George Farm

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George Farm
George Farm.jpg
Personal information
Full name George Neil Farm[1]
Date of birth (1924-07-13)13 July 1924
Place of birth Edinburgh, Scotland
Date of death 18 July 2004(2004-07-18) (aged 80)
Place of death Edinburgh, Scotland
Playing position Goalkeeper
Youth career
Armadale Thistle
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1947–1948 Hibernian 7 (0)
1948–1960 Blackpool 461 (1)
1960–1964 Queen of the South 119 (0)
Total 587 (1)
National team
1952–1959 Scotland 10 (0)
Teams managed
1961–1964 Queen of the South (player-manager)
1964–1967 Raith Rovers
1967–1970 Dunfermline Athletic
1971–1974 Raith Rovers
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

George Neil Farm (13 July 1924 – 18 July 2004) was a Scottish professional football goalkeeper and manager.

Born in Slateford, a suburb of Edinburgh, Farm represented his country on ten occasions, the last three of which occurred after a gap of five years. He played briefly for Hibernian before making over 500 appearances for Blackpool winning the FA Cup once and collecting one FA Cuup runners-up medal. With Blackpool he also finished runners-up once in the league to Manchester United. He made over 100 appearances for Queen of the South who he also managed in a promotion to Scotland's top division. he repeated that promotion managing Raith Rovers. He managed Dunfermline Athletic to a Scottish Cup victory and the semi finals of the European Cup Winners' Cup.[2]

Style of play[edit]

Well-built, Farm possessed a distinctive way of holding the ball, preferring to catch it with one hand above and one below, as opposed to the more orthodox style of one hand on either side of the ball. He was a perfectionist, and could often be seen practicing long after his teammates had left.[2]

Hibernian[edit]

After playing junior football with Armadale Thistle, Farm began his professional career in 1947 at Hibernian. After a year and only seven first-team appearances at Easter Road, Farm signed for Blackpool.[2] Farm was kept out of the Hibs team by the good form of Jimmy Kerr.[3]

Blackpool[edit]

Farm signed for Blackpool, then in the England first division, on a free transfer.[4] He went on to break several appearance records. Farm made his league debut for Blackpool on 18 September 1948, replacing an out-of-form Joe Robinson, in a home draw against Bolton Wanderers. Robinson did not play for Blackpool again, as Farm went on to play in 111 consecutive league games. The first game he missed, due to his receiving a first cap for Scotland, on 18 October 1952, Blackpool lost, 4–0 at Tottenham Hotspur.[2] Harry Sharratt deputised for that game.

Farm also played in all 47 of Blackpool's FA Cup ties between 1949 and 1960. He was runner-up in the 1951 FA Cup Final and winner in the 1953 FA Cup Final[2]

On 29 October 1955, in a 6–2 home defeat by Preston North End, Farm became one of the few goalkeepers to score a goal. He injured a shoulder and replaced Mudie at centre-forward, where he proceeded to open the scoring with his head. That season, Blackpool finished league runners-up to Manchester United, the highest finish in the club's history.[2]

In February 1960, at the age of 35 and after over 500 first-team appearances for the Tangerines (all while in the top division), Farm was granted a transfer. Blackpool manager Ron Suart, who had once been the goalkeeper's teammate, accepted a bid of £3,000 for the Scot from Queen of the South.[2]

Scotland[edit]

Farm's ten full Scotland caps included a 3 – 2 victory over West Germany at Hampden Park in 1959. In both games he played against England, he opposed future Queen of the South team-mate Ivor Broadis. Farm was not part of Scotland's trip to the 1954 FIFA World Cup finals despite having played in the qualification campaign.[2]

# Date Opponent Result Competition
1 18 October 1952  Wales Scotland 2 – 1 Wales British International Championship
2 5 November 1952  Northern Ireland Scotland 1 – 1 Northern Ireland British International Championship
3 18 April 1953  England England 2 – 2 Scotland British International Championship
4 6 May 1953  Sweden Scotland 1 – 2 Sweden Challenge match
5 3 October 1953  Northern Ireland Northern Ireland 1 – 3 Scotland FIFA World Cup qualifier
6 4 November 1953  Wales Scotland 3 – 3 Wales FIFA World Cup qualifier
7 3 April 1954  England Scotland 2 – 4 England FIFA World Cup qualifier
8 6 May 1959  Germany Scotland 3 – 2 West Germany Challenge match
9 27 May 1959  Netherlands Netherlands 1 – 2 Scotland Challenge match
10 3 June 1959  Portugal Portugal 1 – 0 Scotland Challenge match

