Bernard Joy

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Bernard Joy
Bernard Joy.jpg
Personal information
Full name Bernard Joy
Date of birth (1911-10-29)29 October 1911
Place of birth Fulham, London, England
Date of death 18 July 1984(1984-07-18) (aged 72)
Place of death Kenton, London, England
Height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Playing position Centre half
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1931–1948 Casuals
1931–1933Southend United 0 (0)
1933–1934Fulham 1 (0)
1935–1947 Arsenal 86 (0)
1940Southampton 1 (0)
1940–1941West Ham United 2 (0)
National team
c. 1930s England Amateurs 12 (0)
1936 England 1 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Bernard Joy (29 October 1911 – 18 July 1984) was an English footballer and journalist. He is notable for being the last amateur player to play for the England national football team.


Joy was born in Fulham, London and educated at Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School.[1] He studied at the University of London, playing in his spare time for the university football side at centre half. After graduating, he played for Casuals, where he eventually became club captain, leading them to victory in the 1936 FA Amateur Cup final. He also won ten caps for the England amateur team and was captain of the Great Britain football side at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. Bernard was father to Christopher Margaret and Karen Joy.

While still registered as a Casuals player, Joy also played for several other clubs in an amateur capacity, including Southend United (1931–33) and Fulham (1933–34). In May 1935 he joined Arsenal, then First Division champions. Joy mainly played as a reserve, only playing two games in his first season – he didn't make his debut for Arsenal until 1 April 1936 against Bolton Wanderers. Arsenal won the FA Cup that season but Joy played no part in the final.

However, he did gain recognition at international level soon after, when on 9 May 1936, he played for England in their 3-2 loss against Belgium, making him the last amateur to play for the national side; given the gulf in quality between the professional and amateur games in the modern day, it is exceedingly unlikely Joy's record will ever be taken by another player. Although Joy was playing for Arsenal at the time, he was still registered as a Casuals player and he is recorded in the England history books as playing for them at the time, not Arsenal.

Joy continued to play for Arsenal, mainly deputising for the Gunners' established centre-half Herbie Roberts. Roberts suffered a broken leg in October 1937 and Joy took his place in the side for the remainder of the 1937-38 season, winning a First Division winners' medal, and then, with Roberts having retired from the game, on through the 1938-39 season (earning a 1938 Charity Shield winners' medal in the process).

With the advent of World War II, Joy signed up to join the Royal Air Force where he was an PE instructor, though he still turned out for Arsenal (playing over 200 wartime matches) and won an unofficial wartime England cap. In June 1940, he was one of five Arsenal players who guested for Southampton in a victory over Fulham at Craven Cottage.[2] He also appeared as a guest player for West Ham United later in World War II making two appearances.[3]

When peace broke out and first-class football resumed, he played the first half of the 1946-47 season before deciding that his age (35) was counting against him; he retired from top-flight football in December 1946, though he carried on playing for Casuals until 1948. In all, he played 95 first-class (i.e. non-wartime) matches for Arsenal, though he never scored a goal.

Before the war Joy was a teacher, but afterwards he decided not to return to the profession and moved into journalism. Joy began his career in journalism as a football writer on The Star, one of three London evening papers published in the 1940s. He later moved to the Evening Standard and the Sunday Express as football and lawn tennis correspondent until retirement in 1976. He also wrote one of the first histories of Arsenal Football Club, Forward, Arsenal! (1952), and several other football books. He died in 1984, aged 72 of cancer. He often held dinner parties at his house in Osterley which many footballing celebrities would attend.


With Arsenal[edit]


With Casuals[edit]



  1. ^ Retrieved 9 January 2013.
  2. ^ Holley, Duncan; Chalk, Gary (1992). The Alphabet of the Saints. ACL & Polar Publishing. p. 391. ISBN 0-9514862-3-3.
  3. ^ Hogg, Tony (1995). West Ham Who's Who. London: Independent UK Sports publications. p. 223. ISBN 1-899429-01-8.
  • Harris, Jeff (1995). Hogg, Tony, ed. Arsenal Who's Who. Independent UK Sports. ISBN 1-899429-03-4.

External links[edit]