Bob Wall (football administrator)

Bob Wall (football administrator)

William Robert "Bob" Wall (25 February 191223 March 1981) was an English football administrator, who spent his entire career with Arsenal Football Club.

Born in Hackney, he went to school in the Highbury area and attended Finsbury Park commercial college. He joined Arsenal in 1928 as a clerical worker, handling the club's box office and the personal correspondence of manager Herbert Chapman.cite web | url= | title=Bob Wall | work=Spartacus Educational ] He soon gained the trust of Chapman, and became his assistant who transfer deals. In his very first deal at Chapman's side, when Chapman signed David Jack from Bolton Wanderers, Wall would later recall that Chapman made sure the Bolton directors' drinks contained double measure while his own had no alcohol whatsoever; while the Bolton directors got very drunk, Chapman managed to haggle down the fee to a price he considered a bargain. [cite book
author=Soar, Phil & Tyler, Martin
title=The Official Illustrated History of Arsenal
publisher=Hamlyn | year=2005
id=ISBN 0-600613-44-5
page=p. 51

Wall continued to work for Arsenal for nearly fifty years; he became assistant secretary in 1950 and secretary of Arsenal Football Club six years later,cite web | url= | title=Arsenal non-players | archiveurl= | archivedate=2002-12-14 ] after secretary-manager Tom Whittaker had died; the club decided to split the role, with Jack Crayston taking over the role of manager.cite web | url= | title=Arsenal: The History ] Described by Arsenal captain Frank McLintock as "an authoritarian personality", [cite web | url= | title=McLintock's Memories | ] , Wall would eventually come to be effectively in charge of the club's day-to-day running with the board of directors taking a backseat role. [cite web | url=,cntnt01,detail,0&cntnt01articleid=971&cntnt01returnid=42 | title=Myles does Arsenal Q & A | work=Arsenal News Review]

In 1973 Wall became Arsenal's general manager, with Ken Friar succeeding him as secretary. In the meantime, in 1969 he had published his own account of life at the club, in the book "Arsenal from the Heart" (ISBN 0285502611). He retired from his position 1977, accepting a position on the club's board [cite web | url= | title=Thirty Years Ago - February 1977 | work=Bob's 70-71 Footballers ] which retained until his death.


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