John Archer

*Indicates unconfirmed information. Figures in brackets after English team names indicate all appearances made and goals scored in competitive matches for Football League clubs from 1888 onwards. For Scottish League clubs the figures show details of all competitive appearances and goals scored from 1946/47 onwards.

John Archer

Appearances: 17 Goals: 0
Clean Sheets: 4

Date / Year of birth: 9th April 1936

Position: Goalkeeper

Season of first appearance: 1960/61

Season of last appearance: 1960/61

Also played for: Whitstable Town, Grimsby Town (10,0), Canterbury City and Ashford Town

Well-built, red-haired keeper born in Whitstable who was widely known as 'Bonny' Archer. John played for Kent Schools as a youth, featuring in a game against Hampshire Boys at Portsmouth's Fratton Park on 4.4.51, before starting his senior career with his hometown club.

John made his first team debut for Whitstable in a friendly against Crystal Palace Reserves on 20.2.54 and played his first competitive game against Deal on 27.3.54. He made a total of five appearances before the end of the 1953/54 season.

In April 1954 John was signed by Grimsby and he made ten Football League appearances there during the early part of the 1954/55 campaign. At one stage John saved three consecutive penalties that he faced, a run that caught the eye of the national press . In January 1955 he rejoined Whitstable and recommenced his apprenticeship at a local boat builders after Grimsby agreed to cancel his contract as John had told them he was home-sick.

After making a further 55 appearances John left Whitstable at the end of the 1955/56 season to do his National Service. He played for Canterbury whilst in the forces, appearing for them during the 1956/57 and 1957/58 seasons.

John returned to Whitstable once more for the 1958/59 campaign and dribbled to the halfway line in a game at Margate on 18.4.59. He made 19 appearances during the season.

In July 1959 he signed for Ashford after being demobbed and played 26 times in the Southern League for the Nuts & Bolts during 1959/60.

John joined Margate from Ashford early in the 1960/61 season and shared the first team goalkeeping duties with John Prodger during the campaign. He made his debut as Margate beat Dover 6-0 in a Southern League Cup tie at Hartsdown Park on 31.8.60. He went on to make a total of 17 appearances, the last of them in a 4-2 defeat at Barry on 21.1.61. Although John turned in several fine performances he was released at the end of the season having slipped down the pecking order to third choice behind Prodger and Lennie Long.

John later went back to Whitstable for a third spell, making 27 appearances during 1963/64 to take his total for the club past 100.

He worked as a builder in Whitstable with one of his brothers in later life and played cricket for the town club as a wicketkeeper-batsman for many years.

John sadly died from a brain tumour on 28.5.87 aged only 51 and his brother Alan was still watching Whitstable regularly during 2007.











1960/61 (MFC)

17 (50)