Goddard Ray Image 1 Exeter City 1950

Goddard Ray Image 1 Exeter City 1950


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Ecclesfield, Yorkshire born centre half Ray Goddard began his football career with Red Rovers, from where he was signed by First Division club Wolverhampton Wanderers in September 1938, making his Football League debut against Manchester United at left half in March 1939. He played 4 matches in the run in as Wolves finished runners up to League Champions Everton, before the outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939 significantly disrupted his career, during which he joined the Royal Air Force and played for the Services representative team in India, as well as the R.A.F. Transport Command team.

After the War he signed for First Division club Chelsea in September 1946 and scored his only top flight goal in a 1-1 draw against former club Wolves in February 1948. After 15 appearances for The Pensioners he signed for Second Division club Plymouth Argyle in July 1948, where he was appointed club captain, missing only five matches as The Pilgrims suffered relegation in 1949. However he lost his place in September 1949 and signed for Exeter City shortly before Christmas that year after a single goal in 44 appearances for Argyle.

In December 1949, Exeter City paid, what was then, a club record transfer fee of £5,000 to obtain Goddard’s services. Making his Grecians debut against Watford at St James’ Park on Christmas Eve, Goddard played in every match thereafter apart from the very last game of the season. Goddard remained a regular for The Grecians until losing his place in September 1953, playing 9 more times for Exeter City before the end of the season, by when he had scored twice in 137 appearances. He was finally released in April 1954 to become player-manager of Bideford before his eventual retirement from the game.

NB in the photograph Goddard stands on the left with Exeter City team mates Frederick Davey and John Greenwood before the FA Cup fourth round tie with Liverpool at Anfield on 28th January 1950, which Liverpool won 3-1 on their way to the Final which was lost 2-0 to Arsenal at Wembley.

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