Hartlepool United - Alan Goad - Testimonial
A Testimonial Match in football is a long-standing tradition. Early on these types of benefit matches, reserved for players who have made a significant contribution to the club or have served with the club for 10+years, have served a purpose to help raise much-needed funds which are given to the player to help in their transition back to private life after they retire from the game.
These non-competitive matches are usually always well attended and serve as a Thank You to the player and a chance for the fans and club to honor the contribution of the player. Quite often these matches are played against clubs that have some relationship with the player that is being honored and often have appearances from players that have previously played with the club and/or friends or celebrities of the testimonial player.
With the staggering wages now paid to Top-Flight players a testimonial match's proceeds nowadays are quite often donated to charity or the Supporters Group at the club. At the lower tiers of football where the wages remain low the time old tradition of donating the money from the game to the honored player still remains.
At the end of 1977, Alan Goad, Hartlepool United's longest-serving player was offered a testimonial match against Div 1 (Premier League) giants Nottingham Forest who only 4 days prior had won a pivotal match against the mighty Manchester United at City Ground and in 3 days time had another meeting with rivals Leeds Utd. It's hard to imagine that Forest, the Football League Champions at the time, were on the verge of winning the League Cup and the European Cup (Champions League). It would be like Liverpool, Arsenal or Manchester United visiting Hartlepool now for a Testimonial Game.
Two years prior, in Brian Clough's first year as manager at Nottingham Forest, the two clubs met for the first time at Victoria Park for a November friendly match. Brian Clough, always willing to lend a hand for the North-East clubs, had agreed to a match to help Hartlepool as they went through financial difficulties. It was a small taste of what was to come as Forest were not yet the 1st division powerhouse of the late '70s but the foundation was there. The likes of Anderson, McGovern, Robertson, and Bowyer were present for this early match but when '77 arrived and it was time for Alan Goad's testimonial Clough called on his entire first team to make the trip up North.
We sat down with Alan and he shared his thoughts about his Testimonial Match.
In Alan's words:
In 1977 after ten years and 400 plus games for Hartlepool, I was awarded a testimonial by the club. This was and still is a great honor for me to be rewarded with such a game. I was asked to arrange my own opponent for the match.
My first choice for a team to play was local neighbors Newcastle Utd, a team that I had supported from afar as a child, and was very quickly refused, which was such a disappointment at the time. So because of the restraints on the possibility of a large attendance, I set my sights on the other two northeast giants that were close by.
Both Sunderland and Middlesbrough quickly declined and left me wondering if anyone would ever come to play at Hartlepool.
My next option was Brian Clough and the new Division One Champions, Nottingham Forest. I had arrived at Hartlepool United on trial as a youngster about 2 months after the departure of Clough and Taylor at Hartlepool and so had never met him personally.
Having heard of his reputation and antics that were reported in the press, I had great trepidation when making the phone call. To my great surprise, he answered the call personally (something that had not happened at the previous clubs when being turned down).
After hearing my request he went into a story of how many telephone calls he received on a daily basis since the success of Nottingham Forest. Expecting another negative, I was pleasantly surprised by what he said next. He said, “Son, I turn most of these requests down because these players are making good money, but you, playing in the lower divisions at a club like Hartlepool, showing the loyalty to the club and the game even though the rewards are smaller, deserve to have a testimonial”.
His next statement amazed me, even more, when he said, I will be unable to attend but I will send you the full first team and all I ask is that you supply them with a pre-match meal. That meant that I had the Division One League leaders and soon to become League Champions and European Cup Champions, (1978-79 & & 1979-80) playing at the Victoria Ground in November 1977 and because he didn’t even charge me for the meal, it fitted my budget well (Zero Pounds).
It was great to meet up again with John McGovern with whom I played with in 1967 before his move to Derby County who at that time was managed by Brian Clough. The only player missing from the Forest first team was Peter Shilton who had been called up for England duty on the same night and was a substitute to Ray Clemence as England beat Italy 2-0 in a crucial UEFA Group Two qualification match. It was Chris Woods stepping in as Shilton's replacement on Alan's big night.
