Legends - Ivor Broadis

Ivor Broadis is the most distinguished Englishman to have played for Queen of the South. As well as at QoS the popular Londoner achieved many points of note playing for Tottenham Hotspur, Carlisle United, Sunderland, Manchester City and Newcastle United and in 14 appearances for England.

During the Second World War, Flight Lieutenant Broadis completed 500 flying hours on RAF Wellingtons and Lancasters, although he was never on a bombing mission. During the war he guested as an amateur for Tottenham Hotspur, among other clubs. It was at Tottenham that someone misread his real name (Ivan) as Ivor. Not so terrible. And so he inadvertently became known hence forth as Ivor Broadis.

Broadis vividly recalled to the Northern Echo how he was in Italy when news of the Japanese surrender arrived. "Next day we flew hundreds of troops back to England, some of whom hadn’t had leave for five years. I was navigator, so I kept passing round notes telling them where we were. It was very emotional when we came over the white cliffs of Dover and you could see all the bonfires down below."

Carlisle United (1st spell)

At the end of the war Broadis was posted to Crosby-on-Eden. "Until after the war I’d never been so far north in my life, I thought I’d need a dog team to get up here," recalled Broadis. When Carlisle United heard how close he was they offered him the player/manager’s position in August 1946. He was only 23. Broadisbecame the youngest man to have been manager in the English Football League.

Broadis is the first ever manager to transfer himself to another club, when he sold himself to Sunderland in January 1949. As Broadis told the BBC, "Carlisle got £18,000 for me. It was an incredible amount in those days". Broadis was succeeded at Carlisle by Bill Shankly. However Broadis continued to live and train in Carlisle.

One day Broadis arrived late for training. Shankly said to Broadis: "What do you think you’re doing? Who do you think you are? If you do the training we do, you can train with us and we’ll play five-a-side, and you’ll run your guts out as an example to everybody else".

Shankly never said that he made Broadis as a footballer, "But I made him realise what was needed to be a player, and Ivor Broadis was one of the strongest and most dangerous inside forwards that ever played." Heady praise from someone so qualified to comment.

Broadis’ description of events with Shankly: "Bill always regarded himself as the man who saved me, really - the man who gave me to England. I would maybe be lapping round and I admit I could have put a lot more into it.

"You sort of take the routine from the club you are with and that was not good enough for Bill. I was doing what I thought Sunderland would be doing, the way they were doing it. And that wasn’t Bill’s way. You had to come off jiggered. So Bill regarded himself as putting me right and I think there’s a lot of truth in that. His strength was not Liverpool. It was the strength he could give to anybody."

With Shankly’s infectious enthusiasm he would ask Broadis, "Are you doing anything this afternoon? Aye, right then, if you’re not, come down to the ground." They would upturn two chimney pots to each be a goal and play one-a-side.


Of his transfer to Sunderland Broadis remarked, "All I did was exercise the right to be transferred. Blackburn, Man City and Preston were interested but only Bill Murray, the Sunderland manager, came to see me. That’s why I joined but it was the board who agreed the fee." On his £12 a week Broadis commented, "When I was playing, the only agent was Dick Tracy." Aged 26 when he signed, Broadis went on to grace England’s top division for the next 6 and half seasons.

Sunderland’s big-spending transfer fees on Broadis and others led to the club being known at this time as the "Bank of England" club. Alongside the likes of England internationals Len Shackleton, Dickie Davis and Willie Watson and Wales’ Trevor Ford, Ivor Broadis scored 27 goals in 84 Sunderland appearances.

Broadis remembers his playing days with affection but not entirely without regret. The inside-forward lamented "The sad thing about that Sunderland side was that we should have won the League in 1950. They played me at centre-forward against a relegated Man City with three or four games to go and we lost. We finished third in the end. We should have won the league that year, it would have made such a difference."

The top scorer in England’s first division that season was Sunderland’s Dickie Davis with 25 goals. For the game Broadis refers to above, Davis was injured. As a press report of the game says:

“No one could say Sunderland‘s rearranged forward line was a success. Kirtley at inside right was never in the game as a fighting force and as a result Broadis in the middle got little support. Out of it too was Tommy Wright on the wing. This game has probably cost the Wearsiders the title after looking good to take it."

Also missing was another key player, cultured wing half and club captain, Willie Watson (Watson was a double international – he represented England at Cricket as well as football).

After a dour first half the second half came to life. With Man City fighting for their top flight survival, the opener came in the 49th minute when Sunderland keeper Mapson appeared to have a cross from Westcott covered. Mapson was challenged for the ball resulting in a trundler of a goal. The challenging City player to get his name on the score sheet – Jackie Oakes; Queen of the South legend and future Palmerston team mate of Broadis.

