John Richards (footballer)

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John Richards
Personal information
Full name John Peter Richards[1]
Date of birth (1950-11-09) 9 November 1950 (age 63)[1]
Place of birth Warrington, Lancashire, England[1]
Height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Playing position Striker
Youth career
1967–1969 Wolverhampton Wanderers
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1969–1983 Wolverhampton Wanderers 385 (144)
1982–1983 Derby County (loan) 10 (2)
1983–1985 Marítimo 44 (23)
National team
1972–1974 England Under-23 6 (1)
1973 England 1 (0)
1977 England Under-21 2 (0)
1978 England B 3 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

John Peter Richards (born 9 November 1950) is an English former international footballer, who played as a striker.

He spent almost all his career at Wolverhampton Wanderers, where he broke the club's goalscoring record ending with 194 goals in his tally (later overtaken by Steve Bull).

During a fourteen-year association with Wolves he won two League Cups and also played in the very first UEFA Cup Final in 1972. He was capped once by the England national team in 1973.

Career[edit]

Richards signed for the Molineux club as a professional in July 1969 and made his debut on 28 February 1970 in a 3-3 draw at West Bromwich Albion. He scored his first league goal for Wolves the following season against Huddersfield Town on 19 September 1970.

In 1971–72, "King John" came of age, scoring 13 league goals and helping Wolves become runners-up in the UEFA Cup. The following season he was even stronger, scoring 36 goals in total (his highest seasonal tally) and, in 1974, he scored the winning goal as the team beat Manchester City to win the League Cup. Richards was leading scorer for Wolves in six of the next seven seasons, culminating in winning a second League Cup medal in 1980 against Nottingham Forest.

During his time with the club, Richards became Wolves’ all-time leading scorer with 194 goals in total, a record that was subsequently bettered by Steve Bull in 1992. However, he still holds the club record for the most FA Cup goals, with 24.

Richards eventually left the club and moved to Portugal in 1983, following a loan spell with Derby County. He played two seasons for C.S. Marítimo, helping the side to promotion.

Richards' goal-scoring prowess was rewarded with a single England cap, against Northern Ireland on 12 May 1973 at Goodison Park. The competition for international places was fierce, though, and the acknowledged talent England possessed in the form of Kevin Keegan, Martin Chivers and Allan Clarke ensured Richards became a "one-cap wonder".[2]

After retiring as a player, Richards went into local government in Wolverhampton; later returning to Wolves as managing director in 1994, a post he held until 2000. He currently works as operations director of Pitchcare, a Telford-based online service for groundsmen.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Birth Registration Details" Ancestry.co.uk (Retrieved: 25 July 2009)
  2. ^ Lloyd, Grahame; "One Cap Wonders: The Ultimate Claim to Football Fame" Robson Books, 23 November 2001; Hardback, 256pp, ISBN 1-86105-415-7
  3. ^ "Pitchcare: The Team" PitchCare.com (Retrieved: 25 July 2009)