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In response to Cidered Abroad, the Big John goal that I always remember was in the Mid 60's sometime, a night match versus Derby. Reg Matthewson the ex-England man was in goal I seem to remember, he went up to collect a ball and planted his feet on the ground with the ball clutched to his chest near to the goal line, John just shoulder barged him into the back of the net still clutching the ball, I am sure that the goal was allowed :-) Proper footballers, no quarter given none expected!
25 Years, and what a young age for such a great man to die. I have very fond memories of "Mr Atyeo" as I always called him, he was very kind to me over a period of time when I went to most home games, I would walk to the ground from Hartcliffe, but could rarely afford the gate money as we had little spare cash due to my mother being widowed at a young age with 3 children to support (few of the benefits available to her then as are nowadays), I always hung around for autographs relishing the smell of liniment and the atmosphere of "real football". I recall a game I believe against Leyton Orient (or had they temporarily changed name to Orient at that time?), John was injured I believe and was waiting outside of the old main entrance to what became the Williams Stand, he asked why I was not inside as the game was about to start, I told him the reason and he immediately gave me a ticket that he had in his pocket, after that whenever he saw me outside collecting autographs he would always take me aside and quietly ask if I had a ticket, if not he always produced one. Once John retired I really do believe that he put Brian Clark in charge of giving me a ticket (another absolute gentleman who died far too young!!!) I admit that I was so very lucky to have had such amazing contact from a man who should have been a giant oif the national team, 6 games 5 goals and probably the only reason he didn't go to Sweden for the 1958 World Cup was that he played in Johnny Haynes' position and plied his trade in the 3rd Division. RIP Big John - my hero!!!
City - Brian Clark - All heart good footballer and city through and through as was his father Don whose career was interrupted by the war. Non City - Denis Law - Cross-eyed, thin as a rake and looked like he should be in a hospital bed, when defenders were told to watch Law they did, as that was all they could do, was there a better goal poacher? International - Bergkamp - Was there ever a better import into the British game? He had it all and did it with such a relaxed style - sublime.
Larger than life and twice as loud, I lived next door to Jack for a few years and worked with him for a short time during school holidays, always remember his criticism of fellow Painters and Decorators who used a certain tool - "He's no ....... good! He uses a Roller". RIP big man the world will be the poorer without you in it!