WE ARE sad to report the passing of former Walsall FC captain, Albert McPherson.
He was a talented defender who started his senior career with Bury, signing on as a professional in June 1949. He spent three seasons at Gigg Lane without breaking into their League side, leaving The Shakers after a disagreement.
He went out of the professional game and signed for the Cheshire League side, Stalybridge Celtic in August 1952. But after two happy years there he came to Walsall in May 1954 after Celtic's manager, Harry Chapman had told him to 'get back into The Football League.'
McPherson remained at Fellows Park for a decade during which time he amassed a grand total of 367 senior appearances, helping The Saddlers win promotion in 1960 and 1961. He certainly gave Walsall superb service as a steady and reliable centre-half.
A pupil at Regent Junior School, Salford, he started as a full-back or wing-half at the age of 12 with his senior school after he was evacuated to Askam-in-Furness.
In 1944 he returned to Salford and began to play for the Salford Lads' Club, moving to the Adelphi Lads' Club in the Manchester Amateur League in August 1947. He stayed there until February 1948 when he was posted to Detmold, Germany with the Royal Engineers.
In the forces he played three times a week - for the Army, for CCG (a Civil Service side) and as a centre-forward for Detmold in the German National League.
Demobbed in February 1950, he went back to the Adelphi Lads' Club and also assisted Grove Inn, a local Salford club.
It was Major Frank Buckley who took him on at Walsall. His senior debut came against Brighton in October 1954 when he replaced the injured Jack Bridgett.
At the end of that 1954/55 season he was invited to play for Grimsby Town against an All Star XI in a friendly match arranged to open the Blundell Park floodlights. He was, in fact, on trial but Major Buckley said that he would not leave Fellows Park.
After eventually leaving the club in 1964, he became trainer-coach at West Bromwich Albion, a position he held with the first-team, the reserves and also the youth team right up until the mid-1980s.
A real gentleman, who remained living locally up until his death, he is winner of the Walsall FC Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010 and also has an Executive Box at Banks’s Stadium named after him.
The thoughts of everyone here at Walsall FC are with his family and friends at this sad time. May he rest in peace.