by Tony Attwood
John Snedden was born in Bonnybridge on 3 February 1942 and played for Arsenal over six seasons in a short career that was blighted by injury.
In October 1958 he joined as an amateur from a junior Scottish club, but where there is mention of it there is disagreement as to the correct name – I’d be glad to know which club it was. This is a record of him playing for Scottish schoolboys.
Turning pro a few months after joining he started his career on 16 January 1960 in a game away to Tottenham, his only game of that season.
It seems a most curious thing – to come in and just play the biggest game in front of around 59,000 people and then drop out, but then John had the misfortune to be an Arsenal player under Swindin and Wright.
John played centre half in that game and to give a flavour of the selection chaos that existed in 1959/60 we need just consider the centre half situation itself. In the first match of the season Mel Charles was at number five. He played 30 games that season for Arsenal, but only once more at centre half. Bill Dodgin also played 30 games – all at centre half. Tommy Docherty played at centre half too. By the time we got to the Tottenham game half the team that had played at the start of the season were not in the side and John was thrown into the fray. Arsenal ended up 13th that season.
The following season John was in the starting line up at the start of the season as he was for the next three seasons but injuries always forced him out. He even started the first two games of the 1964/5 season – but again the body could not cope with the rough and tumble of footballing at that time.
So he finished with 83 league games and no trophies and moved on.
|Port Elizabeth City
|Addington, Durban, SA
He joined Charlton Athletic for £150,000 in March 1965 and towards the end of his career went to South Africa. But he finished played at the age of 25 and there is an internet report that he married a lady from West Germany and moved there with her. Other than that I know nothing of him, and would be grateful for any other information.
- Woolwich Arsenal: The club that changed football – Arsenal’s early years
- Making the Arsenal – how the modern Arsenal was born in 1910
- The Crowd at Woolwich Arsenal FC: crowd behaviour at the early matches