Alf Common

In the above cartoon Alf Common, wearing his £1000 transfer tag, protects Middlesbrough from the spectre of the Second Division.
Tradition has it that Middlesbrough broke the transfer record to sign  Alf Common from Sunderland in February 1905 in order to save themselves from relegation. However, no teams were relegated that season as the First Division was expanded from 18 to 20 teams (Boro finished in 15th, two points above Bury who would have been down but for the restructuring). 
The following season Midlesbrough avoided relegation on goal average. In Common's remaining seasons on Teeside Boro finished 11th, 6th, 9th and 17th as Common racked up 58 league goals in 168 appearances.