Tony Godfrey

Last updated

Tony Godfrey
Personal information
Full nameTony William Godfrey
Date of birth (1939-04-30) 30 April 1939 (age 81)
Place of birth Pangbourne, England
Height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m) [1]
Position(s) Goalkeeper
Youth career
Basingstoke Town
1956 Norwich City
1956–1958 Southampton
Senior career*
1958–1965 Southampton 141 (0)
1965–1970 Aldershot [2] 172 (0)
1970–1972 Rochdale [2] 71 (0)
1972–1976 Aldershot [2] 68 (0)
1976–1977 Basingstoke Town
1985 Basingstoke Town
Teams managed
1979–19?? Andover
Alton Town
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Tony William Godfrey (born 30 April 1939) [1] is an English retired footballer, who played as a goalkeeper for Southampton, Aldershot and Rochdale in the Football League.


Football career

Early career

Godfrey was born in Pangbourne, Berkshire and played football for North Hampshire Schools. [3] After leaving school he was an apprentice bricklayer and played in goal for Basingstoke Town in the Hampshire League, becoming their youngest-ever player. [3] After a brief period on the books of Norwich City, he was signed by Southampton of the Football League Third Division South in May 1956 for a fee of £500, on the recommendation of Basingstoke's coach, Stan Clements, a former Southampton player. [3]


He started his career with the "Saints" in the youth team, which reached the semi-final of the FA Youth Cup in 1957. [3] He made his reserve-team debut in March 1958 [4] and signed a professional contract shortly after his 19th birthday. [3] He continued to play regularly in the reserves until his first-team debut on 6 December 1958, when he took the place of John Christie who was unavailable with an injured knee for the FA Cup Second Round match at Queens Park Rangers. Godfrey acquitted himself well with a "confident, cool, alert and agile" [3] performance making several fine saves and keeping a clean sheet as Southampton won the match 1–0. [5]

Godfrey retained his first-team place for the next five matches in the league, before Christie's return, although he was soon recalled, making 17 league appearances in his debutant season. [5] With Christie leaving The Dell in the summer of 1959, Godfrey became first-choice 'keeper, playing the first 11 games of the 1959–60 season (including six victories), before an injury allowed Bob Charles to take his place. [6] His career was then interrupted by his National Service which was spent in the Army, who he represented at football. [3]

Southampton gained promotion to the Second Division in 1960 with Ron Reynolds now in goal. In the 1960–61 season, Godfrey vied with Reynolds for the first-choice position in goal, making only eight appearances, [7] but regained the No. 1 spot for 1961–62 after Reynolds broke his ankle in the opening match. [8] By the start of the following season, however, Reynolds had fought his way back into the first-team and Godfrey only made six appearances. [9]

Reynolds was finally forced to retire after dislocating a shoulder in September 1963, thus allowing Godfrey to briefly become the unchallenged first-choice "custodian". [10] In the summer of 1964, Southampton signed John Hollowbread from Tottenham Hotspur and Godfrey was once again second-choice, until after a run of 18 matches with only two victories, Hollowbread was dropped and Godfrey recalled. [11] Hollowbread regained the No. 1 position for the start of the 1965–66 season until he sustained a knee injury in September 1965, which ended his career. [12] Godfrey was once again recalled but after 14 matches, lost his place to Campbell Forsyth, who had been signed from Kilmarnock. Godfrey's final match for Southampton came on 4 December 1965 and shortly afterwards he was sold to Aldershot. In his seven years with Southampton, Godfrey made a total of 149 first-team appearances. [3]

Aldershot and Rochdale

He joined Aldershot in December 1965 for "a four figure fee" [13] but was unable to make his debut for them because he was suffering with hepatitis. [3] His debut came on 19 March 1966, in a goalless draw with Notts County at Recreation Ground. [14]

He soon became the first-choice goalkeeper, being ever-present in the 1966–67 and 1967–68 seasons. [14] He stayed with Aldershot for 4 12 years before he was signed by his former Southampton teammate Dick Conner at Rochdale in the summer of 1970. [3]

Godfrey spent two seasons with Rochdale, in the second of which he was the club's Player of the Season before returning to Aldershot in July 1972. He made 71 League appearances for the Spotland club. [15]

On his return to Aldershot, he was again ever-present in the 1972–73 season, [14] when Aldershot were promoted from the Fourth Division for the first time. [13] He was to remain at the Recreation Ground for another three seasons, until, with Glen Johnson now the first-choice 'keeper, he decided to retire in 1976. [13] [14]

Coaching career

Godfrey then returned to Basingstoke Town in a player-coach role, before spells as manager at Andover, Alton Town and Fleet, followed by a return to Basingstoke. In 1985, aged 45, Basingstoke were suffering an injury crisis, so Godfrey returned for one match, thus becoming their oldest-ever first-team player, having been their youngest player 30 years earlier. [3]

Later career

Godfrey settled in a village south of Basingstoke where he resumed his career as a builder until his retirement. [3]

Related Research Articles

Stanley Finlay Thomas Clements OBE was an English footballer who played most of his professional career for Southampton.

