Don’t know how others feel, but I’m pretty fed up with reading the football news, its either about Cesc going to Barca, or Cesc going to Barca so instead I thought over the next few days I would take a look back at a few ‘loved ones’ from the team in red and white. Feel free to let me know if it’s a stupid idea 😉
Today is all about John Radford – just for our newly married blogger Big Raddy….
So who is he??
Well, to start with John Radford was born on the 22nd February 1947 in Hemsworth, England which if I am right is a little place in West Yorkshire.
I am not sure what brought him to London, but I have a sneaky feeling it was down to him being a pretty good footballer and he made that move in 1962. He signed up as an apprenticeship aged just fifteen!
During that time I guess he must have been a pretty good player, a darn decent striker as in February 1964 Arsenal signed him up on professional terms and in the same year he made his debut for the first team on the 21st March, a 1-1 draw against West Ham!
Sadly that was to be his only appearance of the 1964/65 season.
The following season, Radford was used slightly more, he played 15 times, and became Arsenal’s youngest ever hat-trick scorer, against Wolves on 2nd January 1965, he was 17 years and 315 days old and set a record that I think still stands to this day?
From that day his career was set, and his manger Bertie Mee got the best out of him – strangely though, Bertie moved him out to play on the right side of midfield (that’s where you learned it from Arsene) but this didn’t stop him finding the back of the net. He scored nineteen goals in the 1968-69 season and helped us get to the League Cup Final at the end of the same season.
As Radford hit top form, so did Arsenals, in 1970 we won the Inter Cities Fairs Cup – our clubs first piece of silverware for seventeen years!! Blimey Arsene, don’t let us wait that long again 😉 We won that cup 4-3 over the two legs of the final, Radford scoring in the second leg 3-0 rout!
Soon after Radford was back up front again, and I don’t think he or the club looked back. In the 1970-71 season he nabbed himself 21 goals, but more importantly he a Ray Kennedy, his strike partner had scored 47 goals between them – no wonder we won the FA Cup and the League. Radford set up the winner for Ray Kennedy in the semi-final replay against Stoke and went on to set up both goals in the final – Eddie Kelly scored the first, good old Charlie George the second…
Did I mention that the final was against Liverpool……………. 😛
As I write the second goal scorers name – Charlie George, I smile -for me, that is when and where it all began
Back to Radford who was by now playing for England. He had played a few games for the young side and had made his debut for the big boys in 1969 against Romania.
Sadly though Sir Alf Ramsey obviously didn’t like him, he earned only one other cap for his country.
During the early 1970’s, Radford scored for fun, but the 1973-74 season looked to be the start of his demise, his goal tally had shot down into single figures in that and the following season and then injury hit him hard.
A little chunky bow legged boy had been drafted in, (Malcolm McDonald) and together with Frank Stapleton a formidable partnership had begun. Radford stayed around, but eventually he knew his place in the side had gone… 😦
December 1976 – John Radford left Arsenal FC – he moved to West Ham for £80,000!!
What is quite bizarre, Arsene Wenger is now paying the same amount of money for players, as we got for Radford all those years ago….. SPOOKY
After the Hammers, he went to Blackburn and then on to a non league side in 1978. Soon after he retired from playing, had a dabble at management, dabble at being a landlord, but ended up where it all started…..
He may not be playing, but by giving tours around The Emirates; even he must have a feel about being back at home…… albeit a slightly different address 🙂
He played 481 times for Arsenal, scoring 149 goals – Can Nikki B reach the heights of John Radford?
Finally – well done to the Ladies, they are through to the CL quarter finals after a 5-0 aggregate win over Sparta Prague.
Who shall we do tomorrow?