On the hour mark City were 2 up thanks to a Clarke header. Stelling pulled it back from the spot in the 64th minute to 2-1 but that wasn’t his only involvement in penalties that day. He saw another saved by the remarkable Bert Trautmann. To Stelling’s relief, the referee adjudged the German goallie to have moved before the kick was taken - a re-take was ordered. Trautmann showed his class however with a fantastic save of Stelling’s shot. Sunderland had also lost 2-1 to Man City earlier in the season at Maine Road making them the only team to notch home and away league wins that season over Sunderland.

In Sunderland’s highest post-war finish they ended up 1 point behind retaining champions Portsmouth and also runners up Wolves. This is Broadis’ highest ever league finish.

Later that year, Broadis played in, “A quite astonishing Boxing Day clash at Old Trafford”. Some further quotes from the match report in the Sunderland Echo:

* “On the stroke of the half-hour Ivor Broadis – man-of-the-match by some distance – gave the visitors the lead with a great goal. From the inside-right position he created an opening for centre-forward Davis and when his shot hit the crossbar with Allen beaten, it was Broadis who nipped in to head home.”

* “A minute later and Broadis extended Sunderland’s lead, driving a powerful shot home.”

* “Sunderland though went into the break two goals ahead of their opponents when Broadis scored with an opportunist strike, driving the ball in off the underside of the crossbar.”

* “Broadis linked up with Tommy Wright just after the hour and he back heeled to Davis who had the ball in the back of the net in an instant.”

The game ended Manchester United 3, Sunderland 5.

Manchester City

Broadis joined Trautmann at re-promoted Manchester City in October 1951, this time for a fee of £25,000. Signed by Manager Les McDowall, Broadis debuted the day after signing. The 2-1 victory was the first defeat of the season for Spurs.

As a natural ball player, Broadis’ trickery made him a hit with the fans immediately. Two weeks later McDowall signed the player he wanted to team up with Broadis to be the attacking nucleus of the side, Don Revie. It didn’t live up to McDowall’s expectations.

To quote Trautmann: "I don’t know why the team did not reach the potential it should have done, to a certain extent we expected such a lot from Ivor and Don but things did not happen. I discussed this with Revie and he felt that their styles clashed, they both liked to play from deep positions and Don felt that they were getting in each others way, a conclusion I had reached. Les McDowall seemed to think that it would just sort itself out, but it was apparent to me that it would not. Ivor was a fast player where Don, on his own admission, needed time and space to play his own game.”

Revie himself described Broadis as having great ball control, explosive pace and ferocious shooting.

The comments of another ex Man City great, Mike Summerbee. “The word legend is used too much to describe players these days, but Ivor Broadis is a real soccer legend. I saw him play quite often as a young boy and he really sticks in my mind. He was a fantastic footballer and a real gentleman. He is respected by every club he played for.”

It was at Man City that Broadis gained his first England cap one month after joining (Broadis collected eight of his caps in his spell at Maine Road). He scored 12 goals in his Man City 79 appearances. It was also there that he penned his first newspaper column thanks to the Manchester Evening News.

Newcastle United

Newcastle United signed Broadis two years later for £20,000. The team already included players like Jackie Milburn, Len White, Scotsmen Ronnie Simpson, Bobby ‘Dazzler’ Mitchell and Frank Brennan and Welshman Ivor Allchurch. As at previous clubs Broadis was well received by the fans and is still warmly remembered. Milburn described Broadis as, "A class act". With Broadis at the club Newcastle won the F.A. Cup in 1955 - their last time to date. However Broadis didn’t play in the 3-1 final defeat of ex-club Man City after a disagreement with trainer Norman Smith. His days at St James’ Park were numbered.

International career

Broadis earned 14 caps for the England national football team, scoring 8 goals. His debut was on 28th November 1951 in a 2-2 draw v Austria before a Wembley crowd of 100 000. Surprisingly for 14 caps, only 2 were picked up at Wembley. 10 of the 14 were picked up in end of season travels.

In both his England games at Hampden Park he played in front of crowds of over 130 000 - games he recalled as, "Something special". In the first of these (in 1952) he played against Willie McNaught from Dumfries. In Broadis’ three games against Scotland (twice against future Queen of the South team mate, George Farm), Broadis was unbeaten (2 wins, 1 draw). Broadis scored 3 goals against Scotland, all with Farm in goals for the Scots.