John Alexander Christie was a football goalkeeper who played for Southampton F.C. for most of the 1950s.

Arthur "Archie" Turner was a professional footballer who played at outside-right in the 1900 and 1902 FA Cup Finals for Southampton, and made two appearances for England.

William Rochford was an English footballer. A member of the Portsmouth team that won the 1939 FA Cup, he played over 100 matches for Portsmouth and for their south coast rivals, Southampton.

Charles Henry Baker was an English footballer who played in the Football League for Stoke and Wolverhampton Wanderers. He also played in the Southern League with Southampton.

Arthur Wood was an English goalkeeper who played for Southampton and Clapton Orient. He was the son of the England international forward, Harry Wood.

Thomas George Lewis was a Welsh footballer who played as a centre-forward for Watford in the late 1930s, before joining Southampton for a brief period after World War II.

John Bradley was an English footballer who played as an inside forward for various clubs in the 1930s and 1940s, including Swindon Town, Southampton and Bolton Wanderers.

William Fraser was an English professional footballer who played at inside forward for Northampton Town and Southampton in the 1920s and 1930s.

William Collins White was a Scottish football goalkeeper who played for Heart of Midlothian and Southampton during the 1920s and 1930s.

Walter Tom Cox (1872–1930) was an English footballer who played as a goalkeeper for various clubs around the turn of the 20th century.

Hugh Murray Lindsay is a former amateur footballer who played as an inside-forward for Great Britain in the 1960 Summer Olympics held in Rome, as well as making two Football League appearances for Southampton in 1961, making him the last amateur player to play for Southampton.

Arthur Hollins was an English professional footballer who played at centre-forward for Southampton between 1914 and 1915.

Leonard Edward Charles Stansbridge was an English footballer, who played as a goalkeeper for Southampton in the period either side of the Second World War.

Norman Kirkman was an English footballer who played as a full-back for various clubs in the Football League in the 1940s and 1950s, before a brief career as a manager.

William George Smith was an English professional footballer who made 13 appearances for Southampton in the Southern League between 1908 and 1911. He was a versatile player who was used in various defensive and midfield positions. He later emigrated to Australia.

Charles Reuben Purves was an English footballer who played as an inside-forward in the 1940s and 1950s. He played in the Football League for Charlton Athletic and Southampton.

Walter James Judd was an English footballer who played as a centre-forward in the 1940s and 1950s for Southampton.

Keith William Granger is an English former footballer who played in the Football League as a goalkeeper for Southampton and Darlington.


  1. 1 2 Chalk, Gary; Holley, Duncan; Bull, David (2013). All the Saints: A Complete Players' Who's Who of Southampton FC. Southampton: Hagiology Publishing. p. 330. ISBN   978-0-9926-8640-6.
  2. 1 2 3 Hugman, Barry (1981). Football League Players Records (1946–1981). Aylesbury: Rothmans Publications. p. 153. ISBN   0-907574-08-4.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Holley, Duncan; Chalk, Gary (2003). In That Number – A post-war chronicle of Southampton FC. Hagiology Publishing. p. 518. ISBN   0-9534474-3-X.
  4. In That Number – A post-war chronicle of Southampton FC. p. 442.
  5. 1 2 Chalk, Gary; Holley, Duncan (1987). Saints – A complete record. Breedon Books. pp. 134–135. ISBN   0-907969-22-4.
  6. Saints – A complete record. p. 137.
  7. Saints – A complete record. p. 139.
  8. Saints – A complete record. p. 141.
  9. Saints – A complete record. p. 143.
  10. Saints – A complete record. p. 145.
  11. Saints – A complete record. p. 147.
  12. Saints – A complete record. p. 149.
  13. 1 2 3 "Tony Godfrey". Where are they now?. Retrieved 21 November 2012.
  14. 1 2 3 4 "Guest for Chesterfield Game to be Tony Godfrey". Aldershot FC. Retrieved 21 November 2012.
  15. Brown, Neil. "Tony Godfrey" . Retrieved 21 November 2012.