We are saddened to hear of the passing of our former player, Brian Clifton. Our thoughts are with Brian's family at this sad time.
Brian Clifton was born in Whitchurch, Hampshire on 15 Match 1934, and he played for his home town team in his mid teens alongside his father and brothers. By the time he was eighteen, he had been signed by Southampton as an amateur, before becoming a pro five years later, following national service. He was signed for Town from the Saints for £8,000 - a sizeable fee in the early 1960s, in 1962, as a midfielder.
Whenever people talk of Brian, the term "cultured" is always brought in to the description. He never gave the impression of being hurried or in trouble, but steadied the play, before playing a perfect pass to Ron Cockerill, Keith Jobling, George McLean, Matt Tees, Brian Hill, Graham Taylor, Rod Green and other Town stalwarts of his time.
His debut for Town on 27th October 1962 was against Stoke City, a game looked forward to by many Town fans as it brought the most famous footballer of the era to Blundell Park - Stanley Matthews. It was to be Matthews final time on our turf, and doubtless Brian was looking forward to the game too - not just Matthews in the opposition but his debut. It turned into a nightmare for Brian though as he sustained a cartilage injury during the game and was sidelined for ten weeks! Even so, Town drew the game.
Brian took the captain's armband from 1964 until 1966, deservedly so for his calm and authoritative play, his prowess in the air, his diving headers, and an inspiration as always to those around him. He left Town in July 1966 to follow the well-worn path to Boston United, and later played for Gainsborough Trinity, Boston FC, Ross Sports, Louth United, and didn't hang up his boots until 1994 when playing for Tartan Forties by which time he was about 60 years old! He also worked for Ross Group.
Brian Clifton 1934-2020