Jeff Blockley's Arsenal career could not have started much better - he was capped by England just days after moving to Highbury in October 1972. But that was pretty much as good as it got for the central defender.
Blockley was touted as the long-term replacement for Double-winning captain Frank McLintock and seemed to fit the bill after impressing at Coventry. He captained the Sky Blues to Youth Cup glory in 1968, helped the first team qualify for the Fairs Cup two years later and was soon made captain. No wonder Bertie Mee was impressed.
|Arsenal Career||1972 - 1975|
|Appearances||62 (62 starts, 0 as a sub)|
But despite his obvious promise, Blockley failed to shine at Arsenal.
McLintock was clearly a hard act to follow and his successor failed to win over the fans as he struggled to find the form which earned him a move to London. Blockley helped Arsenal finish second in the League in his debut season but was roundly criticised after a costly mistake in the FA Cup Semi-Final defeat to Sunderland.
The Leicester-born stopper soldiered on and made 62 first-team appearances for the Club - all of them starts. He got his name on the scoresheet as well but moved on in January 1975, signing for his hometown club. Blockley went on to play for Notts County, Enderby and Shepshed Charterhouse.
WHAT THE FANS SAID
"I will never forget the time when I think we were playing Manchester City and Jeff punched a goal-bound ball off the line with the referee claiming he didn't see the incident because the sun was in his eyes. Ever since then wherever that ref went fans would hold their hands above their eyes as if to shield the sun mockingly. Positive memory no, funny yes!"
Cornell Mannings, Montreal, Canada