Where are the prophets now?

Fred Wheldon, beside the pavilion at Villa’s Perry Barr ground.

From a local newspaper report, April 4, 1897

Much doubt was expressed among a certain section of Aston Villa supporters before the present season commenced as to whether the committee had acted wisely in paying such a heavy sum as £300 to the Small Heath club for the transfer of their crack left-winger, George Frederick Wheldon, and a large number of “wiseheads” did not refrain from maing public their opinion that Wheldon had seen his best days, and would be of no use to Villa. Where are those “prophets” now?

As it has proved, the investment was one of the best the Villa have made in recent years, for the ex-Heathen has been the most consistent of as brilliant a quintette of forwards as ever stepped on a field, and is well worth every penny the League Champions paid for him.

He had the honour of playing for England against Ireland at Nottingham a few weeks ago, and scored three of the goals obtained by his side. In the opinion of many competent judges he is the best inside-left forward in the country, and England would have no cause to regret it had he been chosen to play against Scotland at the Crystal Palace tomorrow.

Wheldon has scored more goals for the Villa in League matches this season than any other player, the number to his credit being sixteen, Jack Devey being responsible for fifteen, In addition to being a champion footballeer, Wheldon is a smart cricketer, and played for Worcestershire on several occasions last summer. He is 26 years of age, being born on November 1st,1879, so should be of much use to te Villa club for many years to come.

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