Ivor Broadis - birthday greetings

Today is the 90th anniversary of the birthday of ex Queens player, Ivor Broadis. Ex England internationalist Broadis appears to be the eldest surviving player to have played for Queen of the South F.C.

Broadis joined Queens approaching the sunset of his career in 1959, aged 37. Skilful and dangerous, he still had much to offer in his latter days even though his legs weren`t as quick silver as when at his peak. For a start he still had it upstairs and used his brain and experience to prolong his career in a similar manner to what Tommy Bryce for example did more recently. As Broadis remarked himself, "The two seasons I spent at Palmerston were among the best of my career. I was still playing at inside left and enjoying every minute.”

In his two seasons with Queens, Broadis was near ever present and in 85 games scored 24 goals. Perhaps the best measure of his impact though was who tried to sign him at the end of that second season in 1961. Tommy Walker had assembled what was easily the best Hearts side of the 20th century – when they won the League Cup in that 61/62 season that was their third in a five year spell in which they were also Scottish Champions twice. Broadis though joked, with the modesty and humour that Bobby Black commented was endearing of the Englishman, “Even the referees were beating me for pace.” Broadis hung up his boots and embarked on a long career in the press box.

The name of the surviving player with the longest period of time since joining Queens is unchanged by the sad announcement of the passing at the weekend of Jim Patterson (RIP Big Jim). That distinction goes to the believed oldest surviving Scot & also the oldest surviving ex player born a Doonhamer, Charlie Brown who joined in 1948. Born in 1924, Brown is 88 at the time of publication of this feature.

Joining in 1948 from LMS Rovers, he was on the books at Palmerston for five years. A goal scoring forward, his career at QoS included 49 league games in which he hit the net 20 times, a strike rate the envy of many, many a Queens player since. Brown though can consider himself very unlucky with the standard of player he had to compete against at Palmerston. To start with was Billy Houliston, a heck of a handful to play against until the injury on international duty in the States marked the beginning of his demise as a player. The player who took Houliston`s role as the focal point for the Queens attack was Patterson, easily Queens` all time top scorer with 251 goals. Such is the esteem these two are held at the club, both were in the initial five inductees in the Queens Hall of Fame. Another formidable forward for Brown to compete with for places in the starting line up was his name sake, Jackie Brown – 47 goals from his 152 league games before he went to St Mirren.

As Brown states in his interview with Bill Goldie from earlier this year, he retired from the pro ranks at the 1953 season`s end, despite offers elsewhere. He instead focused on a career outside football but also kept playing by joining Tarff Rovers in the Southern Counties League.

Broadis is also among the oldest surviving ex England internationalists. Phil Taylor represented Liverpool as player, captain and manager (his Anfield legacy was he brought Bob Paisley, Joe Fagan and Reuben Bennett to the coaching staff prior to Bill Shankly arriving). His three caps in 1947 meant until recently he was the oldest surviving ex England internationalist. Taylor passed away on December 1st this year at the excellent age of 95. There are though at least two surviving ex England players senior to Broadis in age.

Bert Williams collected 24 caps for England. Surprisingly considering that Broadis and he had football careers in near parallel, they never played in the same England side. A Wolves club mate of England Captain, Billy Wright, Williams lost his place in the international side one game before Broadis collected his first cap and was then recalled after Broadis` last England game, the 1954 World Cup Quarter Final defeat to Uruguay. Williams was then recalled the following December. One point Williams shares with Broadis is they were both involved in a game in their respective international careers that has led to many a quiz question.

(England 0 - 1 USA, 1950 Brazil World Cup. Scorer Joe Gaetjens is carried off by the Brazilians)

Broadis was his side`s solitary scorer when the Hungarian `Golden Team` horsed England as they did so many teams at the time (on this particular occasion they scored seven). Williams played at the World Cup prior to the one featuring Broadis. Williams, nicknamed `The Cat` by the Italians after playing superbly against them in 1949 (England won 2-0), was unlucky enough to be the England keeper when they lost 1-0 to the immensely unfancied USA team in 1950 in Brazil. "It`s been 60 years. It`s taken a lot of forgetting as far as I am concerned,” he said in 2010. The Americans labelled the result the `Miracle on Grass`. Also in 2010, `The Cat` was announced on the same day as David Coulthard as being awarded an MBE. Bert Williams is approaching 93. Gaetjens in contrast, back in his native Haiti, was not seen alive in public beyond his arrest on the morning after Papa Doc Duvalier declared himself life time President on the evening of 7th July 1964. Gaetjens was related to Duvalier`s opponents.


(Broadis and Tommy Taylor, Buenos Aires, 1953. The game was a bogey due to a monster of a rain storm)

Broadis also played in a game against the States, in an end of season tour in 1953. The game was played at the Polo Grounds, home of the New York Giants and scene of the 1951 baseball “Shot heard `round the world” by the Staten Island Scot, Bobby Thomson. The events of Gaetjens and 1950 must have been in the Englishmen`s minds when they were still 0-0 after 43 minutes. Broadis though opened the scoring and this time the floodgates opened – they hit 3 more in the next 20 minutes. Credit to the Americans though who fought back to 4-3 by the 70th minute. Tom Finney then scored his second goal as his team pushed on to win 6-3.



(England 4 - 4 Belgium, 1954 World Cup, Billy Wright, Gil Merrick, Ron Staniforth, Jimmy Dickinson, Sid Owen, Stanley Matthews, Ivor Broadis, Tommy Taylor, Tom Finney, Nat Lofthouse, Roger Byrne).

Finney is another surviving England internationalist older than Broadis. In contrast to Williams, Broadis and Finney were very familiar with each from their international playing days. Their first full international together was in Broadis` 2nd cap – Broadis at inside right and Finney at outside right. Finney remained paired as winger for Broadis` next 10 caps. The next time Broadis was picked and Finney wasn`t playing outside him was England`s first `54 World Cup game (v Belgium) – the two sided Finney was moved to outside left and Stanley Matthews selected to play right wing. Two games later, Broadis` 14th and final cap, he was reunited on the same flank as Finney. Broadis was moved across to inside left with Finney still in the left wing berth. Finney was 90 in April and has 76 caps to his name, one of which was when he played so impressively against Willie McNaught at Hampden in April 1952. Broadis played alongside Finney with their side winning 2-1.

Another to comment on Broadis` 90th birthday, ex Man City great, Mike Summerbee."I would put him in the same bracket as Sir Stanley Matthews. I would say he would have been a star if he was playing today. The pitches and conditions were terrible when he played, but now they’re like bowling greens. With his pace and ability, he would have been a joy to watch.”

Happy birthday Ivor.