Leatherhead Football Club are extremely saddened to learn of the recent passing of one of our 1975 FA Cup heroes, Goalkeeper John Swannell
John was a goalkeeper extraordinaire whose athleticism and anticipation, at times, defied belief.
In his day he was the most famous, as well as the best, keeper outside of the Football League.
John started his distinguished career with Corinthian Casuals before joining the great Hendon team in 1964.
He quickly established himself as a regular in the England Amateur set up, eventually gaining 61 caps, and the Great Britain Olympic team (8 caps). John appeared in three Amateur Cup finals as well as winning two Isthmian League championships with Hendon before he joined Leatherhead in 1974 at the age of 35, supposedly in the twilight of his career, although fellow players reckoned him to be Old Father Time and at least fifty.
John was noted for his trait of always wearing white laces in his boots. Despite veteran status he turned in a series of near faultless performances in Tanners FA Cup exploits of the mid-seventies and was still considered good enough to be selected for the first England Semi-Professional team that faced Italy in 1975.
He also played in Tanners FA Trophy final appearance at Wembley in 1978. He left Tanners in 1980 to rejoin Hendon.
Despite various ailments he was still playing well into his sixties, helping Corinthian Casuals to win the National Veterans over 50’s Cup in the late 1990’s.
A hugely respected player who was loved both on and off the pitch. He will be greatly missed. Our thoughts and condolences go to Johns family and friends.
To honour and remember John we will be holding a one minute applause at Saturdays game against Chipstead Fc.