Alan Boswell

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Alan Boswell
Personal information
Full name Alan Henry Boswell[1]
Date of birth (1943-08-08)8 August 1943[1]
Place of birth Walsall, England[1]
Date of death 24 August 2017(2017-08-24) (aged 74)
Playing position Goalkeeper
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1961–1963 Walsall 66 (0)
1963–1968 Shrewsbury Town 222 (0)
1968–1969 Wolverhampton Wanderers 10 (0)
1969–1972 Bolton Wanderers 51 (0)
1972–1974 Port Vale 86 (0)
Total 435 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Alan Henry Boswell (8 August 1943 – 24 August 2017) was an English football goalkeeper who made 479 league and cup appearances in a 12-year career in the English Football League.

He began his career at Walsall in 1961, before moving on to Shrewsbury Town in 1963. He spent five years at the club, before winning a move to First Division club Wolverhampton Wanderers in 1968. The next year he moved on to Bolton Wanderers, before signing with Port Vale in July 1972. He left Vale Park in May 1974, and later turned out for Oswestry Town.

Playing career[edit]

Boswell started his career with home town club Walsall, who finished 14th in the Second Division in 1961–62, under the stewardship of Bill Moore. He remained the first choice keeper at Fellows Park in 1962–63, as the "Saddlers" were relegated into the Third Division. He moved on to league rivals Shrewsbury Town, who finished mid-table in 1963–64, 1964–65 and 1965–66, before missing out on promotion by four places and three points in 1966–67. The "Shrews" finished third in 1967–68, missing out on promotion by a single point. He was the first choice stopper for Arthur Rowley's side throughout his five years at Gay Meadow.

Boswell signed with Wolverhampton Wanderers in 1968, but played just ten First Division games in 1968–69, including a 6–0 defeat to Liverpool at Molineux. He was sold on to Bolton Wanderers at the end of the campaign, who were competing in the Second Division under the stewardship of Nat Lofthouse. The "Trotters" finished 16th in 1969–70, before suffering relegation in last place in 1970–71. In his last season at Burnden Park, 1971–72, Bolton finished seventh in the Third Division.

He moved to Gordon Lee's Third Division Port Vale in July 1972 and kept a clean sheet on his debut in a draw with Rochdale at Spotland on 12 August that year.[1] He spent two seasons of regular football with the club, leaving some unpleasant memories for many Vale fans: conceding seven goals to Rotherham United at Millmoor, he was sent off for fighting during a 1–0 win at Swansea Town at Vetch Field, and managed to palm the ball into his own net in a 1–1 draw with former club Walsall at Vale Park.[1] He was favoured ahead of Reg Edwards in 1972–73 and 1973–74.[1] He was given a free transfer in May 1974 by new manager Roy Sproson, and moved on to non-league side Oswestry Town, where he also served as manager.[1]

Style of play[edit]

Boswell was a goalkeeper ahead of his time, as he was castigated for his teammates for warming up outside the goal area before games, which became common practice after his retirement.[2] He also bought his own kit and wore gloves, which few other goalkeepers did at the time.[2]

Later life[edit]

After retiring from football, he ran a newsagent's shop in Shrewsbury and found success in the pool table industry.[2] His daughter, Faye Turney, was one of the 15 British naval personnel seized by Iran in 2007.[3] His death was reported on 24 August 2017.[4]

Statistics[edit]

Source:[5]

Club Season Division League FA Cup Other Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Walsall 1961–62 Second Division 25 0 4 0 0 0 29 0
1962–63 Second Division 41 0 1 0 1 0 43 0
Total 66 0 5 0 1 0 72 0
Shrewsbury Town 1963–64 Third Division 39 0 1 0 1 0 41 0
1964–65 Third Division 43 0 6 0 2 0 51 0
1965–66 Third Division 42 0 8 0 3 0 53 0
1966–67 Third Division 46 0 3 0 3 0 52 0
1967–68 Third Division 46 0 5 0 1 0 52 0
1968–69 Third Division 6 0 0 0 1 0 7 0
Total 222 0 23 0 11 0 256 0
Wolverhampton Wanderers 1968–69 First Division 10 0 0 0 0 0 10 0
Bolton Wanderers 1969–70 Second Division 22 0 1 0 0 0 23 0
1970–71 Second Division 29 0 1 0 3 0 33 0
Total 51 0 2 0 3 0 56 0
Port Vale 1972–73 Third Division 44 0 3 0 2 0 49 0
1973–74 Third Division 42 0 4 0 0 0 46 0
Total 86 0 7 0 2 0 95 0
Career Total 435 0 37 0 17 0 479 0

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Kent, Jeff (1996). Port Vale Personalities. Witan Books. p. 35. ISBN 0-9529152-0-0. 
  2. ^ a b c Instone, David (18 March 2009). "Wolves Heroes » Blog Archive » Castigated – But Definitely A Visionary". wolvesheroes.com. Retrieved 24 August 2017. 
  3. ^ "Faye's devotion to daughter". Shropshire Star. 23 March 2007. Archived from the original on 31 March 2007. Retrieved 22 March 2010. 
  4. ^ "Alan Boswell". shrewsburytown.com. 24 August 2017. Retrieved 24 August 2017. 
  5. ^ Alan Boswell profile at the English National Football Archive (subscription required)