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Danny Shea was born in Wapping, London, in November, 1887. He was 21 years old and playing football for the Builders Arms pub team in Stratford when he was signed by West Ham 1908.
Shea, a skilful inside-forward, was an immediate success. In his first season in the Southern League he ended up as top scorer with 20 goals. In all he scored 103 goals in 166 games for West Ham. Shea was described as "an artful schemer and delicate dribbler who had the knack of wheeling suddenly when near goal and unleashing a thunderbolt shot."
Blackburn Rovers paid a British record transfer of £2,000 for Shea. His prodigious goal scoring rate continued and he helped Blackburn Rovers win the title in 1914. Patsy Gallagher, described Shea as "one of the greatest ball artists who has ever played for England... his manipulation of the ball was bewildering."
Shea made his international debut in 1914. In spite of the surprise 3-1 defeat against Ireland, he was retained for the game against Wales. The outbreak of the First World War brought an end to Shea's international career and professional football in Britain. Shea returned to the East End where he worked as a docker for the rest of the war.
By the end of the war Shea was in his thirties. Nevertheless, he had short spells with Celtic, West Ham, Coventry, Orient and Sheppey United before hanging up his boots in 1926. After a spell coaching in Switzerland, he returned to England where he became a publican. He died in Wapping, London, on 25th December, 1960.