8th September 1930 – 21st January 2022
It was with great sadness that we learned of the death of former Bristol Rovers goalkeeper Howard Radford, who passed away on Friday (21st January) at the age of 91.
Howard was a link with the halcyon days of the 1950’s, when Rovers were playing in the second tier of English football. Following his League debut for the club in October 1951, against Southend United, he appeared in another 244 league games until his retirement in 1962.
Howard had been hospitalised for a long spell after suffering a major stroke in October of last year, but he was discharged just before Christmas and stayed with his daughter Lisa who continued to care for him until the time of his death.
The Bristol Rovers Former Players Association (BRFPA) contributed £250 towards the cost of a recliner chair for Howard, a gesture that was greatly appreciated by his family.
Howard’s son Gary contacted us with the sad news of Howard’s passing and wrote; ‘I’m so sorry to have to let you know that Dad passed away last night at 10.10pm. He was at Lisa’s, where he wanted to be, and passed peacefully in her arms. Another legend gone, and we will all miss him greatly. Thanks for your concern over the last few months and for your kind donation for his chair.’
A big supporter of the club and of the BRFPA, Howard was the 305th player to make his Rovers League debut and he appeared in 10 games as the side won the Third Division (South) title in 1952/53.
On his retirement Howard was the landlord at the Chequers public house in Old Market and then the Ring o’ Bells in Coalpit Heath.
From 1967 – 1979 he ran the Bishop Lacy Inn in Chudleigh, Devon and also worked for the Home Farm Trust, as a security guard and a lorry driver.
Howard was a keen cricketer who also enjoyed sea fishing, and was a true gentleman and very proud of the time he spent as a professional footballer with Bristol Rovers.
We were delighted that Howard could travel up from Devon for the last BRFPA Dinner we could hold (in 2019) and loved seeing him enjoying the evening with his son.
All connected with Bristol Rovers Supporters Club and the BRFPA send their condolences to Howard’s family and friends at this sad time.