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Arthur Drewry

Biographical information

Full nameArthur•Drewry
Used nameArthur•Drewry
Born3 March 1891 in Grimsby, North East Lincolnshire, England (GBR)
Died25 March 1961 in Grimsby, North East Lincolnshire, England (GBR)
NOC(s) Great Britain


Born in Grimsby, local wholesale fish merchant Arthur Drewry went on to become the fifth president of FIFA. He attended the town’s Collegiate School and then, during World War I, served as a sergeant with the Lincolnshire Yeomanry in the Middle East, where he was captured by the Turks. Upon his return to England, he married the daughter of a successful fish merchant, who was also the chairman of Grimsby Town FC. Drewry subsequently joined his father-on-law in both the business, and at the football club, where he soon showed his ability as an administrator. After World War II, he became the senior administrator in English football, first as chairman of the Football League, and then the Football Association.

During World War II, Drewry was head warden and chief fire guard In North Lincolnshire. After the War, in 1946, he played a major role in getting the four home countries back into the FIFA fold after years of isolation, and this meant England making their World Cup début in 1950. Sadly for Drewry, it was a baptism he would want to forget as he was responsible for picking the England team that suffered a surprise 1-0 defeat by the United States at Belo Horizonte. He became FIFA vice-president to Jules Rimet, and the French he learned during his time as a prisoner-of-war helped him in his new post. In 1955 he succeeded Rimet as president.

Drewry was a fan of attacking football and kept asking for extra points to be awarded for goals scored but this idea, still talked about today, was regularly knocked back by FIFA. His plan for substitutes. however, was approved by the governing body in 1958, albeit a decade or so before they were introduced worldwide. Under Drewry’s tenure, the 1966 World Cup was secured for England, but sadly he never saw Bobby Moore lift the famous trophy as he died in 1961. Despite reaching the top of world football, Drewry never forgot his roots and was a local Grimsby councillor and magistrate, and continued to follow his beloved Grimsby Town Football Club.

Organization roles

Role Organization Tenure Details
President Fédération Internationale de Football Association 1955—1956
President Fédération Internationale de Football Association 1956—1961