Focus On; John Radford

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John Radford was born in Hemsworth, Yorkshire to a butcher.[1] He joined Arsenal as an apprentice in 1962, turning professional in February 1964. At the club he played mostly as an inside forward or centre forward and occasionally as a right-winger.

He was a prolific goalscorer in the youth and reserve teams, before making his first-team debut against West Ham United on 21 March 1964, his only appearance of the 1963-64 season. Radford was used slightly more the next season, playing 15 times, and became Arsenal’s youngest ever hat-trick scorer, against Wolves on 2 January 1965, at the age of 17 years and 315 days, a record that remains to this day.

By the start of 1965-66 Radford was an Arsenal regular, and particularly blossomed under the stewardship of Bertie Mee. Although he had been moved out to the right wing, in the 1968-69 season he scored nineteen goals and reached the League Cup final. During the 1969-70 season he again scored nineteen goals, and helped Arsenal win the 1970 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup which was their first trophy in seventeen years. Radford scored the second goal in Arsenal’s 3–0 win in the second leg of the final, which they won 4–3 on aggregate.

By now, Radford had been moved up front again and continued to score regularly. The following 1970-71 season Radford scored 21, his best single tally in a season, forming a partnership with Ray Kennedy that between them recorded 47 goals. With his goals, Radford was an instrumental part of Arsenal’s FA Cup and League Championship double-winning side. His assists played an important role too as he set up Kennedy for the winning goal in Arsenal’s FA Cup semi-final replay win against Stoke City, and set up both Eddie Kelly and Charlie George for their goals in the Final against Liverpool.[1] The following season Arsenal again faced Stoke in the FA Cup semi-final. Bob Wilson had to go off injured and Radford went in goal. He helped Arsenal secure a 1–1 draw and then in the replay he scored the winning goal as Arsenal again got to the final,[3] though this time they lost to Leeds United.

He continued to play for Arsenal through the early 1970s, scoring another 19 goals in 1972-73. However, his goal rate gradually reduced (only achieving single figures in 1973-74 and 1974-75) and he was injured in 1975-76, further restricting his appearances. By now, the partnership of Malcolm Macdonald and Frank Stapleton had become Arsenal’s first-choice attacking duo and Radford only played twice in the first four months of 1976-77. In all he played 481 times for Arsenal, scoring 149 goals, which makes him Arsenal’s fourth all-time top scorer.


  • Full Name: John Radford
  • Position: Forward
  • Date of Birth: 22.02.1947
  • Birthplace: Hemsworth
  • Nation: England
  • Club Career: Arsenal
    • Period: 1964-1976
    • League Games, 379
    • League Goals, 111
  • Previous Club: –
    • Transfer Fee: –
  • Facts / Photo / Video

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