Greens on Screen’s first page was published in January 1999. Its early purpose was to bring Plymouth Argyle a little closer to those unable to see their team, and whilst it has changed a great deal over the years, its core themes - sites and sounds for Westcountry exiles - still stand. The site was very lucky to take on the content of Trevor Scallan’s Semper Viridis in the summer of 2007, and in 2009 launched GoS-DB, a wealth of facts and figures from PAFC’s history. A year later we embarked on a complete history of Argyle, with much-valued contributions from chapter authors.
Greens on Screen is an amateur website and proud of it. It is run by one person as a hobby, although there have been aspects of the site over the years that would be much the poorer without the hard work and much-valued contributions of a small band of volunteers.
Greens on Screen is self-taught and as a result, a little bit quirky. Amongst a few stubborn principles, advertisements will never appear (and don’t get me started on the plague of betting promotions on other sites). It began its life before many others, including the club’s official site, when there was a large gap to be filled, and although there is now a wide variety to choose from, GoS’s sole aim, to be a service to fellow supporters, still seems to have a place.
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Full Name: Thomas Howshall
Came from: Clapton Orient Went to: Worcester City
First game: 30 March 1946 Last game: 27 April 1946
Appearances: 4 (4/0) Goals: 0
Although the Second World War was at an end, the Football League divided its competition into regional sections for the 1945-46 season because of the exceptional conditions at that time, with so many players still serving in the Armed Forces or employed on essential war work. Argyle played in the Football League South that season, against first-class opposition such as Arsenal, Chelsea, Spurs, Aston Villa and Wolves. It proved impossible for the Pilgrims to field a regular side; 72 players made an appearance and performances inevitably suffered. From week to week the club called on Armed Services players, guest footballers from other League clubs and local amateurs to supplement its registered playing staff.
Howshall was one of 21 players whose only first team games for Argyle were in the Football League South season and who usually played in local football or for the Armed Forces. Born in Normacot, Stoke-on-Trent in 1920, he began his career with Stoke City, as did his older brother, Jack, who went on to play for many League clubs in the 1930s. Tommy's career had hardly started when he joined the RAF to serve in the war, but he did manage to make guest appearances for Grimsby Town, Chester City, Southport, Tottenham Hotspur, Watford and Reading during the war years, and also one game for his registered club, Stoke City. In November 1945 he returned from service in Egypt to be stationed at Lea Bridge in east London, and signed for the local club, Clapton Orient, playing 12 times and scoring once in their somewhat confusingly named 1945-46 Football League Division 3 South (North) campaign.
Four months later, in early March 1946, Howshall was transferred to Hope Cove, an RAF radar facility near Salcombe, and played three games for Argyle as a guest. He impressed enough for Argyle to persuade Clapton Orient to part with the player for a fee thought to be around £1,000, and on 27th April 1946 – the day of his fourth appearance - he signed full professional terms, having been demobilised from the RAF two days before. Strangely, this turned out to be his last game for the club; whilst he appeared in the team photo for the following season, he did not make the first team.
A clue comes in the Football League transfer list, recorded in June 1947, which shows that Argyle were seeking to recoup their £1,000 outlay, with the reason given as "not amenable to discipline" – an unusual comment for a club seeking to sell him on. He was stlll on the transfer list almost a year later in May 1948, with the reason amended to “player wanted to get away”. However, a local source suggests that he joined non-league Worcester City in July 1947, where he scored his only goal for the club in a 1-1 Southern League draw with Cheltenham Town on Boxing Day 1947. The remainder of his career, after his final and perhaps acrimonious exit from Home Park, is unclear.
If you can add to this profile, perhaps with special memories, a favourite story or the results of your original research, please contribute here.
APPEARANCE DETAILS [reselect competitions]
The details below reflect appearances in all first-team competitions.
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