Ben Hulse

Ben Hulse

An experienced goalscorer when he joined the Albion towards the end of a fine career in May 1904, Ben Hulse stayed, like so many players of the era, for just one season with the club. In his younger days Ben was said to have taken to the game like a duck takes to water’, and entered the professional ranks at the early age of fifteen with Liverpool South End (initially in the Liverpool & District League, then the prestigious Lancashire League). Crossing the Mersey to play for Rock Ferry, he gained a Liverpool & District Cup winner’s medal when the newly formed Cheshire club defeated Everton’s reserves.

Subsequently recruited by another new club, New Brighton Tower, in April 1897, Ben found his registration annulled in May because Tower were not affiliated to the F.A. at the time, and he was quickly snapped up by First Division Blackburn Rovers. In three seasons at Ewood Park the strapping inside-forward notched 21 goals in 85 League games before he was transferred, in a curious irony, back to New Brighton Tower in August 1900.

By this time the ambitious Wirral club had progressed to the Football League, and Ben finished 1900-01 as top scorer with fourteen goals from 31 Second Division outings. Tower, however, folded through lack of support just before the opening of the 1901-02 season, and in September Ben joined Millwall in the Southern League. In three seasons with the ‘Dockers’ at North Greenwich the robust Liverpudlian was converted into a centre forward and maintained an excellent scoring-rate, bagging 35 goals from 60 League games. In 1903 he captained the side to an F.A. Cup semi-final defeat by Derby County.

The following year Ben arrived at the Goldstone and struggled initially to find the net, yet his ability to orchestrate the forward line was much admired and he was installed as skipper for a spell. At the end of the season he left both the club and the first-class game at the age of 29.

Ben played 30 matches for the Seagulls in 1904-05 and scored 10 goals.

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