Arsenal’s Century Club – John Radford

Nineteen players have achieved the feat of scoring 100 goals for the Club over the past 96 years. The players are sorted by the number of games taken to reach the 100 goal mark. Big Raddy sits at number 17.

John Radford was born on 22 February 1947 in Hemsworth, Yorkshire.

He joined Arsenal as an apprentice in 1962, turning professional in February 1964.

During an interview he said – “I well remember the day before my debut in Arsenal’s senior side. It was Friday 20th March 1964, just a month after my 17th birthday. In those days we youngsters had to do all sorts of menial tasks around the place and one of them that day was to clean the baths at Highbury stadium. I was scrubbing away when the next thing I knew, our manager Billy Wright was standing watching me.

“John, you’ll need to rest up a bit when you’ve finished doing that.” he said looking serious.

“Why’s that?” I replied a bit puzzled.

“Because you’re playing at West Ham tomorrow” he said and walked away leaving me stunned as you can well imagine.”

Prior to the start of the 1968-69 football season. (Photo by Rolls Press/Popperfoto/Getty Images)

John was a prolific goal scorer in his youth but his only appearance in 1964-65 was his debut game against West Ham. In the 1965-66 season he played 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.

He soon became an Arsenal regular, and blossomed under the management of Bertie Mee; in 1968-69, although he had been moved out to the right wing, he scored nineteen goals and reached the 1969 League Cup final. As he peaked, so did Arsenal; in 1969-70 he again scored nineteen goals, and helped Arsenal win the 1970 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, their first trophy in seventeen years; John scored the second goal in Arsenal’s 3-0 win in the second leg of the final, which they won 4-3 on aggregate.

John was moved up front again and continued to score regularly. The following season (1970-71) he scored 21 goals, his best single tally in a season, forming a partnership with Ray Kennedy they recorded 47 goals between them. With his goals, John was an instrumental part of Arsenal’s FA Cup and League Championship double-winning side, and his assists played an important role too; 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.

Arsenal footballers Ray Kennedy, Frank McClintock, (captain) and John Radford celebrating in the changing room after Arsenal’s 2-1 victory over Liverpool in the FA Cup final. Original Publication: People Disc – HP0267 (Photo by Evening Standard/Getty Images)

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 John only played twice in the first four months of 1976-77.

Unable to keep a regular place in the side, he moved on to West Ham United in December 1976 for £80,000. After a year and 28 league appearances and no goals with the Hammers, Radford joined Blackburn Rovers in 1977. He was moderately successful with the Second Division side, scoring ten times in 38 league appearances. He left Rovers in 1978 and played for non-league Bishop’s Stortford before retiring. After retiring, he became a pub landlord, and enjoyed several spells as manager of Bishop’s Stortford in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

In all he played 485 times for Arsenal, scoring 149 goals, which makes him Arsenal’s fourth all-time top scorer.

His 100th goal was scored against Leicester City at Highbury on September 25th 1971 in his 306th game for Arsenal.

In a supporter’s poll to determine Arsenal’s all time top 50 players John placed 24th. His total of 149 goals puts him 4th on Arsenal’s all time top goalscorer list.



55 Responses to Arsenal’s Century Club – John Radford

  1. mickydidit89 says:

    Done it again GN5, thank you

    Had no idea Big Raddy had sucut well for the big fella as your post, and Chas’ clips, so eloquently show

  2. mickydidit89 says:


    Oh, never mind 🙂

  3. chas says:

    such skill for a big fella?

  4. chas says:

    Thanks, GN5.
    Another cracker.

    John Radford seems to have been universally liked – a whole-hearted, down to Earth Northerner (but let’s not hold that against him 🙂 )

    It’s plain to see why certain folk from Copenhagen might regard him as a favourite player. 🙂

  5. Big Raddy says:

    Top notch GN5. Anything about my nomme de plume is worth a read!

    And thank you chas for finding the vids/pics.

