Monday, 14 December 2015


Happy Birthday Chris Waddle, Michael Owen and Steve Sidwell-three distinquished footballers who served their various clubs with few issues to tittilate the press. Isn't it nice to think about these three who just got on with their jobs? Here's another footballer who just kept his head below the parapet.

Born in 1959, another gentleman played football with distinction and may be regarded as an impressive role model is Tony Ford, who started out in October 1975 for Grimsby at 16 years old, where he stayed for 418 matches. He played as a midfielder or right back.

He then had a loan spell at Sunderland, went to Stoke for three years and 135 games, played for WBA (1989-91) 128 games and returned to Blundell Park for three years. So by 1994 he totalled another 72 matches for his "home club".

There was a loan period at Bradford City and then he migrated to neighbours, Scunthorpe for two years and 91 games. He had a quicky at non-league Barrow, went to Mansfield from 1996-9 (116 games) and finished at Rochdale with 104 games where he was assistant player-manager.

His last goal was scored on the 9th October 2001 against Swansea in a 1-0 win and by the end all this adds up to a 1080 appearances in various "official" games and 125 goals.
Ford also has a couple of England B matches under his belt and therefore holds the record of the highest number of appearances for an outfield player at 42 years old, beating Terry Paine's previous total.
Tony played at all England's football league grounds, bar White Hart Lane. He finally scouted for Grimsby up to 2003 and was awarded the MBE for services to football.

Peter Shilton appeared 1249 times in his 32 year reign, scoring one goal. When, against whom?

There is another Tony Ford in the pipeline, born in 1944 and who played for Bristol City 171 times and Rovers 28 times, from 1961 to 1971. he then coached and was assistant manager at Hereford, Hearts and Plymouth.

If you think you have read some of this previously, you are right. I have just found some more stuff on the old man, who deserves a second airing.

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