In Florence before a 93 000 crowd, Broadis put England 1-0 ahead against Italy in a game that ended 1-1. On a tour of South America, Argentina v England was suspended at 0-0 after 23 minutes due to a torrential rain storm. After 36 minutes play, Referee Arthur Ellis gave up and signalled to the players to head for the dressing rooms. He joked to England’s Billy Wright, “If we stay out any longer we’ll need lifeboats’. After England beat Chile 2-1 on the same tour, World Champions Uruguay played exhibition football and could have been six up instead of two in giving England the run around. To England’s credit they at least staged a late fight back with Broadis and Nat Lofthouse each hitting the post before Tommy Taylor made the final score 2-1 to Uruguay. This was not to be the last encounter Broadis was to have against the Uruguayans.

A week after the game in Uruguay, England played USA at the Polo Grounds, them home of the New York Giants. With freak rain again intervening, the game was delayed 24 hours. With England keen to avoid a repeat of the 1-0 defeat of the 1950 World Cup finals, they laid siege to the American goal. Missing a train load of chances, England finally went ahead two minutes before half time thanks to Broadis’ opener. In contrast to the crowds of 130 000+ at Hampden, 100 000 at Wembley, 93 000 in Florence and 80 000 in Buenos Aires, England ran out 6-3 victors in front of only 7,271 fans despite the 50 000+ capacity.

In a game of eight goals in Budapest on May 23rd 1954, Broadis was the only England player able to score. In reply the speed, skill and movement of the Hungary `Golden Team´ featuring Ferenc Puskás, Sándor Kocsis, Zoltán Czibor, Nándor Hidegkuti and József Bozsik rattled in 7, giving their opponents a football lesson. Hungary were six up and cruising before Broadis got on the score sheet with a screamer into the top corner from 17 yards. Seemingly to make a point, Puskás immediately restored the six goal lead. Another monster crowd attended, 92 000. The 7-1 loss still stands as England’s record defeat. After the game bewildered England centre half Syd Owen said, "It was like playing people from outer space". Tom Finney commented of Broadis, "I remember when he had taken his boots off after the Budapest match, he warned everyone, "Don’t touch them unless you’re wearing gloves, they’re red hot"". Broadis added, "It’s the first time I’ve ever come off the pitch with a sunburned tongue!" Broadis hadn’t played when Hungary won 6-3 at Wembley the previous November.

Broadis played at the 1954 FIFA World Cup. Calamitous administration precipitated an on field disaster for Scotland with ex QoS George Hamilton a traveling squad player. Broadis and England in contrast performed respectably. Playing in all 3 England games Broadis scored 2 goals, both against Belgium. Broadis was thus the first Englishman to score twice in a game in the World Cup finals, 30 minutes ahead of Nat Lofthouse who also scored two in the same 4 - 4 draw. Broadis was also part of the 1st ever England team to play in the World Cup quarter- finals, a level England have surpassed only once away from home. It was in this game where Broadis became re-acquainted with the Uruguayans who again ran out victors over England, this time 4-2.

Carlisle United (2nd spell)

Ivor Broadis returned to Carlisle in July 1955, when he was signed as player/coach for a fee of £3,500. Broadis stayed at Brunton Park until June 1959 after which he was off to play in Scotland.

Queen of the South

The now enormously experienced Broadis joined Queen of the South for the last of his playing days in 1959. He became the first man to play for QoS to have previously played in the finals of a FIFA World Cup - he remains the only player to have done so. Clearly enjoying his fine displays at QoS, he later said, "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".

Jackie Oakes was already at QoS when Broadis joined. In February 1960 the two were joined by another former adversary from England’s top flight, George Farm.

(QoS 1960/61. Back row; G Irving, H Mattison, G Farm, J Kerr, P Scott, J Byrne

Front row; R BlackM ElliottJ Patterson, I Broadis, E Garrett)


Sir Alex Ferguson is globally renowned as a trophy magnet manager at Aberdeen and Manchester United. Prior to his managerial career Sir Alex had well over a decade as a centre forward in Scotland, averaging better than a goal every two games. He scored for Queen's Park against Queen of the South at Palmerston Park on Boxing Day, 1959. Ivor Broadis scored four goals for QoS in a 7-1 victory with the Doonhamers’ other goals coming from Percy Dunlop (2) and Bobby Black. Sir Alex was asked if he could briefly contribute his memories for this article. Here’s what he had to say:

“One of my great memories of my football career includes that particular game when Queen's Park lost 7-1 to Queen of the South.”

“Not that I should remember a game in which your team lost by such a margin but for the fact that as a 17 year old lad to be on the field with the great Ivor Broadis was a wonderful highlight for me. The other reason to remember the game was the ages of the Queen of the South forward line, it probably averaged about 34! Black, Broadis, Patterson, Dunlop, Oakes, I remember it all too well and also I remember my goal, you don’t forget when you score a goal on the same pitch as Ivor Broadis!”

