John Smith (American football)

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John Smith
No. 1
Date of birth (1949-12-30) December 30, 1949 (age 65)
Place of birth Leafield, Oxfordshire, England
Career information
Status Retired- Coaches soccer (WOBsters)
Position(s) Placekicker
Height 6 ft 0 in (183 cm)
Weight 186 lb (84 kg)
College Southampton
NFL draft 1974 / Round:
Career history
As player
1973 New England Colonials (ACFL)
1974-1983 New England Patriots
Career highlights and awards
Pro Bowls 1980
Awards Named to Patriots All Decade Team for 1970's
Records Currently the number three leading scorer in Patriots history
Career stats

John Michael Smith (born 30 December 1949) is an English-born retired American football placekicker. He made his professional debut with the New England Patriots in 1974, remaining with the team until 1983.

Early years[edit]

John Smith trained as a teacher at King Alfred's College, Winchester in England between 1968 and 1971. After teaching for a year, he moved to the United States. He had not played American Football before but was an outstanding all-round sportsman and superb soccer player so he approached the New England Patriots and asked for a trial as a placekicker. New England saw his potential and he was sent to spend his 1973 season in the Atlantic Coast Football League before re-signing with the Patriots in 1974.[1]

The Snowplow Game and other significant moments[edit]

Smith is perhaps most famous for kicking the only points in the Snowplow Game, played 12 December 1982 in a snow storm at Foxboro Stadium. Convict Mark Henderson, released for a weekend work program, cleared the way with his snowplow for Smith to beat the Miami Dolphins and enter football lore. Two years earlier against Miami on 8 December 1980, Smith was getting ready to attempt a potential game-winning field goal when Howard Cosell announced to the Monday Night Football television audience that John Lennon (who had appeared on MNF six years before as a guest in the booth) had just been assassinated. (Smith's kick was blocked, however, and Miami won the game in overtime 16-13.)[2][3]

Smith led the NFL in scoring in 1979 and 1980. In 1982, Smith injured his right knee (on his non-kicking leg) and underwent arthroscopic surgery; he retired after the 1983 season as the second-highest scoring player in Patriots history, behind Gino Cappelletti.[4]


Smith currently runs The John Smith Sports Center, an indoor sports complex in Milford, Massachusetts. Smith runs JSSA Magic (John Smith Soccer Academy), a premier soccer club for ages 8–18. He also runs John Smith's #1 Soccer School, a soccer camp held at various New England schools and colleges each summer.[5]

Personal life[edit]

Smith currently lives in Dover, Massachusetts, with his wife Vivienne. Smith has four children, and his oldest daughter, Felicity Smith-Day, directs John Smith Soccer. She is a former college All-American. She also played professionally for Arsenal L.F.C.[5]


External links[edit]