Chelsea Transfer Target
Aug 20, 2019, 8:46 AM
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Bradford-born winger Brian Redfearn has died at the age of 85. He turned out for both Bradford clubs, Park Avenue and City. Son Neil matched the feat. Between 1952 and 1958, Brian played more than 130 games for Avenue, scoring 32 Football League goals, after making his debut as a 17-year-old. He was also a prominent cricketer in the Bradford League. The bulk of the rest of his football career was spent at Darlington (49 games) and Halifax Town (67 games). A highlight of Brian's spell at The Shay came in September 1962 when he struck a last-minute winner as Halifax fought back from 0-3 down to beat Swindon Town 4-3. He joined non-league Buxton in 1964.
Brian Redfearn (Bradford (Park Avenue), Blackburn Rovers, Darlington, Halifax Town, Bradford City, Buxton)
From the online version of the Telegraph & Argus (18/8):
A former Bradford (Park Avenue) stalwart has died at the age of 85, with his famous footballing son calling him "as good as any coach he’s ever had". Brian Redfearn sadly passed away on Saturday, August 10. He played over 130 games for Avenue between 1952 and 1958, as well as seven matches for Bradford City in the mid-1960s. Son Neil played in the top flight for the Bantams (after featuring there for Barnsley and Charlton Athletic) as they embarked on their first ever Premier League season in 1999-2000.
Neil openly admitted he would never have made it to the top without his dad’s guidance. He said: "I had the best dad, as because of his playing career, I had a coach. He was a massive influence and inspiration. I wouldn’t have achieved half of what I did without him. I’ve played under some great managers, including three in the Premier league, but dad was as good a coach as any I’ve played under."
Brian had to retire from playing at the age of just 29 due to an ankle injury but Neil said dad was proud to be able to live his career again through his son. Speaking about Brian, Neil said: "He never missed many games, whether I was at Avenue, City, Bolton etc. Even when I was at Crystal Palace or Charlton (in London), he’d still come and watch. I’m just guessing but I’d imagine he was most proud when I got promoted to the Premier League with Barnsley in 1997 as captain, and then scored their first goal up there against West Ham. Then there was the FA Cup semi-final for Oldham against Manchester United (in 1990) that he came to watch." Oldham drew with their illustrious north-west opponents 3-3 in a classic match in front of a bumper crowd at Maine Road, before losing the replay 2-1 to United, who went on to lift the cup. Neil added: "He loved me playing for City and watching me at Avenue, who were his first love."
Brian was born in Bradford in 1935, and although Neil was born in Dewsbury in 1965, the family moved to Birkenshaw when Neil was about four. Neil said: "Dad was a proper Bradford fella, because we’d watch City and Avenue, then he’d drag me along to watch Bradford Northern for the rugby on Sunday. He loved and respected where he came from but Leeds United were the top team at the time, under Don Revie, so he used take me to Elland Road for a football education."
Speaking about what Brian was like away from football, Neil said: "He was very loving and had a lot of humility. My sister and I were always taught how to be respectful and right with others and that comes from Mum and Dad."
Neil confirmed that Brian’s funeral will take place at Rawdon Crematorium. It is due to be held on Wednesday, August 28 at 11:40am. He said anyone is welcome to go and pay their respects.
(This post was edited by Feversham Lens on Aug 20, 2019, 8:49 AM)