Ted Purdon

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Ted Purdon
Personal information
Full name Edward John Purdon
Date of birth (1930-03-01)1 March 1930
Place of birth Johannesburg, South Africa
Date of death 29 April 2007(2007-04-29) (aged 77)
Place of death Toronto, Canada
Height 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Playing position Inside forward, centre forward
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1948–1950 Marist Brothers
1950–1954 Birmingham City 64 (27)
1954–1957 Sunderland 90 (39)
1957–1958 Workington 33 (9)
1958–1959 Barrow 37 (11)
1959–1960 Bath City 6 (3)
1960 Bristol Rovers 4 (0)
1960–1961 Wellington Town
1961 Toronto White Eagles
1961—1963 New York Ukrainians
1963 Toronto City
1963 Toronto Inter-Roma
1964 Toronto City
1964–1965 New York Ukrainians
1965 Toronto City
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Edward John Purdon (1 March 1930 – 29 April 2007) was a South African professional footballer who played as a forward. He played for Birmingham City in the Second Division of the Football League and for Sunderland in the First Division.


Purdon was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. He came to England on tour with his South African club in 1950 at the age of 20, was watched by representatives of several clubs, and signed for Birmingham City. During his three seasons at the club he scored 30 goals in 70 games in all competitions and was the club's top scorer in 1953–54, despite playing only 23 games before his mid-season transfer to Sunderland.[1] He was also a good cricketer, and was named once as twelfth man for Warwickshire.[2] He moved to Sunderland, then known as the "Bank of England club" because of their high transfer spending,[3] for a fee of £15,000.

Purdon made a spectacular start to his Sunderland career, scoring twice on debut against Cardiff City and following that up with a hat-trick (association football) against Arsenal at Highbury in his second game.[4] The first goal of the three, scored after only ten seconds, was believed to be the fastest goal in Sunderland's history.[5] Playing alongside the likes of Len Shackleton and Billy Bingham, he scored 42 goals in 96 games for the club over a three-year career. Purdon was a big man whose "physique allied to a total lack of fear made him a handful for any centre-half";[2] West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper Norman Heath was in collision with him during a game and received spinal injuries so severe that he never played again.[6]

He and his team-mates were punished by the Football Association for receiving illegal payments from the club.[7] By the time this matter was investigated, Purdon had left Sunderland for Workington of the Third Division North. He played his part in the club coming close to knocking Manchester United's Busby Babes out of the 1957–58 FA Cup. Workington took an early lead and Purdon came close to adding a second before Dennis Viollet's second-half hat-trick settled the matter.[8]

In March 1958 he moved to nearby Barrow, also in the Third Division North, where he also spent a year. He was part of the Barrow team which conceded ten goals in a league match at Hartlepools United.[9] In August 1959 he dropped into non-league football, helping Bath City win the Southern League championship. This success prompted a move back into the Second Division at Bristol Rovers, but he only made four first-team appearances for the club. He emigrated to Canada in 1961, where he played for Toronto City and other Canadian clubs, and also helped New York Ukrainians to win the 1965 National Challenge Cup.[10] He later coached in Canada.

Purdon was a founder member and honorary president of Sunderland's North American supporters' club.[11] In company with fellow supporters he had just watched on television Sunderland beating Burnley in the game which almost clinched the club's 2007 promotion to the Premier League when he suffered a stroke. He died in a Toronto hospital two days later at the age of 77.[12]



  1. ^ Matthews, Tony (1995). Birmingham City: A Complete Record. Derby: Breedon Books. p. 189. ISBN 1-85983-010-2. 
  2. ^ a b Matthews, p. 118.
  3. ^ "Story so far". Sunderland A.F.C. Archived from the original on 19 March 2015. Retrieved 22 August 2015. 
  4. ^ "Player of the Day: Ted Purdon". Sunderland A.F.C. 5 March 2014. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 22 August 2015. 
  5. ^ "Former SAFC striker dies". Sunderland A.F.C. 30 April 2007. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. 
  6. ^ "A performance to forget". The Northern Echo. Middlesbrough. 16 September 2003. Retrieved 22 August 2015. 
  7. ^ "Three-year ban on footballer – T. Ford "Handed £250 in notes"". The Times. 11 July 1957. p. 3. T. Ford, the former Sunderland footballer and Welsh international centre-forward, who has joined a Dutch club, has been banned as a professional by the Football Association for the next three seasons. Eight other players, who were said to have received illegal payments from Sunderland, are to lose six months' qualification for benefit or accrued share of benefit. ... The other eight players named in the commission's findings are G. Aitken, S. Anderson, W. Bingham, W. Holden, S. Kemp, J. McDonald, E. Purdon and L. Shackleton, the England inside forward. 
  8. ^ "Workington falter in second half – worried champions". The Times. 6 January 1958. p. 12. And when Jones slipped to allow Purdon's clear passage up the middle, only a finger-tip deflection by the diving goalkeeper prevented a second goal. There was little rest for the visitors' defence. 
  9. ^ "Pools of wisdom from Hails". The Northern Echo. Middlesbrough. 8 November 2004. Retrieved 22 August 2015. 
  10. ^ Stephen Byrne (19 July 2007). "Obituary: Ted Purdon". Bristol Rovers F.C. Fans Forum. Retrieved 6 September 2007. [dead link]
  11. ^ "Another great day at Scallywags". Black Cats of North America. 22 April 2005. Archived from the original on 10 September 2007. Retrieved 6 September 2007. 
  12. ^ "Former club striker dies". Sunderland Echo. 1 May 2007. Retrieved 22 August 2015. 


External links[edit]

  • Profile at Neil Brown's statistics site