If Herbert Ernest Saxon Bertie Cordey Lyon lacked anything, it certainly wasn’t Christian names! Although born in north Derbyshire, he was brought up in the south of the county at Church Gresley and played for Gresley Rovers as centre-half from the age of sixteen. Having assisted Rovers to the championship of the Derbyshire Senior League, the young pivot graduated to the Football League when he was transferred to Leicester Fosse for £50 in January 1899, and began to earn a reputation as a utility player.
After just over a season at Filbert Street he moved to Nelson in the Lancashire League where he played as a centre forward with great success, plundering over 100 goals in a single season.
Word of his exploits enticed Southern League Watford to sign him during the summer of 1901. Bertie subsequently enjoyed further spells in the Southern League with Reading (close season 1902) and West Ham United (close season 1903) before his arrival at the Goldstone in May 1904. The nomadic utility man appeared in five different positions during his year with the Albion, mainly in the forward line and, despite initially struggling to acclimatise to his new surroundings, came to be regarded as one of the most reliable players in the team once he had settled in.
Nevertheless, Bertie continued his annual migrations when he left for Swindon Town in May 1905 and subsequently played for Carlisle United in the North Eastern League (May 1906), Swindon for a second spell (May 1907), Blackpool and Walsall.