Lancastrian Wilf Gillow played briefly for both Blackpool and Preston before World War One, resuming his career at Deepdale when hostilities ceased.

He played for Fleetwood and Grimsby before taking over as player-manager at Blundell Park, guiding the club to Division One in 1929 for the first time in 27 years. 

At the end of that season Grimsby took on Boro for the championship, with both sides guaranteed promotion. Boro won 3-0 to take the honours. 

When he later joined Boro, Gillow, a handy cricketer for Middlebrough who was once a substitute fielder for England against Australia at Old Trafford, became a much-respected figure with players and fans alike. 

With stars like Mannion, Camsell, Hardwick and Fenton in the side Boro finished fourth in the first division in 1938-39. 

Wilf Gillow with his Boro team

Once again war was to shatter Teessiders' dreams of winning silverware for the first time. Football did continue during the war on a regional basis, and Gillow combined his management role with a position at Middlesbrough Council.

Sadly, he died aged just 51 in 1944 after complications following an operation and he is buried in Thornaby cemetery.