By Tony Attwood
John Radford was born in Yorkshire in 1947 and played 475 league and cup games between 1964 and 1976 for Arsenal, scoring 149 goals. After that he went on to West Ham where he played 28 and scored none, and then had one season with Blackburn where he played 38 and scored 10.
After that he went to Bishop’s Stortford (more on that below).
Here’s his time line…
So again, as is becoming a feature of this series, we have a player who came in during the Wright era and then flourished thereafter.
He came to Arsenal as an apprentice in 1962, and became a professional in February 1964 and instantly showed his ability in the youth and reserve teams, before making his first-team début in March 1964.
He was used more the next season, and became Arsenal’s youngest ever scorer of a hat-trick on 2 January 1965 against Wolverhampton W aged 17 years and 315 days.
John’s development as a player mirrored Arsenal. He played in both the League Cup finals as an outside right, won the Fairs Cup, scoring in the final, and then got 21 goals in the double season.
He won caps as an England under 23, but with Ramsey in control of England he only got two chances in the full England team.
He left for West Ham having lost his place as first choice scorer, and did have a final swan song in the second division with Blackburn.
Having left Blackburn and taking the time honoured route of being a pub landlord in Thaxted John was asked by Bishop’s Stortford FC to join them in 1979. John has always said he liked the experience but it was back problems that stopped him doing more – along with the inevitable non-league thug defender who fancied showing the top player that he could nobble him. John admits to giving an Enfield player a broken nose after one tackle too many.
He played in the 1980-81 season when The Blues won the Ryman League and the FA Trophy. It was an amazing achievement given that the club were in the equivalent of the 7th division at the time.
The players who made it for Mee but were signed by Wright: – Bob Wilson
Swindin, Wright, Mee: Out of the Darkness and Into the Light
Bertie – the life and times: The trophies, ballroom dancing, left hook and OBE
The First Double: a series of five quizzes to test your knowledge on 1971