John Crabbe

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For the Flemish seaman, see John Crabbe (died 1352).
John Crabbe
Personal information
Full name Stephen Allan John Crabbe
Date of birth (1954-10-20) 20 October 1954 (age 60)[1]
Place of birth Weymouth, England
Height 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
Playing position Midfielder
Youth career
1970–1972 Southampton
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1972–1977 Southampton 12 (0)
1976 Hellenic (loan)
1977–1981 Gillingham 181 (12)
1981–1982 Carlisle United 26 (4)
1982–1983 Hereford United[2] 16 (2)
1983–1985 Crewe Alexandra 75 (7)
1984 Kemin Palloseura 20 (5)
1985–1986 Torquay United 29 (2)
Kuopion Palloseura[3] 9 (0)
1986–1987 Crawley Town
1987–1990 Canterbury City
1990–1992 Ashford Town
1992–1997 Whitstable Town
Teams managed
1997 Weymouth[4]
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Stephen Allan John Crabbe (born 20 October 1954) is an English former professional footballer. He played for six Football League clubs, with his most successful spell coming at Gillingham.

Playing career[edit]

Crabbe, nicknamed "Buster" after the actor, was born in Weymouth, Dorset and began his career with Southampton where he graduated through the youth channels. He made his first-team debut in the FA Cup match against West Ham United on 4 January 1975, replacing David Peach who had been dropped following a poor performance in the previous league match. Described as "a tenacious midfielder",[5] Crabbe retained his place for the next few Division Two matches before the arrival of Jim McCalliog at the end of January. He made occasional appearances over the rest of the year but found it hard to break into the team on a permanent basis. In March 1976 he was loaned to Hellenic in South Africa.

Upon his return to English football in January 1977 he was sold to Gillingham for £10,000.[1] He quickly became a first team regular at Priestfield Stadium and went on to make over 180 Football League appearances, a figure which would have been higher had he not spent a long spell on the sidelines after breaking his arm in 1979.[1]

In 1981 Crabbe moved to Carlisle United, where he helped the team gain promotion to the Second Division a year later. Shortly after this he moved to Hereford United and later had spells with Crewe Alexandra and Torquay United before dropping into non-league football in 1986 where he played for Crawley Town, Canterbury City, Ashford Town and Whitstable Town, serving as player-coach at the latter two clubs.[1]

Summers 1984 and 1988 he played in Finland.

Managerial career[edit]

Crabbe returned to his home town as coach of Weymouth in July 1997 under manager Neil Webb. He was promoted to manager upon Webb's departure just three months later, but was himself dismissed before the end of the year.[4] He later had a spell as assistant manager at Lordswood.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e Triggs, Roger (2001). The Men Who Made Gillingham Football Club. Tempus Publishing Ltd. p. 96. ISBN 0-7524-2243-X. 
  2. ^ Hugman, Barry J. (1984). Canon League Football Players' Records 1946–1984. Newnes Books. p. 374. ISBN 0-600-37318-5. 
  3. ^ "John Crabbe". Post War English & Scottish Football League A – Z Player's Database. Retrieved 13 September 2007. 
  4. ^ a b Biddlecombe, Nigel (3 May 2006). "Too long in the wilderness". The Dorset Echo. Retrieved 13 September 2007. 
  5. ^ Holley, Duncan; Chalk, Gary (2003). In That Number – A post-war chronicle of Southampton FC. Hagiology. p. 498. ISBN 0-9534474-3-X.