    I am surprised that BR was so young – I always thought of him as so much older than me yet in reality age gap is just a few years. I was a kid on the terraces and he was The Man. Weird.

    BR was a very old fashioned CF, a target man, brilliant in the air and an expert at holding up the ball. That he had George Armstrong on the wing must have helped his goal scoring.

    I could write reams about Radford and that first double team but an old man’s reminiscences are extraordinarily dull

  6. Big Raddy says:

    GN5. You have made a very quick recovery from your eye operation. Hope all went as well as you wished.

  7. RA says:

    Well, well, well — another gem from the pen keyboard of GN5 — and I am surprised that it did not lead to a paroxysm of delight from our own Raddy — singing, dancing, and ululating – oh, what did you say? Ahh, I see, he already has!! 🤪

  8. chas says:

  9. VP says:

    Another Pearl GN5, thank you
    and thank you Micky “double staked and rubber tubed”

  10. mickydidit89 says:


    I’ll assume that means something totally different in Aus. My mind boggles 🙂

  11. mickydidit89 says:

    Ok, back to sleep. Got flu this morning, and I need it gone by lunchtime.

  12. chas says:

  13. VP says:

    would make a great album name “double staked and rubber tubed” by the Butthole Surfers

  14. LBG says:

    A brilliant post, a brilliant player. That 1970 Fairs Cup Final still raises the hairs on the back of my neck.
    17 years without a trophy! How the modern moaners don’t know how lucky they are!

  15. GunnerN5 says:

    Morning all, I’ll be out for a good part of today with my family.

    LBG, In my first 40 years, supporting Arsenal, we only won trophies in 6 of those seasons, they totaled 3 League Championships, 3 FA Cups, 2 Charity Shields and then (after 17 barren years) we won the Fairs Cup. Incredibly enough we won the League in the first season I managed to get inside Highbury (1947/48) however we only won the league twice in the next 38/9 seasons……………

    But, boy oh boy, did we ever celebrate when we won something!!!

  16. Big Raddy says:

    I have a fancy for Rathvinden,in the Grand National this afternoon – it means The Angry Wind in danish.

    Anyone have a tip?

  17. GunnerN5 says:

    It was great watching the Man U game Chas – I still have my program from the game with the autographs of George Best, Charlie George and Jon Sammels. I just pulled it out to look at for the umpteenth time.

    In fact I still have all of the home program’s and a few of the away games from the 1970/71 season.

    The memories just keep flooding back – and that’s one of the reasons I love putting these posts together.

  18. chas says:

  19. fred1266 says:

    Great read as always

  20. LB says:

    Well, I well and truly savored reading that, still a very good idea for a post.

  21. allezkev says:

    Really enjoyed yesterday’s and today’s posts, full of interesting facts, nice work again GN5.
    The church hall next to Goodison Park does a really nice cup of tea and an interesting selection on home made cakes in case anyone is going up there tomorrow.

    Best John Radford goal I saw was at Anfield 1973, still my favourite Arsenal goal.

  22. Big Raddy says:

    I was at both the MU and the Anderlecht games.

    The Anderlecht evening was possibly my favourite Highbury game. It was also the only time I stood on the hallowed turf as we invaded the pitch at the final whistle. It was bedlam

  23. chas says:

    Radford goal at 4m50s, AK. 🙂

  24. allezkev says:

    Thank you Chas, I really enjoyed that, my first visit to Anfield and still the best 🙂
    Sadly a season when the league title slipped through our fingers…

  25. chas says:

  26. mickydidit89 says:

    Motning motningers

    James Cracknell, 46!!!, is rowing in the Cmabridge boat today!

    Oh hang on, were these articles written April 1?

    No, apparently true

    Not sure why, but it’s one of the very few sports I enjoy watching. Once a year and about 20 mins might help 🙂

  27. chas says:

    It was best when they sunk

  28. mickydidit89 says:

    Hey Chas

    Saw your cat scarpering vid yesterday referencing Peaches appearing mornings.