Queen of the South[edit]

With his dedication to fitness and practice, 35-year-old Farm was still a highly capable goalkeeper (only eight months before he played for Scotland) when he was signed to Queen of the South by manager Jimmy McKinnell, Jr. He went on to make 119 league appearances for the Dumfries club, replacing McKinnell to become player-manager in three of his four years with the club. He guided Queens to the semi final of the 1960-61 Scottish League Cup. He also steered Queens back to the Scottish First Division with promotion as Second Division runners-up in 1961–62 with a team that included future Scotland centre forward Neil Martin, right winger Ernie Hannigan (later re-united with Martin in England's top flight at Coventry City) and goals king of Queens Jim Patterson. On their return to the top flight Farm played when his team defeated Celtic 1-0 at Celtic Park in the league on 10 November 1962. John Murphy scored Queen's goal.[2]

In January 1964, Farm was sacked. The local press was filled with comments backing Farm and criticising the Willie Harkness-led board. Harkness initially announced Farm had "left by mutual consent" before admitting the club's directors had met to "relieve Mr. Farm of his duties as manager". The board retained him as a player, even though Farm had promptly dropped himself the month before after Queens signed young goalkeeper Allan Ball to take over the number 1 jersey debuting on 14 December 1963 against Falkirk. Harkness and the board took charge of team affairs, but the club were relegated.[2]

Raith Rovers (first spell)[edit]

A trio of three-year managerial appointments followed between the mid-1960s and mid-'70s. Firstly, from 1964 until 1967, he was in charge of Raith Rovers. In his final season at Raith, Farm repeated his achievements at Queens by guiding Rovers to promotion to Scotland's top division.[2]

Dunfermline Athletic[edit]

Between 1967 and 1970, Farm took charge of Dunfermline, with whom he won 51 out of 107 league games,[5] in addition to winning the Scottish Cup in 1968 and guiding them to the semi-finals of the resulting 1969 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup campaign. Dunfermline lost by one goal on aggregate to eventual winners Slovan Bratislava (Slovan beat FC Barcelona in the final). This is the greatest achievement in Dunfermline's history, surpassing even that of Jock Stein's time at the club.[2]

He was subsequently a first time inductee into the Dunfermline Athletic Hall of Fame in 2005.

Raith Rovers (second spell)[edit]

A second stint followed at Raith Rovers, from 1971 until 1974.[2]

Retirement[edit]

When Farm finally retired from football in 1974, he and his wife enjoyed a quiet life in Edinburgh. He was known in his later years as a commentator and journalist, but also spent a short spell as a lighthouse keeper.[6][2]

In 1988, Farm returned to Bloomfield Road to take part in Blackpool F.C.'s celebrations to mark the Football League's centenary.[2]

Farm died in 2004 in the city of his birth, five days after his 80th birthday.[2]

Honours[edit]

As a player[edit]

Blackpool

As a player-manager[edit]

Queen of the South

As a manager[edit]

Raith Rovers

Dunfermline Athletic

References[edit]

Specific
  1. ^ "George Farm". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 19 February 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p George Farm, Queens Legends, www.qosfc.com
  3. ^ Donald, Brian (30 May 2001). "Jimmy Kerr". The Herald. Retrieved 27 January 2011. 
  4. ^ Gillatt, Peter (30 November 2009). Blackpool FC On This Day: History, Facts and Figures from Every Day of the Year. Pitch Publishing Ltd. ISBN 1-905411-50-2. 
  5. ^ ParsDatabase.co.uk
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 22 June 2007. 
  • Calley, Roy (1992). Blackpool: A Complete Record 1887–1992. Breedon Books Sport. ISBN 1-873626-07-X. 

External links[edit]