Foxes A to Z, Jeff Blockley, England one cap wonder and Leicester City at home

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A team mate of Peter Shilton in Leicester Boys’ English Schools Trophy winning team of 1965, Jeff was initially overlooked by his home town club. His cool, strong centre-half play soon, however, saw him through the ranck at Coventry City, and to the first of his ten England U.23 caps, yet it was only after a £200.000 move to Highbury and Arsenal that he received a full England call-up.

Matters soured somewhat at Arsenal with Frank McLintock unready to relinquish his place, and the crowd unforgiving after Jeff turned in a below par performance in clubs’s 1973 FA Cup semi-final defeat by Sunderland.

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But what seemed a desperation £100.000 purchase on Jimmy Bloomfield’s part in fact worked wonders for both player and club, as City escaped an apparantly pre-booked relegation spot thanks to the inspirational successes of Jeff at the back and Chris Garland up front. Injuries unfortunately dogged much of Jeff’s subsequent Leicester career, but when he gave up his role ad defensive cornerstone, it was only to the high promise of young Steve Sims.

Jeff returned to the county on retirement, was briefly manger of Southern League club Leicester United, and in April/May 1989 held the reins at Hinckley Athletic.

FACTFILE:

  • Full Name: Jeff Blockley
  • Position: Defender
  • Date of Birth: 12.09.1949
  • Birthplace: Leicester
  • Nation: England
  • Caps / Goals: 1/0
  • Major League Career:
    • 1968-72, Coventry City (146/6)
    • 1972-75, Arsenal (52/1)
    • 1975-78, Leicester City (76/2)
    • 1978-80, Notts County (59/5)
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