Ivor Allchurch

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Ivor Allchurch
Ivor Allchurch.JPG
Statue of Allchurch outside the Liberty Stadium, Swansea.
Personal information
Full name Ivor John Allchurch[1]
Date of birth (1929-10-16)16 October 1929
Place of birth Swansea, Wales
Date of death 10 July 1997(1997-07-10) (aged 67)
Place of death Swansea, Wales
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Playing position Inside forward
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1947–1958 Swansea Town 327 (124)
1958–1962 Newcastle United 143 (46)
1962–1965 Cardiff City 103 (39)
1965–1968 Swansea Town 118 (40)
Total 691 (249)
National team
1950–1966 Wales 68 (23[2])
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Ivor John Allchurch MBE (16 October 1929 – 10 July 1997) was a Welsh international footballer. His brother was Len Allchurch.

Known as 'The Golden Boy' of Welsh football,[3] Allchurch played for Swansea Town, Newcastle United and Cardiff City, where he played 691 games and scored 249 goals. His record of 68 caps for Wales stood until 1986, when it was exceeded by Joey Jones.[4] He also held the record number of goals scored for Wales, 23, which was eventually broken by Ian Rush. His talents were more widely recognised after his performance for Wales during the 1958 World Cup, in which he helped them to reach the quarter finals.

Biography[edit]

Early life[edit]

Allchurch was born in Swansea, and was first spotted playing football at Cwm Level,[5] in the Plasmarl area of Swansea, where he lived at the time. Joe Sykes,[6] a scout and former player of Swansea Town, who was there to watch another player, felt that in Allchurch he had 'unearthed a gem of great quality'. After gaining Allchurch's father's permission, Mr Sykes, as he was known by the players, took Ivor to meet the then manager of Swansea Town, Haydn Green.

Playing career[edit]

Allchurch started his career at Swansea Town in 1947, although he did not make his league debut until the 1950–51 season because of National Service. He went on to make 445 appearances and score 164 goals.

He joined Newcastle United in 1958 for a fee in the region of £28,000.[6] In August 1962, he moved on to Cardiff City, scoring on his debut in a 4–4 draw with his former club Newcastle United.[4] He went on to finish as the club's top scorer in the 1963–64 and 1964–65 seasons and later returned for a second spell at Swansea, at the age of 35. He was released by Swansea at the end of the 1967–68 season and signed for Worcester City. He later had a spell as player-manager of Haverfordwest County and ended his career at Pontardawe Athletic at the age of 50. Allchurch played 691 league games and scored 249 goals in his professional career.

He made his international debut against England in the Home Championships in November 1950 [7] and played his final game for his country against Chile in 1966. In all, Allchurch scored 23 goals for Wales (a record until 1986) in 68 appearances (also a record until 1986). He was also a member of the Welsh squad that played in the 1958 FIFA World Cup in Sweden. Allchurch got his first cap for Wales when only 20 years old and thereafter he did not miss an international game for six years, a run of 27 consecutive appearances including the game against the Rest of the United Kingdom. [8]

Playing style and character[edit]

A similar player to Northern Ireland's Peter Doherty, Allchurch was a talented footballer, able to move past players with ease. His overall game was unhurried, consisting of pinpoint passes. He had a strong left-foot shot that could also be very accurate, scoring most of his goals from outside of the box. On and off the pitch Allchurch has been described as 'a gentleman', with a quiet unassuming manner.

Allchurch died in 1997, aged 67, at his home in his much loved City of Swansea. His funeral service, held at the city's Morriston crematorium, was attended by hundreds of people including many famous footballers.

Recognition of achievements[edit]

In 1966, he was awarded an MBE in recognition of his services to football.[6] He is also a member of the Welsh Sports Hall of Fame.[9]

To celebrate Allchurch's achievements for his local club, it was originally decided that money should be raised for a bust of him, which was raised by Swansea City supporters. In 2005, a life-sized statue of Allchurch was unveiled outside Swansea City's newly opened Liberty Stadium.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Search 1984 to 2006 – Birth, Marriage and Death indexes". Findmypast.com. Retrieved 2010-05-06. 
  2. ^ Alpuin, Luis Fernando Passo (20 February 2009). "Wales – Record International Players". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 10 March 2009. 
  3. ^ "All aboard the Ivor Allchurch ftrmetro". Swansea City A.F.C. 17 October 2009. Retrieved 2010-05-06. 
  4. ^ a b Hayes, Dean (2006). The Who's Who of Cardiff City. Breedon Books. ISBN 1-85983-462-0. 
  5. ^ "Ivor Allchurch". South Wales Evening Post. 18 August 2008. Retrieved 2010-05-06. 
  6. ^ a b c Jones, Ken (12 July 1997). "Obituary: Ivor Allchurch". London: The Independent. Retrieved 2010-05-06. 
  7. ^ Soccer Whos Who compiled by Maurice Golesworthy The Sportsmans Book Club London 1965
  8. ^ Soccer Whos Who compiled by Maurice Golesworthy The Sportsmans Book Club London 1965
  9. ^ "Inductees to roll of honour". Welsh Sports Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2010-05-06. 
  10. ^ "Swans unveil Allchurch monument". BBC News. Retrieved 2014-05-07. 
Awards
Preceded by
Wales Bryn Meredith
BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year
1962
Succeeded by
Wales Howard Winstone