Man City legend Sergio matches up to Mexborough record-breaker Eric

By Michael Upton | 23/10/2017

Man City legend Sergio matches up to Mexborough record-breaker Eric
Eric Brook (left) and Sergio Aguero.

IT CAME with a simple penalty conversion on Saturday, but Sergio Aguero’s 177th Manchester City goal secured him a special place in club history.

The Argentine striker still needs to go one better to become the club’s all-time top scorer, though, because he currently shares that accolade with Eric Brook.

What you may not know is that England wide man Brook, who clocked up his impressive total in City’s blue shirts in the 1920s and 1930s, hailed from Mexborough.

Born in 1907 and brought up in Dolcliffe Road, Brook was also a keen cricketer, who played for Swinton, Mexborough and Wath cricket clubs during the summer.

His professional football career began when he transferred to Barnsley for £250 and he played for the Tykes between 1925 and 1928, scoring 18 times.

Snapped up with teammate Fred Tilson in 1928 for a combined £6,000, Brook scored his first goal for City in a 5–3 victory against Clapton Orient and helped City to clinch the  Second Division title.

He went on to play 491 competitive games for City, scoring 158 league goals among his final total of 177.

Brook's City career — cut short by a car crash and the Second World War — was punctuated with moments of glory and dismay.

He was known for having a spectacular strike or two up his sleeve - the goal he scored the 1934 FA Cup sixth round was described as a “wonder goal” and later hailed as the finest goal by any player at Maine Road in the 1930s.

City went to win the cup, with Brook setting up the winner in the final.

There was more glory three years later, as City won the First Division title, with Brook scoring 20 times in 42 games.

The following season, City achieved the incredible and unwelcome feat of scoring 80 times — more than any other side — and being relegated.

Brook also played 18 times for England between 1929 and 1937, scoring ten times.

Only 12 players in total scored more times for England before the Second World War.

Football may have been his focus, but Brook returned to the South Yorkshire in the summer to top up his salary by playing cricket.

He was forced to call it a day following a car accident on route to a match against Scotland.

It is believed Brook returned to Mexborough after the Second World War for a brief time to become a bus or coach driver and later worked as a barman and a crane operator.

He died in Wythenshaw in March 1965 at the age of 58.

Mexborough historian Bill Lawrence said: “Unfortunately, it is probably safe to say this Mexborough great has gone unnoticed as part of the town's rich cultural, sporting and social heritage. 

“He has gone under the radar as one of Mexborough's sporting greats. 

“This is until Mexborough and District Heritage Society were recently alerted to his story by freelance sport writer, Ken Gaunt, who is interested in Eric’s earlier days in Yorkshire. 

“If anyone has any information on Eric Brook's time in Mexborough, or knows whether he has relatives still living in the area, we at the Mexborough Heritage Society would be please to hear from you so as to help us fill a gap in this man’s incredible life.”

As Bill said, it’s “amazing” that he was coming back to the area every summer to play cricket.

It’s probably safe to say that Sergio doesn’t head back to Argentina in secret to do that —and he probably won’t to be crane operator after he retires, either!

Anyone with any further information on Eric is asked to email Bill Lawrence at billywlawrence@hotmail.com or call Margaret Roper or Bill at Mexborough Library on 01709 582037.