John Smith (American football)

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John Smith
Date of birth: (1949-12-30) December 30, 1949 (age 64)
Place of birth: Leafield, Oxfordshire, England
Career information
Status: Retired- Coaches soccer (WOBsters)
Position(s): Placekicker
Height: 6 ft 0 in (183 cm)
Weight: 186 lb (84 kg)
College: Southampton
NFL Draft: 1974 / Round:
Organizations
As player:
1973
1974-1983
New England Colonials (ACFL)
New England Patriots
Career highlights and awards
Pro Bowls: 1980
Awards: Named to Patriots All Decade Team for 1970's
Records: Currently the number three leading scorer in Patriots history
Career stats
Playing stats at DatabaseFootball.com

John Michael Smith (born 30 December 1949) is an English-born retired American football placekicker. He made his professional debut with the New England Patriots in 1974, remaining with the team until 1983.

Early years[edit]

John Smith trained as a teacher at King Alfred's College, Winchester in England between 1968 and 1971. After teaching for a year, he moved to the United States. He had not played American Football before but was an outstanding all-round sportsman and superb soccer player so he approached the New England Patriots and asked for a trial as a placekicker. New England saw his potential and he was sent to spend his 1973 season in the Atlantic Coast Football League before re-signing with the Patriots in 1974.[1]

The Snowplow Game and John Lennon's death[edit]

Smith is perhaps most famous for kicking the only points in the Snowplow Game, played 12 December 1982 in a snow storm at Foxboro Stadium. Convict Mark Henderson, released for a weekend work program, cleared the way with his snowplow for Smith to beat the Miami Dolphins and enter football lore. Two years earlier against Miami on 8 December 1980, Smith was getting ready to attempt a potential game-winning field goal when Howard Cosell announced to the Monday Night Football television audience that John Lennon (who had appeared on MNF six years before as a guest in the booth) had just been assassinated. (Smith's kick was blocked, however, and Miami won the game in overtime 16-13.)[2]

Smith led the NFL in scoring in 1979 and 1980. In 1982, Smith injured his right knee (on his non-kicking leg) and underwent arthroscopic surgery; he retired after the 1983 season as the second-highest scoring player in Patriots history, behind Gino Cappelletti.[3]

Post-retirement[edit]

Smith currently runs The John Smith Sports Center, an indoor sports complex in Milford, Massachusetts. Smith runs JSSA Magic (John Smith Soccer Academy), a premier soccer club for ages 8–18. He also runs John Smith's #1 Soccer School, a soccer camp held at various New England schools and colleges each summer.[4]

Personal life[edit]

Smith currently lives in Dover, Massachusetts, with his wife Vivienne. Smith has four children and his oldest daughter, Felicity Smith-Day, directs John Smith Soccer. She is a former college All-American. She also played professionally for Arsenal L.F.C.[4]

References[edit]

External links[edit]