    As I recall, I was always more frightened most matches. I’d prepare myself ahead of the final whistle by pencilling into the POST COMMENT box on about 89 mins…..”Great three points. Night all”. Then moment ref blew, hit the button and vanish

  29. mickydidit89 says:

    Oh the sinking..yip, fantastic

    It is an impressive sight, the rowing 8. In the olympics I’ll watch the 100m and the 8. That’s it

  30. chas says:

    I like the 8 in the Olympics but in the boat race, they always know which team is faster beforehand. You always know who’s going to win.
    It’s a bit like Formula one.

  31. chas says:

    Haha, yeah, the dreaded match report. Looking back at old posts, I realised how many LB did. It’s not surprising he’s passed on the baton.

    BR doing the match reports and GN5’s Blasts are the only constants.

    Another thing about match reports is that everyone wants to give their five pennorth straight after the game, not wait for the post the following day.

    They’re taking me less and less time these days which is good as everyone just wants some ratings to disagree with anyway. 🙂

  32. mickydidit89 says:

    Agree on match reports. Never saw the point. Telling everyone who saw the game what happened.

    Don’t think I’ve ever read one in a newspaper.

    Ratings only as you say.

  33. mickydidit89 says:

    As for today, Erik has a problem, because are being a little slippery with news of Granit, Kos and Ramsey

  34. chas says:

    They’re still the posts that pull in the most punters, though, so they do help with blog health.

  35. chas says:

    Do you think they’re trying to fool BR or Everton?

  36. mickydidit89 says:

    Phew, 2:05 KO. Feared it may have been 4pm. I have to be somewhere at 4, so I’ll at least see first half

  37. chas says:

    I reckon he’s been on the mead and psilocybin anyway so Dennis knows what eleven he might pick.

    I’m expecting McGoldrick and Gus Caesar to feature.

  38. mickydidit89 says:

    BR….obviously. That’s what the club PR machine is for. Exclusively monitoring Erik 🙂

  39. chas says:

    Yep 2.05 is good.

    The Wolves Watford semi might be quite tasty.

    Wolves to win and knock the stuffing out of Watford’s season for our away game there and Wolves being cautious about injuries for the Final with our game at Molineux at the end of the month?

  40. mickydidit89 says:

    apparently those ‘shrooms open the mind to other dimensions and clarity of thought

    Then you see a pic of the kind of loon that says those things

  41. chas says:

    Haha, when I saw this I thought, they’ve been looking at our posts again for material!

  42. chas says:

    I’ve been reading a book which mentions ibogaine which reportedly allows you to talk to dead people.
    Derek Acorah is a big fan.

  43. chas says:

    Just remembered Clinton Baptiste from Phoenix Nights. 🙂

  44. mickydidit89 says:

    Derek Acorah, Clinton Baptiste, Phoenix Nights

    You’re now just listing things you know I have to google. Well, I won’t 🙂

  45. chas says:

  46. LB says:

    Pass the baton?

    Run away screaming……

    Unfortunately I was never able to write them quickly they were always very time consuming. I am pleased you find them quicker to write I enjoy reading them, long may they continue.

  47. mickydidit89 says:

    Come on then, one slider and we”ll clear off and leave the place to the football bores 🙂

  48. chas says:

    Original City Hall subway station, IRT Lexington Avenue Line, 1904

  49. mickydidit89 says:

    Blimey, LB apols, I do not include you in football bores

  50. chas says:

    Haha, LB.
    I’m doing the first half write up at half time and typing out the players names for the rankings, then give everyone a 7 and shift them up or down depending on what my cognitive bias has dictated. 🙂

  51. chas says:

    Anyhoo, I’ve gotta go.

  52. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Seems I missed the banter 😦

  53. Big Raddy says:

    I have never seen Phoenix Nights but after that clip I wish I had 😀

  54. Big Raddy says:

    There is a New Post

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