Iremongers History

THE IREMONGERS, GIANTS IN STATURE - AND IN PROWESS

 

The name of Iremonger is still revered in city sporting circles. The two talented brothers, Albert Iremonger - history and

James Iremonger - History, plied their soccer craft either side of the Trent, Albert at Notts County, Jim at Forest, and they also turned out with some success for Notts County Cricket Club. Their names were synonymous, yet rarely were they photographed together.

But among the collection of memorabilia owned by Jim's granddaughter Mrs Josephine Wainwright of Wilford, comes this remarkable print taken around 1910.

It shows 6ft 6in tall Albert, who played in goal for Notts County for a record 564 games between 1904 and 1926, on the left

and his smaller brother Jim, a mere 6ft 5in, in his Forest kit.


Mrs Wainwright has distant memories of both her grandfather and great uncle. Jim Iremonger lived at 70 Crosby Road,

West Bridgford, where young Josephine would visit occasionally. "

Albert was the landlord of the Ferry Inn in Wilford, not far from Josephine's cottage home in the village.

"It was such an old-fashioned pub with a rickety staircase and a long landing with bedroom doors. I used to go along it

on my roller skates and I could never understand why I kept getting into trouble," she said. "I remember there were

a lot of rats and when the floods came, drinkers would paddle up to the first floor window in canoes to get their beer."

But it is as peerless sportsmen that the two Iremonger brothers are best remembered.

The family hailed from Norton in Yorkshire but moved to Notts when their father became a police inspector stationed in Wilford.

The police house still stands not far from the Ferry Inn, said Mrs Wainwright,

Albert was born in 1884, eight years after his brother and there was a third sibling, Arthur, who eventually went to live in Derby.

Jim was the first to make his mark. He made his debut for Forest, as a full-back in 1896 against Stoke City, and for the next eight years was a regular in the first team... although he did not figure in Forest's 1898 FA Cup-winning side against Derby County. He won three international caps.

When he wasn't playing for Forest, he was over at Trent Bridge chalking up a remarkable record. Skilled with bat and

ball, he played more than 330 times for Notts, scoring nearly 17,000 runs with a top score of 272 - one of four double centuries

and he took more than 600 wickets.

After his retirement he coached at Trent Bridge and was a major influence on the careers of young bowlers Harold Larwood and Bill Voce.

Jim Iremonger died in April, 1956, aged 80.

Brother Albert made his debut in the Notts goal in 1905, against Forest, although brother Jim was not in the Reds team that day. And then, for the next 22 years, he was more a less a fixture in the Magpies' first team.

Few doubted that at his peak he was the best keeper in the country, but an impetuous spirit which would see him run half the length of the pitch to argue with the referee, probably worked against him when it came to international consideration.

Nevertheless, his goalkeeping record of 600 league appearances for Notts and one season with Lincoln, stood until 1970 when it was broken by Celtic keeper Ronnie Simpson.

The Magpies made him their first honorary vice president in 1952. And he has a road near the ground, plus a pond in Wilford village, named in his memory. He also played cricket for Notts, but with nothing like Jim's success.

After retirement, Albert scouted for Notts County and later became a pub landlord, the Cremorne in The Meadows and the Ferry Inn among his licences. He died in March, 1958, aged 73.