Player From The Past - Alan Goad 1967-1983

The Goad Ol' Days

With well over 450 professional games played Alan’s career in football started with Exeter City in 1965. After 2 seasons with Exeter Alan made the move up north to join Hartlepool United in 1967. He joined Hartlepool only one season after Brian Clough and Peter Taylor left to begin their journey with Derby County. It was Hartlepool United’s new Manager, Angus McLean that signed Alan to a contract which saw him play over 12 season’s with Pools making 418 appearances (Still ranked 5th with the club).

In Alan’s first season Hartlepool were promoted to the 3rd division for the first time and one season later Alan was a regular in the starting 11. From 1967 to 1978 Alan played in every position (except goal) for Pools but Alan was best known for his aggressive, dependable defending that made him a staple in the Hartleppol back line. Even though he was more known for stopping attackers he managed to find the net 11 times for Hartlepool. He made 20 F.A. Cup appearances and 23 appearances in the Football League Cup. Alan is given lot of credit for remaining at a club that remained in the cellar of the Football League and one of the reasons why Brian Clough brought his Nottingham Forest team back to Hartlepool for Alan's Testimonial Match but a little known fact was that an agreed upon fee of 10,000 pounds from Carlisle United would have brought Alan into the second division (Chamionship league) back in 1972. Just a week before the deal was to be finalized Alan suffered a minor knee injury which forced Carlisle to look elsewhere to shore up their back-line.

Away from Victoria Park Alan ran his pub, The Mason’s Arms and later, The Square Ring (formerly The Spotted Cow). These Pubs became a meeting place for fans after the match with Alan much in the forefront after a big win and hiding in the back after a tough loss. Unfortunately it was an ultimatum from the brewery that forced Alan into retirement, a decision he looks back on with regret. Looking back now Alan feels he could have played another 4 or 5 seasons with Hartlepool as he was only 29 when he hung up his boots at Victoria Park. The biggest highlight of Alan’s career came after 10 season’s when the club offered Alan a testimonial match in 1977.

It was up to Alan to arrange the opponent for his own testimonial match and he decided to call upon ex Hartlepool Boss Brian Clough, now with Nottingham Forest. Brian was happy to oblige and he promised to bring a full squad. Forest were on the verge of winning the League and the League Cup and were only one season away from winning a European Cup. A packed house at a wet and cold Victoria Park saw Hartlepool take on Forest including the likes of Tony Woodcock, Viv Anderson, Archie Gemmil, Gary Birtles and ex Hartlepool midfielder John McGovern. After a 2-2 draw with Forest Alan was given signed England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales Jersey’s as well as a signed Pele, New York Cosmos jersey. A treasure the family still has to this day.

Two years away from the game saw Alan answer a calling from the west coast of Canada to coach and play with the Fraser Valley All-Stars in the North West League in British Columbia. With little money in the club Alan and his family were only weeks away from moving back to England. It was during a championship game that Alan was scouted by ex England goalkeeper Tony Waiters and Millwall legend Derek Possee who quickly signed Alan to play in the newly formed North America Indoor Soccer league with the Vancouver Whitecaps.  

Alan once again became the staple in the back line, this time for the Whitecaps and the dependable duo of Goad and Roger Kenyon struck fear into opposing attackers. It was a great ending to Alan’s career playing with the Caps alongside the likes of Bruce Grobbelaar, Terry Yorath, Peter Lorimer, Carl Valentine, Willie Johnston, Derek Possee and Pierce O’Leary. Retiring from the Whitecaps opened the door to many coaching opportunities where Alan ran the Whitecaps youth development system which led to coaching opportunities with 1966 World Cup Winner Nobby Stiles. Alan, to this day, talks about a game where he and 1966 England legend Stiles played in Central Defense together with compliments from Nobby saying that Alan could have easily played at the highest level in England. Alan, now retired, still coaches at the amateur level occasionally in British Columbia as well as traveling and spending time with his wife of 45 years, Sue.

Playing Career Statistics

·         1965-1967 - Exeter City - 6 Appearances

·         1967-1978 - Hartlepool United - 418 Appearances - 11 Goals 

·         1980-1982 - Vancouver Whitecaps - 31 Appearances - 13 Points

Hartlepool United All-Time Appearances:

  1. Ritchie Humphreys - 2001-2013 - 511 appearances - 37 goals

  2. Wattie Moore - 1948-1960 - 448 appearances - 3 goals

  3. Antony Sweeney - 2001-2014 - 444 appearances - 62 goals

  4. Ray Thompson - 1947-1958 - 423 appearances - 3 goals

  5. Alan Goad - 1967-1978 - 418 appearances - 11 goals

  6. Ken Johnson - 1949-1964 - 413 appearances - 106 goals

  7. Brian Honour - 1985-1994 - 384 appearances - 36 goals

  8. Micky Barron - 1996-2007 - 374 appearances - 4 goals

  9. Jackie Newton - 1946-1958 - 362 appearances - 19 goals

  10. Tommy McGuigan - 1950-1958 - 351 appearances - 79 goals

Hartlepool United All-Time League Cup Appearances (Starts):

  1. Alan Goad - 1967 - 1978 - 23 Starts (0 Subs)

  2. Brian Honour - 1985-1994 - 21 Starts (3 Subs)

  3. Keith Houchen - 1978-1996 - 17 Starts (1 Sub)

  4. Antony Sweeney - 2004-2013 - 17 Starts (0 Subs)

  5. Keith Nobbs - 1985-1993 - 16 Starts (1 Sub)

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.

  • 1950's

    • Kenny Johnson
    • Watty Moore
    • Frank Stamper
  • 1960's

    • Bryan Drysdale
    • John McGovern
    • Ernie Phythian
  • 1970's

    • Billy Ayre
    • Bill Green
    • Alan Goad
  • 1980's

    • Bob Newton
    • Rob McKinnon
    • Andy Linighan
  • 1990's

    • Brian Honour
    • Joe Allon
    • Tommy Miller
  • 2000's

    • 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

Numbers Worn

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)


The images above were taken from the scrapbooks of Alan Goad. Custom art was created by Paul Goad.

Alan’s career at Hartlepool started in 1967 after a brief apprenticeship stint at Exeter City. In the 11 years Alan spent at the club he collected programs, pictures, and newspaper clippings from the many matches he played in Hartlepool (418 in total). I am happy to share these memories so that Hartlepool Fans around the globe can enjoy a piece of history.

Alan Goad is still ranked 5th in games played at the club, ranked 1st in League Cup starts, and is the only player in the club’s history to see the club go through 3 name changes. His time with the club began with the celebration of their promotion into Division 3 but the 70’s were unkind with many relegation votes required to keep the club in the league.

Despite the club's luck and with very little money to be made Alan remained committed to the club, the fans, and the town of Hartlepool. He looks back fondly of his time at the club and the career he was fortunate to have.

Special Thanks:

Special thanks to Phil Dunn, Geoff Wilkinson and John Phillips for their contributions, guidance and wealth of knowledge on Hartlepool and their Club.

Information on the above mentioned players and teams was sourced from various locations including match programmes, newspaper articles, Wikipedia and the "In The Mad Crowd" website -

The inspiration for the kit designs is from John Devlins, "True Colors: The Football Kit History Site". His staggering work is featured in books, publications and various websites. Check out his amazing work -

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