The night was a great success and in my mind, thinking that I was a high scoring center forward (dream on) I played myself up front. However, not the first time I had played striker for the club. Billy Ayre and Bob Newton scored for Pools and Tony Woodcock and Kenny Burns scored for Forest and I swear to this day every player on the Nottingham Forest team tried as hard as they could and were lucky to get out of Hartlepool with a draw.
The only downside was on the night of the game, it was one of the coldest nights in November and cut my attendance in half. I remember looking at my seven-year-old son Paul, who was the mascot for the game, standing in his soccer gear with his little arms just about turning blue. I still don’t think he’s forgiven me yet for that night.
I also feel honored to have talked personally to Brian Clough and still wish to this day that I could have met him face to face. He had such high principles and the game is a lesser place without him.
I still to this day appreciate the chance Hartlepool gave me to help me achieve my goal of playing professional football. I still believe that is a privilege and not a given right to be a professional player.
The following was written by Arthur Pickering, Sports Editor, for the Hartlepool Mail and appeared in Alan's Testimonial program in 1977:
In his ten years at the Victoria Ground, Alan Goad has played in every position for the club's first team except goalkeeper, so don't be surprised if he grabs the no. 1 shirt for a spell tonight.
Nobody would begrudge him the opportunity to do so, for Alan has given 110 percent effort and dedication to the club in every game he has played. he came as a teenager from the Deep South and is now happily settled in his adopted home.
Alan admits that he talked Gus McLean into signing him on, way back in 1967 after he was released by Exeter City, but nobody at the club has ever had the cause to regret that decision.
In short, Alan is a good lad and he deserves every success both on and off the field. I hope tonight is a huge success for him, and also wish him well in his Public House in Musgrave Street, The Square Ring.
In his ten years with the club, Alan has made 363 Football League appearances and a total of 36 in the F.A. and League Cup
That, by sheer coincidence, leaves him with a total of 399 Senior appearances for the club behind him-one more and he cracks the magical 400 mark, so few players with any club, least of all one in the lower divisions, can point to in a career.
He has also been a substitute on many occasions, so he has in fact appeared in more than 400 matches, though those substitute games do not count in his overall record.
Alan is still a long way behind the amazing Wattie Moore, who appeared in 448 League games alone for the club between 1948 and 1964 and made many more appearances for the club than anyone.
At 29, Alan Goad could perhaps have gone closer to that record, but he decided to concentrate more on his Public House with the result that now he is no longer regarded as a first-choice first-team player.
However, Manager Billy Horner knows, like many managers before him, that when he calls on Alan he will always give every ounce of his effort to the club.
He doesn't do that just because he feels he owes the club something, but because that is how he plays the game. Never afraid of injury or criticism, Alan takes risks many less brave players wouldn't dream of contemplating.
For this alone the club and its supporters owe him a lot.
Talking of Billy Horner reminds me that Alan has played under five managers with the club. Gus Mclean, John Simpson, Len Ashurst, Ken Hale and now Horner. He has had his ups and downs with all of them on occasions, but after working with him as player-coach for a spell he rates Billy Horner tops.
And the feeling is mutual, for Horner says: " Alan is reliable and honest. The same applies to many people, of course, but it does not always apply in football".
So remember tonight when you see him play that while Alan owes something to Hartlepool, it isn't all one way. The club and the town should feel proud of him.
The following was written by Alan Goad in his Testimonial program in 1977:
In his ten years with Hartlepool, I have come across a lot of kindness and a large number of very good people both in the game and outside.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of them for their help over the years, with particular thanks of course to the directors and officials of Hartlepool United Football Club, and their great supporters.
As a Southerner, I have been fortunate to witness first hand the quality of the people in this part of the world. My thanks, too, to another North-Easterner, the great Brian Clough, and his Nottingham Forest team for coming here tonight.
Finally, a big thank you to my testimonial committee for the work done over the past year and also the sponsors who have helped during my testimonial year.
