FOOTBALL: Former Oxford City chief Les Goodchild dies at 76

Les Goodchild pictured during his days with City

Les Goodchild pictured during his days with City

First published in Sport

LES Goodchild, managing director of Oxford City when Bobby Moore and Harry Redknapp came to the club as the management team, has died, aged 76.

Goodchild gave up his job as principal engineer at Pressed Steel Fisher to become City’s managing director in November 1979.

Four years later, England’s 1966 World Cup-winning skipper Moore was unveiled as manager, with Redknapp his assistant.

Goodchild went on to become chairman in 1986, taking over from Tony Rosser, and was at the forefront of the fight to save the club from going under after the major shareholders Free Newspapers went into receivership.

He helped win that battle, but City’s troubles refused to go away as they attempted to persuade owners Brasenose College to renew their lease at the White House ground, which proved unsuccessful.

Born in Littlemore, Goodchild was at Headington United until a serious knee injury curtailed his playing days. He went on to coach youth teams at Marston Saints.

Cricket was also a passion.

An all-rounder for Pressed Steel, he also organised Cherwell League representative teams and ran youth teams at his club with Wilf Bennett, playing a leading role in the development of players such as Geoff Ford, David Hale and Stewart Laudat, who went on to play for Oxfordshire.

His son, Nick, also played cricket for Pressed Steel. Goodchild Snr was also chairman of the Oxford Deep Sea Angling Club.

Work saw him move to Shropshire in 1990 after getting a job as a tool estimator in Shrewsbury where he worked until his retirement.

He died in Royal Shrewsbury Hospital on May 23 after a short illness.

He leaves a widow, Pauline, three sons, Nick, Paul and Julian, two daughters, Jane and Claire, 12 grandchildren and one great grandchild.

The funeral service will be at Telford Crematorium on Friday, June 13 (2pm).

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