This is what Broadis’ ex team mate at QoS, wing wizard Bobby Black told us about Broadis:

"Ivor Broadis, he was a footballer. He was an ex English international. Him and I, we got on well. He was a good reader of the game and he understood it. The first time I seen him play I thought to myself, ‘Now here’s a footballer’. It was a pleasure to play beside him. It was an honour to play with someone of his stature. He was still a class act. He was ever present. He was good company, a humorist. He didn’t spend his time boasting about his previous career. He very seldom mentioned it, I liked him for that as he had a past to talk about. I still knew him after I moved down here [to Somerset]. I was up in Carlisle for a game. He was a reporter".

Signing for QoS a year after Broadis was Iain McChesney. "The thing that I really remember about Ivor was him taking me back on to the park after the game. It was my first time in the first team when I was 16. I was lucky enough to score a couple of goals and we won 4-2. We were leading, I think it was 3-2 at the time, and we got a penalty. The youth team I’d played with, Greystone Rovers, I took the penalties with them so I picked the ball up and placed it on the spot, and Ivor came across. He said, ‘You’d better just leave it to one of the experienced players, if we score that’ll be the game about finished’. I said, ‘Oh, I’ll score, I’ll score.’ He said ‘No, don’t put pressure on yourself, just relax and let somebody else take it’. So somebody else took it and scored, we won 4-2."

McChesney continued, "And then when the game finished we were walking off, he said, ’We’ll just go into the dressing room for 5 or 6 minutes and let the crowd get away’, he says ’We’ll go back on to the park, I just want to show you a couple of things, it’ll help you when you’re getting the ball played up to you, how to hold it up.’ The game finished and I was back on the park just standing and I was standing facing him 10 yards away. He was throwing the ball up to me, and he says, ’Right, you’ve killed the ball there at your feet, you’ve got it dead, what’s the defender going to do?’ I said, ’How do you mean?’ He said, ’He’s just going to blast right through you, and take you, the ball, and everything.’ He said, ’If you take it, take it on the outside of your foot, either turn left or right, whichever foot you take it with, and just knock it in a wee arc, your swinging away from him all the time.’ He took the time, somebody that had played for England, Sunderland, Spurs, you name it, and he took a wee boy and showed him a couple of things on the park, I always remember him for that. He was always teaching you something. He was great with the kids, not just me, all the young players. If he thought he could help he’d take you out, just for 5 minutes, 10 minutes, and tell you wee things."

With Ivor’s engine still running his displays were a perfect example of, "Form comes and goes, class is permanent." He  scored 20 goals in 63 league games for QoS out of a total of 85 QoS first team games and 24 goals. Broadis´ performances prompted the offer of a contract from top division Hearts and their greatest ever manager, Tommy Walker. Having managed Hearts to be Scottish Champions twice in the preceding four seasons, Walker’s judgement of a top player appears excellent. However Broadis decided that he would end his playing days with QoS before moving on to the next step in his career.

Later days
Ivor Broadis lived in the same Carlisle semi since 1955 before in his 80s he moved in with his daughter and son-in-law at Linstock near Carlisle .
After playing and coaching, Broadis became a football journalist for 45 years. Bill Shankly had transformed Liverpool into a powerhouse club in the English League along with his ’Boot Room’ coaching staff - Bob Paisley, Joe Fagan and ex Queen of the South goalkeeper, Reuben Bennett. When Broadis arrived in the Anfield press box, Shankly marched in, gave Broadis a warm handshake, passed on his good wishes and left the scene.
Ivor Broadis was stopped outside Hampden Park when heading towards Gretna’s Scottish Cup semi-final in 2006 for being in possession of an offensive weapon, namely a vacuum flask. "Someone passing told the polis that I’d played at Hampden, against Scotland. He let me in on condition that I didn’t drink the tea."

Ivor Broadis reached his 90th birthday in 2012 as the eldest known surviving ex QoS player. In October 2018 he was given the freedom of Carlisle. He passed away on 12 April 2019 at the outstanding age of 96. No England full internationalist lived longer than Ivor who turned 96 the previous December. At the time he passed away he still held the record of being the English Football League's youngest ever manager.

League and international career summary:

IVOR BROADIS England International
  14 caps 8 Goals
Born: Poplar d.o.b: 18 December 1922
Position: Inside Forward  
Teams Seasons Apps. Gls.
Source : Tottenham Hotspur (Am.)      
Carlisle United (P./Mgr.) 46-49 90 53
Sunderland 48-52 79 25
Manchester City 51-54 74 10
Newcastle United 53-55 42 15
Carlisle United 55-59 157 33
Queen of the South 59-61 63 20
  Totals 505 156


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