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Great players can mess up too

Charlie Wallace was a great player for Aston Villa, yet he's mostly famous for one missed penalty.

Stu Forster

No matter what you think of Christian Benteke's red card from last Sunday, we can all agree that he needs to be smarter. Whether or not you think that should've been a sending off, it was obviously a silly decision that wound up costing Aston Villa dearly. Yet any sane, rational Villa fan still believes in Benteke and realizes that he's been a net positive for the club. That red card won't be the defining moment of his career. Unlike the subject of this week's Holte History, who is mostly known for one mistake he made for Aston Villa. But he too was a net positive for the club.

Charlie Wallace was born January 20, 1885 in Southwick, near Sunderland. He played for Southwick FC before being spotted by Crystal Palace. There, he got the attention of Aston Villa, who eventually signed Wallace for £500 in May 1907.

Wallace made 368 appearances for Villa, winning two FA Cups and the league title in 1909-10. Yet when you Google Charlie Wallace, a lot of the stories that come up mention an ignominious moment in Wallace's career.

Wallace and Villa made it to the FA Cup Final in 1913 where they would face Sunderland. The 1913 FA Cup Final was a bruising one. Neither team liked the other and set out to made sure the other team knew that. Villa were eventually awarded a penalty which Wallace stepped up to take. He put it wide, becoming the first player to ever miss a penalty in an FA Cup Final. It was a feat that wouldn't be repeated until John Aldridge had his saved in the 1988 final.

Despite becoming an answer to a sad trivia question, Wallace had the last laugh on the day. In the 75th minute, Wallace swung in a corner that Tommy Barber headed in to make it 1-0. That would be the only goal in the game as Villa lifted the cup.

A couple years later, World War I broke out. Wallace enlisted and was actually sent to the Western Front. He survived the war and returned to play football. He even made some guest appearances for Birmingham City in war-time matches.

After returning from war, Wallace helped Villa to another FA Cup triumph in 1920. After that season, he was sold to Oldham Athletic for £1000. He played a few seasons for Oldham before retiring in 1923.

Wallace was the recipient of three England caps during his career. The third came in a famous 5-4 victory over Scotland in 1920.

Following his retirement from playing, Wallace became a youth team coach at Aston Villa and went on to work for the club in various capacities over the years. He passed away on July 1, 1970.

Despite being most famous for messing up a crucial moment in an FA Cup Final, Charlie Wallace was a great player for Aston Villa. No matter what comes up when you Google him.

Sources

http://www.thefa.com/Competitions/FACompetitions/TheFACup/History/penalty

http://www.footballandthefirstworldwar.com/charlie-wallace-footballer/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlie_Wallace