John Connelly: Wikis

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John Connelly
Personal information
Full name John Michael Connelly
Date of birth 18 July 1938 (1938-07-18) (age 71)
Place of birth St Helens, Lancashire, England
Height 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
Playing position Outside forward
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1956-1964 Burnley 265 (105)
1964-1966 Manchester United 80 (22)
1966-1970 Blackburn Rovers 149 (36)
1970-1973 Bury 128 (37)
National team
1959-1966 England 20 (7)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

John Michael Connelly (born 18 July 1938 in St Helens, Lancashire) is an English former footballer. He played as an outside forward and was capped 20 times for his country.

Contents

Career with Burnley

Connelly began his playing career with St Helens in the Lancashire Combination. In November 1956, scouts from Burnley came to watch another player, but were so impressed by Connelly that he was offered a trial with Burnley, and subsequently a permanent move to the club, who were then playing in the English top division. He made his debut away from home against Leeds United on 11 March 1957. It took two seasons for Connelly to gain a permanent place in the Burnley first team, which he did in the 1958–59 season, scoring 12 goals from 37 appearances, and ending the season as the team’s second top scorer.

He was predominantly a right winger who could also play on the left. He had the ball control and speed to beat the full back on the outside and deliver accurate crosses, but was also able to cut inside and score goals with either foot. For a winger, he was always a prolific goal scorer, scoring 105 goals for Burnley in 265 appearances.

In the 1959–60 season, Connelly played a crucial part in helping Burnley to end as league champions for only the second time. He scored 20 goals in 34 league appearances. Unfortunately for him, he missed the vital last game against Manchester City that gave Burnley the title. He was in hospital having a cartilage operation, and it was his replacement, Trevor Meredith, who scored the final winning goal. However, he still received a Championship winner's medal.

In the following three seasons, Connelly played a full part and scored plenty of goals to help Burnley finish fourth, second and third, respectively, in the league. In addition to finishing second in the 1961–62 season, Burnley reached the FA Cup final where they were beaten 3-1 by Tottenham Hotspur. Connelly played on the right wing and received a runners-up medal. In the 1963–64 season, the emergence of a talented young Scottish winger, Willie Morgan, meant that Connelly was forced to play on the left wing. In April 1964 he was transferred to Manchester United for £56,000. [1]

Career with Manchester United

Connelly stayed at Manchester United for just over two seasons, making 113 appearances and scoring 35 goals. In that first season his new club finished second, but the next season, 1964–65, they finished as league champions and Connelly received a second championship medal to go with the one he won with Burnley. The following season, 1965–66, the team finished fourth in the league and were knocked out of the European Cup in the semi-finals. At the start of the 1966–67 season, Connelly was transferred to newly relegated Blackburn Rovers for £40,000. In doing so he missed out on another championship medal as United won the league title again in the following season.

Subsequent career and retirement

He played for Blackburn Rovers for four years, but was unable to help get them back into the top division. He was released by Blackburn in May 1970 and signed for Bury F.C. He stayed with Bury for three years and retired in May 1973. In recent years he owned a fish and chip shop in Brierfield, known as "Connelly’s Plaice". Connelly was chosen amongst 25 former Burnley players for a "Wall of Legends" at Turf Moor.

International career

Connelly made his England international debut whilst still a Burnley player, on 17 October 1959, against Wales at Ninian Park. He played twenty games for England in all and scored seven goals. He was a member of the England squad that was sent out to Chile to take part in the 1962 FIFA World Cup, but he was not selected to play during England’s participation in the tournament. Four years later he was a member of the England squad which won the 1966 FIFA World Cup. He played in the opening game against Uruguay at Wembley Stadium, but the match was a goalless draw and England were disappointing. For subsequent games Alf Ramsey, the England manager, decided to drop Connelly and later do without wingers. This proved to be his last international game.

In the 1966 World Cup final only the 11 players on the pitch at the end of the 4-2 win over West Germany received medals. Following a Football Association led campaign to persuade FIFA to award medals to all the winners’ squad members, Connelly was presented with his medal by Gordon Brown at a ceremony at 10 Downing Street on 10 June 2009. [2]

Honours

Burnley F.C.

Manchester United F.C.

International

References

External links

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