My football hero

Bob Latchford celebrates after scoring his 30th goal of the seaon in the 6-0 win over Chelsea at Goodison Park, 29th April 1978.

Latchford was born in Kings Heath, Birmingham. He was transferred from Birmingham City to Everton for £350,000, a British transfer record at the time. At Everton, Latchford was the top scorer for six successive seasons. He scored 30 goals in the 1977–78 season, winning a £10,000 prize offered by a national newspaper for the first footballer to reach that number in a single season. During the mid-seventies, Latchford was widely considered one of the top English forwards of his generation. He earned his first full cap for England in a World Cup qualifier against Italy in 1977.

The closest he came to a winner’s medal at Everton was as a finalist in the League Cup in 1977. Latchford made 268 appearances (3 as substitute) for Everton scoring 138 goals. After a guest stint in Australia for Brisbane Lions in 1981, scoring 4 goals in as many appearances, Latchford left Everton for Swansea, newly promoted to the top tier of English football, scoring a hat-trick on his debut for the Swans. He scored 35 goals in 87 league appearances during his three years at Swansea, meaning that – as at Everton – he averaged a goal nearly every other game. Latchford later also played for Dutch club NAC Breda, Coventry City, Lincoln City, Newport County and finally Merthyr Tydfil before retiring as a player in 1987.

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