Soccer's Greatest Players

Sir Frederick Wall, writing in 1935, identified the following four players under the chapter heading Soccer's Greatest Players. The accolade is great indeed if you place it in the context of Sir Frederick's lifelong connection with football and the fact he would have seen most if not all of the FA Cup Finals and the majority of the England v Scotland internationals in his capacity as  Secretary of the Football Association from 1895 to 1934.

Alex James 

Sir Frederick was a director at Highbury , and he placed Alex James above all the other players he had seen during his long involvement with the association  game. James was a playmaker- a  withdrawn inside forward who orchestrated the play for Herbert Chapman's Arsenal. James gained a paltry 8 Scotland caps, due largely to Preston North End's reluctance to release him for international duty during the 4 rather fractious seasons he spent there.  

Alan Morton

A dazzling outside left, Morton's success was built on balance, the exploitation of limited space and mesmeric ball control. 
 For Rangers he played 495 games and scored 115 goals, winning 9 league championships and a Scottish cup. He made 31 international appearances for Scotland.  

Bobby Templeton

Something of a peripatetic career for the outside right who was capped 11 times by Scotland. He played top level football for 17 years and in that time represented 6 clubs in 7 spells (Aston VillaNewcastle UnitedWoolwich Arsenal,CelticKilmarnock (2 spells) and Fulham.).
Sir Fredrick Wall's prose was more modest than that of William Pickford, who wrote:
Templeton is afflicted with a large measure of the eccentricity of genius. He is a man of moods. When "the afflatus" is upon him he is a winged horse to whom a spur is useless, and whom a curb cannot hold. It is then that the watching multitude is aflame with mingled surprise and admiration - surprise at the wondrous versatility of the man, admiration at the grace and beauty of his movements.
 Association Football and the Men Who Made It (1905)

Billy Meredith

Sir Frederick was clearly an admirer of wing play. The Welsh Wizard (who once told journalist James Catton that he wished he'd been born English)  played over 300 games for each of the Manchester clubs, and also managed 48 appearances for Wales in a 25 year international career. He was a professional for 34 years.