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.
Can you help? This page is the result of the best endeavours of all concerned. If you spot a mistake or know of facts to add, or have a better photo, please get in touch using 'Contact Us' (top, right).
Full Name: William Warren Shortt
Born: 13 October 1920
Came from: Chester Went to: Retired
First game: 29 September 1945 Last game: 02 April 1956
Appearances: 374 (374/0) Goals: 0
Born in Wrexham, Shortt started his career with Cheshire side Hoole Alexandra in the Chester and District League whilst also working as a butcher's errand boy. He progressed to Chester City as an amateur in May 1938 and shortly after was loaned to Wellington Town (the club changed its name to Telford United in 1969). Being third in the pecking order, he had no chance to make a first team appearance for Chester before the outbreak of war, although he did play regularly for them during the conflict as well as guesting for Argyle in the 1945-46 Football League South season, when he was stationed in the area with the Army. This was a particularly useful arrangement for the club because Argyle's first choice goalkeeper, Matt Middleton, faced a long trip to play on a Saturday after a full week's work in the Derbyshire coal mines. In all, Shortt played 18 times in that transitionary season in which the club conceded a remarkable 120 goals in 42 games, so he never saw a lack of action.
After just four games as a guest, Shortt had impressed enough for Argyle to seek a permanent transfer, and in February 1946 Chester agreed a £1,000 fee, marking the start of a decade as Argyle's first choice 'keeper. He was not the imposing physical presence that you expect to see in a goalkeeper, but he made up for a lack of stature with his dependability. Bill did sometimes struggle with rotundity – perhaps exacerbated by the lack of height – and in 1951 the Argyle trainer put him on a diet of "foam baths, dieting and hard training". It worked and he was soon back to his best. He was a master at dealing with crosses and commanded his area with great assurance and confidence, one writer describing him as "a man who picks the ball out of the air like cherries off a tree". His performances for The Pilgrims went on to earn him international recognition with Wales and he won 12 full caps from 1947-53 including one against England at Wembley and a Home International Championship win in 1950-51. He was a member of Argyle's Division Three (South) championship side of 1951-52, playing 44 times that season, before suffering the disappointment of relegation in 1955-56, which proved to be his last season at Home Park.
After over 350 appearances he called time on his Argyle career, but played for Wadebridge and Tavistock before calling time of another sort, becoming landlord of the Duke of York in Tavistock and then the Golden Hind in Manadon, where he pulled pints for 26 years. When Plymouth celebrated the 50th anniversary of its Charter granting City status, Bill and his wife were delighted to be invited by the Council to a celebration dinner with HRH The Duke of Edinburgh on 22nd February 1979 at The Guildhall. His invite was one of a few to "Plymothians that have achieved national or international eminence". Bill was later awarded a benefit match by the club in 1985 when a game between Plymouth Argyle Veterans and a local Team Insurance side ended with an 11-3 win for the ex-professionals. Bill remained in the area until he passed away on 20th September 2004, a month short of his 84th birthday and the same day as another football legend, Brian Clough.
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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