|Full name||John Brooks|
|Date of birth||23 December 1931|
|Place of birth||Reading, England|
|Height||5 ft 9.5 in (1.77 m)|
|Playing position||Inside forward|
|Coley Boys Club|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
Johnny Brooks (born 23 December 1931 in Reading) is a former professional footballer and manager who played for Reading, Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea, Brentford, Crystal Palace in the Football League. Brooks represented England on three occasions, scoring twice. Towards the end of his career he played in non-league football with Stevenage Town and Cambridge City and in North America with Cleveland Stokers. He later managed Knebworth. He is the father of Shaun Brooks who also had a career in professional football.
Brooks' career began as a youth at Coley Boys Club, Mount Pleasant and he also represented Reading & Berkshire schoolboys. An inside forward, began his senior club career at his hometown club, Division Three South side Reading. Brooks joined the Royals in February 1949 as an amateur, signing professional forms two months later. While with Reading, Brooks served his national service at Aldershot and represented the Army football team. He made 46 appearances and scored five goals over the course of a three-year spell, helping the club to third and second-place finishes in the 1950/51 and 1951/52 seasons respectively. Brooks departed the club in February 1953.
After turning down moves to Newcastle United, Arsenal and West Ham United, Brooks joined Division One side Tottenham Hotspur in February 1953 for £6000, with Dennis Uphill and Harry Robshaw moving to Reading. He later recalled that Tottenham had always been in his blood, after watching the 1950 Division Two and 1951 Division One championship seasons on the terraces at White Hart Lane. After starting out in the reserve team, Brooks made his first team debut in a 2–0 defeat to Stoke City on 6 April 1953, but it would prove to be his only appearance of the 1952/53 season. By the 1954/55 season, Brooks had broken through into the first team, making 31 appearances and scoring seven goals. After the departure of manager Arthur Rowe in 1995, the best years of Brooks' Spurs career came under new manager Jimmy Anderson, scoring in double figures to help Tottenham to second and third place finishes in the 1956/57 and 1957/58 seasons respectively. His performances also won him England recognition. A bust up with new manager Bill Nicholson after a 6–0 defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers in 1958 was the beginning of the end of Brooks' time at White Hart Lane and he departed the club in December 1959. Brooks scored 51 goals in 179 appearances during his six and a half years with Tottenham.
Brooks joined Division One side Chelsea for £20000 in December 1959, with Les Allen moving to Tottenham Hotspur in exchange. The move reunited Brooks with his former Reading manager Ted Drake. Brooks scored on his debut for the club, netting a consolation in a 3–1 defeat to Blackpool on 12 December. He made 52 appearances and scored seven goals over the course of a spell which lasted until September 1961.
Brooks signed for Chelsea's West London neighbours Brentford in September 1961 in a £5000 deal. He made 38 league appearances and scored 10 goals over the course of a disastrous 1961/62 season in Division Three, with a 23rd place finish relegating the Bees to Division Four for the 1962/63 season. In Division Four, Brooks was the playmaker and inspired Brentford to the title, making 39 appearances, scoring 22 goals and winning the first club silverware of his career. He missed the final few games of the season after suffering a torn groin and his fitness troubles continued into the 1963/64 season, in which he scored four goals in six games before leaving the club. Brooks made 92 appearances and scored over 40 goals during his time at Griffin Park. Looking back in 2005, Brooks revealed "in many ways the two years I spent at Brentford were my happiest in the game".
Brooks joined Division Three side Crystal Palace in January 1964. He made just seven appearances for the club before departing at the end of the 1963/64 season, after the club's promotion to Division Two was confirmed.
Brooks spurned the interest of Lincoln City and Aldershot and travelled to Canada in May 1964, to sign for Eastern Canada Professional Soccer League side Toronto City. Among his teammates at the club were Tony Book, Ted Purdon, Norman Sykes and player-manager Malcolm Allison.
Return to non-league football
Brooks' goalscoring for Tottenham Hotspur won him a call up to the England squad for a British Home Championship match versus Wales on 14 November 1956. He scored the second goal in a 3–1 victory. He was called up again for a friendly versus Yugoslavia two weeks later and again got on the scoresheet in a 3–0 win. Brooks' third and final cap came in a 5–2 1958 World Cup qualification win over Denmark on 5 December 1956.
Brooks was one of the earliest British footballers to endorse hair products, advertising Max Factor shampoo during the 1950s. Brooks' son Shaun was also a professional footballer and played for Leyton Orient, Crystal Palace, Bournemouth, was capped by England at schoolboy and youth level and managed Dorchester Town. After retiring from football, Brooks worked alongside friend and former teammate Tommy Harmer as a messenger for Bank Hapoalim, until being made redundant at the age of 60. With the help of former teammate Micky Dulin, Brooks then became a park-keeper at Ridgeway Park in Chingford. Brooks retired and moved to Bournemouth in 1997. It was reported in 2014 that Brooks is suffering with vascular dementia.
As a player
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- "England Players – Johnny Brooks". Englandfootballonline.com. Retrieved 23 July 2014.
- "johnny brooks – fact file". Archive.mehstg.com. Retrieved 23 July 2014.
- "Johnnie Brooks 2 November 2001 – News". tottenhamhotspur.com. 2 November 2001. Retrieved 23 July 2014.
- Benjamin Strack-Zimmermann (23 December 1931). "Johnny Brooks". National Football Teams. Retrieved 23 July 2014.
- "Football Club History Database – Reading". Fchd.info. Retrieved 23 July 2014.
- "John (Johnny) Brooks | Chelsea Player Profile | Stamford-Bridge.com The History of Chelsea FC". Stamford-bridge.com. 12 December 1959. Retrieved 23 July 2014.
- "Brentford Football Club History". Brentfordfchistory.co.uk. Retrieved 23 July 2014.
- Hayes, Graham (1998). A-Z of Bees: Brentford Encyclopedia. Yore Publications. ISBN 1 874427 57 7.
- Lane, David (2005). Cult Bees & Legends: Volume Two. Hampton Hill: Legends Publishing. pp. 166–171. ASIN B00NPZL58S. ISBN 0954368282.
- Holmesdale Online www.holmesdale.net. "Johnny Brooks – Crystal Palace FC Supporters' Website – The Holmesdale Online". Holmesdale.net. Retrieved 23 July 2014.
- "Football Club History Database – Crystal Palace". Fchd.info. Retrieved 23 July 2014.
- "Toronto Italia. – Cerebral Soccer". Tillotson.co.nz. Retrieved 23 July 2014.
- NASL career stats
- "Knebworth Football Club". Knebworthfc.intheteam.com. Retrieved 23 July 2014.
- Lamming, Douglas (1990). English Football Internationalists' Who's Who. Hatton Press. pp. 48, 49.
- Where are they now? Retrieved 16 September 2008
- 27 June, 2014July 14, 2014 (27 June 2014). "Johnny Brooks | bfctalk". Bfctalk.wordpress.com. Retrieved 23 July 2014.