Charlie Livesey

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Charlie Livesey
Personal information
Full name Charles Edward Livesey
Date of birth (1938-02-06)6 February 1938
Place of birth West Ham, England
Date of death 26 February 2005(2005-02-26) (aged 67)
Place of death London, England
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Playing position Centre forward
Youth career
West Ham United
Custom House
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1956–1959 Southampton 25 (14)
1959–1961 Chelsea 39 (17)
1961–1962 Gillingham 47 (17)
1962–1964 Watford 64 (26)
1964–1965 Northampton Town 28 (4)
1965–1969 Brighton & Hove Albion 126 (28)
1969–1970 Crawley Town
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Charles Edward Livesey (6 February 1938 – 26 February 2005) was a footballer who played for Chelsea in Football League Division 1 between 1959 and 1961, as well as appearing for various clubs in all four divisions of the Football League.

Playing career[edit]

Early days[edit]

Livesey was born in West Ham, Essex and started out with the West Ham youth team, before an unsuccessful trial with Wolverhampton Wanderers in 1955. He then turned out for Custom House in London where he was spotted by Chelsea scout Jimmy Thompson who recommended him to Southampton as a favour to Saints' president, Herbert Blagrave.

Southampton[edit]

Shortly after a trial in March 1956, Livesey was signed by Third Division team Southampton and soon developed into a promising centre-forward with an eye for goal in Saints' reserve side, scoring 10 goals in 14 appearances in 1957–58.

A bit of a tearaway, Livesey nevertheless took his chance in the first team well when replacing Derek Reeves (who had broken a toe in the previous match) for his debut at The Dell against Swindon Town on 30 August 1958. In only his fourth appearance in the first team he scored 4 goals in a 6–1 demolition of Hull City, followed by a pair in the next game, a 5–0 victory over Halifax Town. By a strange quirk of fate, he too broke a toe in the Halifax match causing him to miss the next three matches, before returning on 1 October to be paired upfront with Reeves. In his solitary season in Saints' first team he made 29 appearances, scoring 15 goals, usually playing in tandem with Reeves, although both players never scored in the same match.

His sudden rise to fame attracted the attention of several First Division clubs. In February 1959, Birmingham City offered £15,000 for his services (to be turned down by the player himself) but a few months later, Chelsea, piqued that they had missed out on signing him earlier, offered cash and Cliff Huxford in a deal that valued Livesey at £20,000. It was a controversial transfer which prompted the resignation of Mr. Stranger from the board of directors.

Ted Bates was able to complete what he considered to be an "amazing" piece of business, by using some of the £12,000 cash received from the sale to sign Dick Conner from Grimsby Town and George O'Brien from Leeds United, thus obtaining 3 players for the price of one. The three newly signed players were to be an integral part of the team that took the Third Division title the following April.

Chelsea[edit]

He joined Chelsea in May 1959, but could not adapt to Division One football, perhaps lacking the dedication to prosper at that level, although he did net 17 goals in 39 games. He then lost his place to Ron Tindall and, in August 1961, he agreed to a move to Gillingham for £5,500.

Gillingham[edit]

He was seen by manager Harry Barratt as a replacement for Pat Terry (top-scorer in the previous two seasons), who had moved to Northampton Town in the summer.

In his first season with the Gills, Livesey scored 15 goals from 41 games as Gillingham finished a disappointing 20th in Division Four. This poor finish led to the dismissal of Barrett to be replaced as manager by Freddie Cox. Cox started to build a team to gain promotion based on a defensive discipline and unadventurous style into which Livesey did not fit and, after only a handful of games in the 1962–63 season, Livesey was sold to Watford in October for £6,000.

He scored some memorable goals in his short time at Gillingham – possibly the best was in a 5–1 victory over Chesterfield in January 1962. Livesey received the ball near the Main Stand touchline, dribbled towards the edge of the box, flicked it up over the head of a defender, ran round him, flicked it up over the head of another defender, ran round him, and as the ball dropped onto the penalty spot volleyed it with tremendous power into the back of the net.

Watford[edit]

Livesey spent two seasons at Vicarage Road. In his first season, 1962–63, he made 19 appearances scoring only 3 goals as Watford struggled near the bottom of Division 3. The following season saw an improvement, as Watford finished in third place, narrowly missing promotion, with Livesey chipping in 23 goals to make him the team's top scorer. In August 1964, he was then on the move again, this time to Northampton Town for a fee of £17,000.

Northampton Town[edit]

In his first season at Northampton Town, Livesey helped them gain promotion to Division One but there was no place for him in the Division One side so, in September 1965, he moved again – this time to Brighton for a fee of £7,000.

Brighton & Hove Albion[edit]

He was not so prolific at Brighton but his powerful play and keen anticipation helped make plenty of goals for his team mates. His ability was such that England manager Alf Ramsey had him watched in the build-up to the World Cup finals in 1966 despite Albion being mid-table in the Third Division at the time.

In his four years with the Seagulls, Livesey made 146 appearances, scoring 37 goals, before being released in April 1969.

He then joined Crawley Town where he had the pleasure of helping his new club beat his old team in the Sussex professional cup.

After football[edit]

He returned to the East End of London where he became a painter and decorator. Livesey died at St Bartholomew's Hospital, London on 26 February 2005.

Family[edit]

Livesey married Patricia and they had three children, Stacey Toole, Kelly Royce and Jonathon Livesey. His grandchildren are James and Samantha Toole, Zac and Isobel Royce and Alana , Charlie, and Johnny Livesey.

References[edit]

  • Duncan Holley & Gary Chalk (1992). The Alphabet of the Saints. ACL & Polar Publishing. ISBN 0-9514862-3-3. 
  • Gary Chalk & Duncan Holley (1987). Saints – A complete record. Breedon Books. ISBN 0-907969-22-4. 

External links[edit]