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Laurie Bramall

Born in 1886, Laurie was the son of a quarry owner and brick manufacturer from Wortley, near Sheffield. He studied at Sheffield University, where he was captain of the football team and he played for Sheffield FC and Sheffield Wednesday Reserves as well as having trials with Leeds City.

In 1907 Laurie joined Rovers, who were then in the Midland League, as an amateur. Despite being only 21, he was appointed captain. He proved an effective leader, scoring 14 League goals in his first season, and a popular one, especially after he gave each of his team-mates a rabbit as a Christmas gift. In 1908-09 he missed only two League games and was appointed captain of the Midland League XI to face the season’s Champions, Lincoln City.

For the 1910-11 season he formed part of the forward line, along with Charles Woodruff, Victor Green, Billy Jex and Billy Bromage, reckoned to be Rovers’ best since their Football League days, Rovers finishing 3rd in the Midland League. Laurie scored 14 times in 20 games, but in February 1911 he bade farewell to Rovers and to England, sailing from Liverpool with his brother Gordon to Canada where they took over a farm near Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. He was presented with an inscribed flask as a parting gift by the Rovers players. That wasn’t quite the last of Laurie Bramall in Rovers colours, as he returned to England for three months in 1913-14 and played a handful of games, scoring twice. His overall goal tally for Rovers was 42, 38 coming in the Midland League, with four in other competitions.

Laurie settled in Canada, although he did return briefly to England in 1925, by which time he was married with two young children. A fine player and a highly respected leader, he always played football with a handkerchief tucked into his sleeve.