Shropshire Star

Tough going for Shrewsbury Town in the court of King Arthur back in August 1958

In the court of King Arthur – and the new boss proved a tough taskmaster for Shrewsbury Town players back in August 1958.

Arthur joins in the leap frog.

Goalscoring legend Arthur Rowley had taken over as player-manager at the Gay Meadow and was determined to get his players in shape for the challenges of the 1958-1959 season when, under league reorganisation, they were playing in the new Fourth Division – previously they had been in the Third Division South.

These are some of a series of pictures which were featured in the "pink," the sporting section of the Express & Star back in those days.

On me back... Arthur joins in the leap frog.

Rowley had joined in June to become the club's first player-manager since it had entered the Football League.

The story accompanying the picture spread read in part: "With the football season only a week away the training tempo quickens and in this series of pictures the 'SPORTS EXTRA' camera catches the SHREWSBURY TOWN players preparing for their season as founder members of the new Fourth Division.

"Like Walsall, whom we featured last week, they have one ambition – to get out of the new division and reach the more familiar phases of the third. But there are a lot more clubs with a similar aim and competition is going to be mighty keen...

The new boss watches out for slacking during a floor exercise.

"Shrewsbury players have made the Gay Meadow a busy spot in the last few weeks. Here they are caught in the middle of a varied and business-like training session in which they are watched, and sometimes joined, by Wolverhampton-born Arthur Rowley..."

The heading duel pictured is "between Hobson and Whitaker, watched with critical and interested eyes by Smith, Wallace, and Tucker," with the same players being joined by Arthur, who provided one of the backs for the leap frog session.

A heading duel between Norman Hobson and Colin Whitaker.

For the "floor exercises" he stood to watch the players' exertions.

If you're wondering, all that effort bore fruit, because Shrewsbury spent only a single season in the Fourth Division before gaining promotion to Division Three.