Nottingham Forest Squad:
- Peter Shilton - 125 England Caps and over 1300 competitive matches
- Viv Anderson - 30 England Caps and almost 600 appearances including Forest, Arsenal and Manchester United
- Colin Barrett - Manchester City and Nottingham Forest Defender
- Archie Gemmill - 43 International Caps with Scotland. Over 700 competitive games played
- Larry Lloyd - 4 International Caps with England. Over 450 competitive matches including Liverpool, Coventry and Nottingham Forest
- Kenny Burns - 20 Scotland Caps - Footballer of the Year in 1977/78
- John McGovern - Over 500 competitive matches played including Hartlepool, Derby, Forest, Leeds and Bolton
- Ian Bowyer - Over 600 competitive matches including Manchester City, Nottingham Forest and Sunderland
- Peter Withe - 11 International Caps with England. Over 540 competitive matches
- Tony Woodcock - 42 International Caps with England. Over 550 competitive matches including Forest, Arsenal and FC Koln
- John Robertson - 28 International Caps with Scotland. Almost 500 competitive matches
- Martin O'Niell - 64 International Caps with Northern Ireland. Almost 500 competitive matches
- Chris Woods (GK) - 43 International Caps with England. Over 600 competitive matches.
Hartlepool United Squad:
- Eddie Edgar
- Graham Richardson
- George Smith
- Trevor Smith
- Billy Ayre
- Dave Wiggett
- Derek Downing
- Tommy Gibb
- John Linacre
- Terry Gaffney
- Alan Goad
- Bob Newton
- Malcolm Poskett
- Paul Biebly
- Chris McNaster
Hartlepool United updated All-Time Appearances:
- Ritchie Humphreys - 2001-2013 - 511 appearances - 37 goals
- Wattie Moore - 1948-1960 - 448 appearances - 3 goals
- Antony Sweeney - 2001-2014 - 444 appearances - 62 goals
- Ray Thompson - 1947-1958 - 423 appearances - 3 goals
- Alan Goad - 1967-1978 - 418 appearances - 11 goals
- Ken Johnson - 1949-1964 - 413 appearances - 106 goals
- Brian Honour - 1985-1994 - 384 appearances - 36 goals
- Micky Barron - 1996-2007 - 374 appearances - 4 goals
- Jackie Newton - 1946-1958 - 362 appearances - 19 goals
- Tommy McGuigan - 1950-1958 - 351 appearances - 79 goals
Hartlepool United Previous Testimonials:
- 19/4/1922 George Gill Benefit Match vs Wilf Lows XI
- 12/10/1922 Fred Priest Benefit Match vs Sheffield United
- 21/4/1926 Cecil Hardy Benefit Match vs Stan Seymour's XI
- 28/4/1954 Newton-Thompson Benefit Match vs Newcastle Unted
- 21/9/1955 Willets and Moore joint testimonial vs Newcastle
- 25/4/1956 McGuigan and Stampter Testimonial Match
- 1/4/1958 Kenny Johnson Testimonial Match vs Select XI
- 28/4/1959 George Luke Benefit Match vs Sunderland
- 05/05/1960 Wattie Moore Benefit Match vs Wattie Moore XI
- 30/4/1962 Ken Waugh Benefit Match vs All Stars XI
- 28/04/1964 Johnson-Burlison Benefit Match vs Sunderland
- 1/3/1967 Fogarty Testimonial Match vs Charley Hurley XI
- 03/11/1969 Mick Sommers Benefit Match vs Derby County
- 03/05/1970 John Gill Benefit Match vs All Stars XI
- 14/11/1977 Alan Goad Testimonial vs Nottingham Forest (2-2)
- 00/12/1984 Tommy Johnson Testimonial vs Sunderland
- 00/00/1995 Brian Honour Testimonial Match vs Newcastle
- 21/07/1997 Keith Houchen testimonial Match vs Middlesbrough (1-1)
- 25/07/2006 Micky Barron Testimonial vs Leeds United (2-1)
- 02/08/2011 Ritchie Humphreys Testimonial vs Sunderland (1-3)
Hartlepool United Players of the Decade:
Alan was voted in the Top 3 players for the 1970's. Recently Alan was voted by the Northern Echo for consideration into the All-Time Greatest 11 Hartlepool United Players.
- Kenny Johnson
- Watty Moore
- Frank Stamper
- Bryan Drysdale
- John McGovern
- Ernie Phythian
- Billy Ayre
- Bill Green
- Alan Goad
- Bob Newton
- Rob McKinnon
- Andy Linighan
- Brian Honour
- Joe Allon
- Tommy Miller
- Ritchie Humphreys
- Micky Barron
- Adam Boyd
- Player of the Century
- Ritchie Humphreys
- Watty Moore
- Brian Honour
Hartlepool United Players of the Year
Alan was voted player of the year at Hartlepool in 1975 and missed the award by one vote in 1974 behind Malcolm Dawes.
