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Players Index Page Last Updated
3 January 2018

Geoff Bradford

Bristol Rovers FC

1 appearance, 1 debut goal

P 1 W 1 D 0 L 0 F 5: A 1
100% successful


captain: none
minutes played:


  Geoffrey Reginald William Bradford
Birth 18 July 1927 in Frenchay, Bristol, Gloucestershire [registered in Bristol, September 1927].
Attended Soundwell School
Marriage to Betty Flay [registered in Kingswood, March 1951].
Death 30 December 1994 in Bristol, aged 67 years 165 days [registered in Bristol, Gloucestershire December 1994].


Douglas Lammings' An English Football Internationalist Who's Who [1990] &

Club Career

Club(s) Played schoolboy football in Bristol and played with local side Soundwell FC whilst having trials with Blackpool FC and Blackburn Rovers FC. Bristol Rovers FC signed Bradford in May 1949, and he remained until his retirement in 1964, despite breaking his leg in November 1953, keeping him out for six months. He made 461 league appearances, scoring 245 goals.
Club honours Football League Division Three (South) winners 1952-53;
Individual honours None
Distinctions None
Height/Weight 6' 1", 12st. 7lbs [1957].


Douglas Lammings' An English Football Internationalist Who's Who [1990].

England Career

Player number One of three who became the 748th players (750) to appear for England.
Position(s) Inside-left
Only match No. 298, 2 October 1955, Denmark 1 England 5, a British Exhibition match at Idrætsparken, København, aged 28 years 76 days.
Major tournaments World Cup Finals 1954 (provisional)
Team honours None
Individual honours None
Distinctions The eleventh Gloucestershirian to represent England.

Beyond England

After his retirement in 1964, Bradford became a petrol tanker driver, continuing to live quietly in Bristol. - An English Football Internationalists' Who's Who. Douglas Lamming (1990). Hatton Press, p.42.


The Numbers
Parties Apps comp. apps Starts substitute unused Mins. goals ave.min comp. goals Capt. Disc.
1 1 0 1 none none 90 1 90 min 0 none none
minutes are an approximation, due to the fact that many matches rarely stick to exactly ninety minutes long, allowing time for injuries and errors.
1 1 0 0 5 1 +4 0 0 5.00 1.00 100.0 +1

Match Record

Venue/Comp/Colour P W D L F A GD FTS CS FAv AAv Pts % W/L
Away - Friendly - White 1 1 0 0 5 1 +4 0 0 5.00 1.00 100.0 +1

Match History
 Club: Bristol Rovers F.C. - one full appearance (90 min), one goal

manager: Walter Winterbottom - one full appearance (90 min), one goalx

Age 26
Geoff Bradford was part of the pre-World Cup two-day training session held in Roehampton on 1 & 2 June.

Age 28
1 298 2 October 1955 - Denmark 1 England 5, Idrætsparken, København Fr AW Start 82 10


Football in general, and Bristol Rovers in particular, could do with more men like Geoff Bradford. He was the most prolific goal-scorer in that homely club's history; he remains the only "Pirate" to win a full England cap; and, were it possible to hold a cross-generation poll of fans to determine the finest player ever to wear Rovers' distinctive blue-and-white quarters, the odds would be heavily in favour of the gentle, acutely unassuming Bristolian coming out on top.

When Bradford was in his bountiful 1950s prime, he was accorded a sporting celebrity in the West Country exceeded only by that of his close friend and rival the late John Atyeo of Bristol City; meanwhile at grounds around the country, he was often the only Rovers player of whom supporters had heard. The acclaim, however, never turned his head, and when the two men were together at a function, invariably Bradford would ask the more outgoing (though also modest) Atyeo to deal with the demands of press and public.

Bradford's impressive record - 260 goals in 511 senior outings - owed much to a sharp-edged technical talent which contrasted vividly with his unthrusting personality. He was as clean, accurate and powerful a striker of the ball with either foot as could be found outside the game's top division (in which, sadly, he never played), his touch was subtle and certain, his timing in the air was intuitive.

To these gifts were added a natural resilience which saw him return in triumph from two fearful leg injuries which might have put him out of football for good. His critics called him lazy, but Bradford, known as "Rip" (Van Winkle) to team-mates because of his knack for sleeping before a match, could justifiably refer them to his goal tally. His England chance came in October 1955, against Denmark in Copenhagen, when he scored once and made another for Tom Finney in a 5-1 victory. It seemed enough to warrant a second call but this never arrived and Bradford returned uncomplainingly to bread-and-butter duty with Rovers, who had plucked him from local amateur ranks in 1949 and who remained his only professional club.

The highlight of Bradford's 15 years at Eastville - the much-loved home of the Pirates until a controversial move to Bath in 1986 - came in 1952-53 when his club record of 33 goals did much to secure the Division III (South) Championship. Had his peak years not coincided with football's maximum-wage restriction, it is reasonable to suppose that such a talent would have moved on to more lucrative fields, but all who revelled in his exploits as a Rover would find it hard to imagine their faithful spearhead in the colours of another club.

After his retirement in 1964, Bradford became a petrol tanker driver, continuing to live quietly in the city of his birth. - The Independent Obituary 2 January 1995