Freddie Goodwin – A Personal Tribute

Freddie Goodwin, the man who gave us Trevor, has died aged 82. Freddie was the manager of the club when I started supporting them in 1971 as a 9 year old. My first Blues game, was in 1974 when we beat Manchester City 4-0. That was the only game I saw live with Freddie as manager though.

The Blues were promoted in 1972 and also had an FA cup semi final appearance, being defeated 3-0 by Leeds Utd.; who were probably the best side in England at the time. Of course he was also the manager when the iconic penguin strip first appeared.

Freddie Goodwin
Freddie Goodwin. (Image used with kind permission of BCFC).

 

Freddie joined the club in 1970 and had a very progressive approach to fitness and well being. I remember us playing entertaining football and scoring goals. (I was a kid then, and was easily impressed!)

Freddie signed a 16 year lad from Plymouth, and unleashed him on the football world almost straight away. Jasper Carrott once said that Trevor was so fast, he had to keep leaving the pitch to wipe the dead flies from his glasses! The 1960’s and 70’s weren’t for the faint hearted, and it was a really brave move by Freddie to use Trevor so quickly. Of course Trevor was an incredible talent, but even so it showed that he had a real eye for talent and was prepared to use it.

Another player he was involved with, was Kenny Burns. Kenny joined the club as a centre back but after Bob Latchford left, Freddie suggested to Kenny that he played up front. I think history will confirm that this was a great decision.

He put together a couple of very good sides over his tenure, which included the Latchford brothers, Hatton, Francis, Kendall, Hynd, Burns and many others.

Freddie was a wing half as a player, (kids ask your dad!), and was a part of the Busby Babes squad. He of course survived the dreadful Munich crash because quite simply, he hadn’t been picked and so didn’t travel that day. He went on to play for Leeds and Cardiff where a very serious leg break all but finished his playing career besides the odd appearance.

His first club as manager, (player manager initially), was Scunthorpe for 4 years. He then had spells at New York and Brighton before joining the Blues in 1970. After gaining promotion, he kept us in the first division before leaving us in 1975. He then went back to the USA, becoming coach and president of Minnesota.

I didn’t realise until I did a bit of research for this blog, that Freddie also played cricket and made 11 appearances for Lancashire as a fast-medium bowler.

I met Freddie a couple of times at Elmdon Training ground. He was a pleasant man who was happy to sign autographs for young fans and I remember he even gave a few tips of how to kick a ball properly to a bunch of us who were there!

Freddie, thank you for the memories and RIP.

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