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Leslie Harry Compton (born Woodford, Essex September 12, 1912 - died Hendon, Middlesex 27 December 1984) was an English footballer and cricketer.

Compton spent his entire career at Arsenal, spanning 23 years, making him one of the club's longest-ever serving players. He joined the club as an amateur in 1930. He made his debut on April 25, 1932, though spent much of the early and mid-1930s as a reserve player. He featured regularly for the Gunners in unofficial matches during the Second World War, once scoring ten times against Leyton Orient - a remarkable feat considering his usual position was as centre half.

After the war had ended, he became a mainstay in the Arsenal side, winning the First Division title in 1948, and the FA Cup in 1950 (having scored a last-gasp equaliser in the semi-finals against Chelsea). Compton made his debut for England in 1950 against Wales, making him the oldest ever England debutant at 38 years and 64 days, a record that still stands (and is unlikely to be broken).

Compton retired from playing football in 1953, having played 273 matches and having scored 6 goals. He stayed on at Arsenal for another three years as a coach and scout.

Compton also played cricket for Middlesex, playing as wicket-keeper from 1938 to 1956. He appeared 272 times, scoring 5,814 runs (an average of 16.75), and taking 468 catches and 131 stumpings.

He died in Hendon from complications of diabetes, aged 72. His younger brother Denis also played for Arsenal and Middlesex.

 

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