In February 1905 Alf Common transferred from Sunderland to Middlesbrough for the world record breaking fee of £1000. The size of the fee caused a scandal and lead to questions being asked in Parliament with predictions that such exorbitant fees would be football’s downfall.
Common made his debut against his old team and scored the winning goal from the penalty spot, Boro’s first away win for 2 years. He played 178 games for the Boro and scored 65 goals. He was made team captain but was stripped of the title following an episode of drunken violence. He left in 1910 to join Woolwich Arsenal .