the National Soccer League, and in representative games, Art accepted an offer from Plymouth Argyle in October 1933. Plymouth Arglye were at the time a member of the English second division.

Vancouver Sun, November 6, 1933

Art arrived in London on Tuesday, November 21, 1933 on the S.S. Cunard. He was met at Tilbury by the Plymouth Argyle manager-secretary Robert Jack. On Thursday November 23, Art had his first training session with Argyle.

Western Moring Star, November 24, 1933

On November 28 Art appeared in a full practice game at Plymouth Argyle’s ground, Home Park. In an article in the Western Morning News the following day, the writer commented that “it was obvious Fairley was accustomed to a much slower type of game, and he was not at all prominent”. Art did not play in any official games for Argyle.

The Western Morning News reported on December 29, 1933, that Arthur Fairley had left the club but was hoping to find a new club in England instead of returning to Canada. However, Art decided to return to Canada. On January 20, 1934 Art arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia on the S.S. Montcalm.

Arthur married Violet Greenland on October 6, 1934 in Hamilton, Ontario. He was at that time living and working as a miner in the village of Falconbridge, Ontario, in the District of Sudbury. Two days after the wedding he helped Falconbridge Falcons win the Ontario Cup final against Guelph Lancashire Felt.

In 1935 Falconbridge Falcons joined the National Soccer League together with other teams in Northern Ontario. The Falcons finished second in the Northern Division. The also reached the Ontario-Quebec finals of the Dominion Cup.

Arthur returned to Hamilton in 1936 and joined the Stelco team of that city. He played for Stelco in the National Soccer League until the end of the 1940 season when Stelco withdrew from the NSL.

In July 1936 Art played for Hamilton Stelcos in the Ontario finals of the Dominion Cup against Falconbridge Falcons. Falconbridge won 4-0.

While a member of Hamilton Stelco, Art represented the Ontario All-Stars on June 17, 1939, against the touring Scottish Football Association team. The Scottish F.A. team won 2-0 in Toronto.

Arthur Fairley died in Hamilton, Ontario, in September 2006 at the age of 94.

Sources:
canadiansoccerhistory.com
Western Morning Star
newspapers.com

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