Joe Bradford - 1920 to 1935
Feature by Brian Cartlidge
Updated Saturday, 6th February 2010
In the history of Birmingham City the career of Joe Bradford cannot go without a mention.
For 15 seasons between the world wars Bradford was a hero without equal at St. Andrew's.
He was one of the finest forwards of his era, with the ability to strike the ball with either foot, and a great header of the ball.
He was also remarkably quick over a short distance and scored many of his goals pouncing on the slightest indecision.
Bradford was born in Peggs Green, Leicester on January 22nd, 1901 - the day Queen Victoria died.
It was evident from a very early age that he had what it takes to be a top class footballer, and after a 14- goal haul in one match for his local side, he attracted the interest of the big clubs.
Despite having trials at Derby and Villa it was Blues who nipped in to steal his signature in February 1920. He cost £100 and a further £25 when he made his debut!!
In September 1929 he had an amazing eight days when he scored 11 goals, three for Blues against Newcastle, five for the Football League v The Irish League and another hat-trick for Blues against Blackburn Rovers.
Bradford was also a member of the Blues side that achieved promotion to the first division in 1921 and a goalscorer in the FA cup final defeat to West Brom in 1931.
Including all games Bradford made 445 appearances for Blues and scored a phenomenal 267 goals!
He also won 12 England caps, scoring seven goals, and represented the Football League on five occasions.
After leaving Blues in 1935, Bradford played for one season at Bristol City and then retired in May 1936 to become a cafe owner in Birmingham.
He later managed pubs in Birmingham, Droitwich and Stourbridge and ran a sports shop with Villa's Eric Houghton.
He scouted for Arsenal in 1946-7 and in the late 1960's worked in the Blues pools office.
Joe Bradford died on September 6th 1980, aged 79.