- 1968 - Tony Parry
- 1969 - Dysdale
- 1970 - No Award
- 1971 - No Award
- 1972 - Neil Warnock
- 1973 - Barry Watling
- 1974 - Malcolm Dawes
- 1975 - Alan Goad
- 1976 - Moore
- 1977 - Poskett
- 1978 - Ayre
- 1979 - Gorry
- 1980 - Lawrence
- 1981 - Brown
- 1982 - Brown
- 1983 - Not Known
- 1984 - Not Known
- 1986 - Honour
- 1987 - McKinnon
- 1988 - Haigh
- 1989 - McKinnon
- 1990 - Mckinnon
- 1991 - Honour
- 1992 - Nobbs
- 1993 - Honour
- 1994 - McGuckin
- 1995 - Houchen
- 1996 - Horne
- 1997 - Beech
- 1998 - Barron
- 1999 - Barron
- 2000 - Stephenson
- 2001 - Sharp
- 2002 - Lee
- 2003 - Humphreys
- 2004 - Provett
- 2005 - Porter
- 2006 - Humphreys
- 2007 - Nelson
- 2008 - Humphreys
- 2009 - Porter
- 2010 - Austin
- 2011 - Sweeney
- 2012 - Murray
- 2013 - Flinders
- 2014 - James
- 2015 - Harrison
- 2016 - Carson
- 2017 - No Award
- 2018 - Loach
- 2019 - James
As an indication of Alan's versatility, he is one of those rare players who, in the days before squad numbers, played at least one game in every outfield shirt. In fact, he played in every position at pools except for goalkeeper.
- #2 - 40 games
- #3 - 135 games (2 goals)
- #4 - 38 games
- #5 - 97 games (3 goals)
- #6 - 71 games (2 goals)
- #7 - 3 games
- #8 - 11 games (2 goals)
- #9 - 4 games (1 goal)
- #10 - 8 games (1 goal)
- #11 - 2 games
- He made nine appearances from the bench (#12)
Thank you to Geoff Wilkinson for his contribution.
A couple of thoughts from fans who attended the game:
Hartlepool fan, Mick Pearce, memory from the game: Kenny Burns told me, as a 12 year old trying to get his autograph before the Alan Goad Testimonial Match, "I'm sick of f'ing kids asking me for my f'ing autograph", he grabbed my pen, wrote KB on my pad and then said, "now F off" - obviously happy to be there that night . It's scared me for life
Hartlepool fan, Alan Parkinson memory from the game: His testimonial match against Brian Cloughs Forest was the best testimonials I have ever been to. Clough being Clough sent the 1st team and it was a cracking good game which unless my memory has totally gone awry ended 2-2.
Hartlepool fans, Tony Norman, and Alan Parkinson banter about the activities off of the field: There was entertainment on and off the pitch. Forest tried to get in the Rink-End, but they didn't account for the Millhouse Terrace. There was a bit of toe-to-toe on the waste ground behind the Rink-End after the match. Their top boy, Paul Scarratt, known as one of England's top hooligans in the 70's got a spanking. Hartlepudlian, George Feeney gave him a lesson in the art of Queensbury rule.
Alan's son, Paul, remembers the match: I do recall how very cold it was that night and for a friendly, the crowd was very loud and raucous even though the weather kept many away. I remember heading out onto the pitch with my dad at the start of the game and shaking hands with the Forest players and getting to flip the coin to start the game. It really was a memory of a lifetime for a 7 year-old and an evening I will never forget.
I also recall him getting signed game-worn shirts after his testimonial match. He was given a Trevor Brooking England shirt, a Terry Yorath Wales shirt, a Bruce Rioch Scotland shirt, a David O'Leary Rep of Ireland Shirt and a signed Pele practice jersey from the New York Cosmos brought back by Eddie Edgar after his short stint playing with Pele in America. Unfortunately, most of the jerseys were donated to an auction to help the Vancouver Whitecaps in 1984 but the Pele jersey remains with the family.