Still only 18 when making his League debut with Southport, the stocky, genial red-haired Bradford
lad got his real opportunity in March 1963 when full-back Bryan Griffiths sustained serious injury
when he was successfully converted from wing-half. Later moving back to left- half with equal
aplomb, he became, at 21, Southport’s youngest ever Captain when appointed by Billy Bingham
before asking to be relieved of the Captaincy in favour of the more experienced Alex Parker in
Tony had earlier been a regular member of the Bradford schoolboy side and as an amateur played
for Bradford Park Avenue “A” and was selected for the Yorkshire Grammar school side. West Riding
youth honours followed and a cap for the English grammar schools’ team which defeated Scotland at
Turf Moor. It was his performances in the West Riding Youth side which brought him to the
attention of Blackpool where he graduated through the “B” and “A” teams into their Central League
Tony was signed in the close season of 1962 from Blackpool by the late Lem Newcomb on Alan Ball
Senior’s recommendation and made a promising debut on 1 st September against Newport after
creating a favourable impression in the Reserves.
Tony became a regular member of the side in 1963-64 season and his 143 League appearances
included 89 in succession until he injured an ankle in the Stockport County cup-tie at Haig Avenue in
December 1965, but he was back to star in the F.A. Cup triumphs over Ipswich Town and Cardiff City.
He is still fondly remembered by Southport fans of a certain age as a hard-tackling, industrious,
terrier type midfield player who passed the ball with authority.
In March 1966, Tony was transferred to Southend United for £5,000 to finance Jim Fryatt’s
acquisition. He continued to appear regularly for the Roots Hall Club before moving to Wrexham for
two seasons. His 313 th and final League appearance was Bradford Park Avenue’s last in the Football
League. He might have returned to Haig Avenue in 1970 but for the arrival of Laurie Calloway.
Tony later played for Kirkby Town and Morecambe before hanging up his boots. He worked as a
shop fitter before becoming a popular publican around the Preston, Manchester and Chorley area.
An all-round sportsman Tony was a member of the Bradford schoolboys’ cricket team and played for
Idle in the Bradford League being a hard- hitting batsman and medium pace bowler. During the
summer months whilst at Haig Avenue Tony acted as a lifeguard on Southport beaches.