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Notts County: A Tale of Two Novembers


Tommy Lawton: The Debut Goal and the Fight for Fair Pay (15th November 1947)

On a chilly Saturday, the 15th of November 1947, a new era dawned for Notts County as 'Tommy Lawton' made his debut.

Just two days after signing for the club, Lawton marked his first appearance with a goal against Northampton Town. The anticipation of Lawton's debut drew a crowd of over 18,000 spectators to the Cobblers’ County Ground. 

The spectators were not disappointed as Lawton opened the scoring, and Jack Marsh added another to secure a 2-1 victory for Notts County. This marked the beginning of the 'Lawton Era'.

Lawton, a centre-forward of exceptional talent, was a vocal advocate for better pay for footballers during his career. Despite his status, Lawton earned a modest income compared to today's footballers. 

His discontent led him to make a surprising career move in 1947. Despite being hailed as the world's greatest centre forward, Lawton joined Notts County, a Third Division team, primarily for financial reasons. His friend Arthur Stollery, the manager of Notts County and former physiotherapist at Chelsea, convinced him to make the move.

Roy Carroll: The Double Duty (15th November 2014)

Fast-forward to the same date, 67 years later, on the 15th of November 2014, another memorable event unfolded in the history of Notts County. 

Goalkeeper 'Roy Carroll' displayed an extraordinary commitment to the club. Carroll played at Coventry City less than 24 hours after representing Northern Ireland in a European Championship qualifying match in Romania. 

His efforts were not in vain, as Garry Thompson’s strike secured the points for Notts and lifted them to fourth in the League One table. 

Carroll's performance was so impressive that it prompted club chairman Ray Trew to praise him highly, stating that Carroll's actions "epitomised everything that is right about Notts County at the moment."

The dedication of Carroll to Notts County was evident in his own words. Despite having only a few hours of sleep, he was ready to play for the club. "For me, playing for Notts County back in the English league is fantastic. In the summer nobody was interested in me and Shaun Derry gave me a chance to come back to England, and it’s a great pleasure for me to come back here and play for Notts County," he said. 

He also praised the defenders in front of him for helping ensure that the club kept a ninth clean sheet of the season.

These two events, though separated by many years, both occurred on the 15th of November and have left an indelible mark on the history of Notts County. They stand as a clear demonstration of the dedication and talent of the players who have represented Notts County.

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amazing feats in the history of our club, tommy Lawton gave notts a period were we bloomed and meadow lane must have been thrilling to watch him entertain fans on the pitch with his brilliance. i remember roy carroll playing against coventry for us after previously playing the night before for northern ireland. his level of commitment was impressive!

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Great moments in the history of Notts County include the potential accomplishments of having a striker like Tommy Lawton and a goalkeeper like Roy Carroll in our present squad.

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Tommy Lawton’s transfer to Notts County highlighted the urgent need for fair wages for footballers in those times! He truly paved the way for a new era!

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The tale of two novembers indeed! How associate 15th November with these monumental moments in our club's history. It's nice to see players taking the stand and making a difference, like Lawton did when he advocated for better pay back in his day. Showing us his integrity along with his outstanding football skills. And then there's Carroll, playing for his club on no sleep, straight after representing his nation. Such dedication is seldom seen and it fills me with respect and admiration for these players.

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Amazing to see the contribution of both Tommy Lawton and Roy Carroll to the proud history of Notts County on the same day, many years apart. Lawton for his debut goal and on-field brilliance, and Carroll for his extraordinary commitment to the club. It's stories like these that revive the golden era of the 'beautiful game'.

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Thinking about Tommy Lawton's debut, it really was a remarkable moment in our club's history. His debut goal and subsequent influence perform as brilliantly as a beacon for the younger generation of footballers, showing that even if you are with a Third Division team, your skills and talent can shine bright. His advocacy for better pay also brings to light his integrity and care for his fellow players. This is why he's an icon, not just for his on-field prowess, but also for his off-pitch care and concern. Tommy, we salute you!

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Both Lawton and Carroll have truly left their mark on this day, the 15th of November, through their unwavering dedication and relentless efforts. Their commitment to their work is nothing short of inspiring. It’s a testament to their character and a reflection of their passion. We can’t help but tip our hats in admiration and respect for these fine gentlemen. Their contributions today will not be forgotten.

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This is a story that brings two remarkable events to the forefront, both of which are sources of immense pride for us as supporters. The first is the debut goal of Tommy Lawton, a moment that will forever be etched in our memories. The second is the extraordinary feat of Roy Carroll, who played two games within the span of two days, a testament to his unwavering dedication and resilience.

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Lawton’s extraordinary transfer to Notts County in 1947 is a testament to his character. Choosing a Third Division team over potentially more profitable options was a move that had never been seen before, driven by his pursuit of equitable remuneration. The influence of his friend Arthur Stollery is a clear demonstration of the importance of relationships and respect in a player’s career, alongside the game itself.

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Pride of Nottingham is an independent fansite devoted to Notts County, the world’s oldest professional football club. Created in 2013, it has served as a source of Magpie news, features, match previews, reports, analysis and interviews for more than three years.

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