Steve Bloomer Memorial
[Cradley’s Football Superstar]
A memorial to Cradley’s Steve Bloomer, the first football superstar, stands in Bridge Street, opposite the row of houses where he was born on 20th January 1874. Steve was to become the most famous football player of his age, scoring 28 goals in 23 games for England, a record that stood for almost 50 years.
Steve’s family moved to Derby in 1879 when Steve was 5 years old. Having left school aged 12 he became a professional footballer at 18 scoring two goals on his Football League debut. He remains Derby County's all-time record goalscorer with 332 goals, and he netted 18 hat-tricks for the Rams. Making his England debut in1895, Steve scored two goals in a 9-0 win over Ireland and in August he married Sarah Walker.
Steve scored in his first 10 matches for England and is in the top 10 all-time goal scorers for his country. Playing at inside right he had devastating shooting power from all angles and distances, and he was called the ‘destroying angel’.
Steve Bloomer was one of the first working class heroes, and was well known back in Cradley, often visiting by train. When he retired in 1914 he’d played 655 league, test and FA Cup games, scoring 394 goals. After retiring he went to coach Berlin Britannia 92 FC arriving in Germany in August 1914 and three weeks later Britain declared war on Germany. Steve became an enemy alien and a prisoner of war at Ruhleben civilian detention camp.
Popular, patriotic, and modest, Steve was dignified on and off the sports field. He enjoyed a second successful career as coach, manager and journalist in later years and when Steve died suddenly in 1938 aged 64 his funeral took place in Derby Cathedral – the biggest funeral ever in the town.
A superb bust of Steve Bloomer was unveiled pitch-side at Derby County's stadium in 2009 and there is another memorial to Steve in The Corn Market yard to Victoria Street, Derby.
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POST CODE: B63 2UA
ADDRESS: Bridge Street, Cradley
GPS Location: N. 52.46655244 W. -2.08614363
British Grid: SO 94248 85417
MEMORIAL LOCATION: Opposite to Mill Street near river bridge
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Click: Link to Cradley Then & Now