Bob Latchford

By Brian Cartlidge
Last updated : 06 February 2010

Born in Kings Heath on 18th January 1951, he played centre-forward for Brandwood Secondary School, South Birmingham Boys and Warwickshire County Schools before joining Blues as an apprentice in May 1967.

He signed professional forms in August 1968, made his League debut in March 1969 and three months later played for England in the International Youth Tournament in East Germany.

His progress at Blues was rapid and he established himself in the first eleven at St. Andrew's in season 1970-71 scoring 13 goals in 42 senior appearances.

Part of a formidable trio comprising himself, Trevor Francis and Phil Summerhill and later Bob Hatton & TF , Latchford was strong and powerful, a sound header of the ball and could shoot with either foot.

In the 1971-72 season he hit 30 goals, including 23 in the league, in 52 appearances as Blues won promotion to the first division and reached the semi-final of the FA Cup.

He followed up with another 20 goals in 49 outings in 1972-73 and then got 18 goals in 36 games the following season before his departure to Everton for a League record fee of £350,000, a deal which saw Howard Kendall and Archie Styles switch from Goodison to St. Andrew's.

His record with Blues was excellent - 84 goals in 194 appearances.

Latchford was top League scorer in each of his first four seasons at Everton and in 1977-78 he was presented with a cheque for £10,000 by a national newspaper for becoming the first player to reach 30 goals in a season in division one for six years.

He went on to net 138 goals in 289 appearances for Everton before moving to Swansea City for £125,000 in July 1981.

At Vetch Field he managed to score 32 goals in 1982-83 before being given a free-transfer to Dutch side NAC Breda in January 1984 but within five months he was back in England with Coventry City.

After a short spell at Highfield Road he moved on to Lincoln City in July 1985.

After a loan spell with Newport he drifted into non-league football with Merthyr Tydfil in August 1986, gaining a Welsh Cup medal at the end of that season.

During his career Latchford netted over 263 goals in 613 League and Cup appearances.

He was capped 12 times at Senior level for England and scored five goals.

He later became a Director at Alvechurch FC before returning to St. Andrew's on the Community side during the late 1990's, taking over a coaching role in the 1999 -2000 season.

In season 2000-2001 Latchford resigned from his post at St. Andrews to start a new life in Germany.

Truly a legend, he scored some great goals for Blues and for his other clubs too.

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