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John Atyeo

Bristol City FC

6 appearances, 5 goals

P 6 W 4 D 2 L 0 F 18: A 6
83% successful
1955-57

disciplined: none
captaincies:
none
minutes played:
540

John Atyeo

Profile

Full name Peter John Walter Atyeo
Born 7 February 1932 in Dilton Marsh, near Westbury, Wiltshire [registered as Peter J.W. in Westbury, March 1932].
Attended Dilton School and Trowbridge High School
Married to Ruth Harraway [registered in Warminster, Wiltshire, December 1956]
Died 8 June 1993 in Warminster, aged 61 years 122 days [registered in Warminster, Wiltshire, June 1993] from a heart-attack.
Height/Weight 6' 0", 12st. 4lbs [1957]

Source

Douglas Lammings' An English Football Internationalist Who's Who [1990] & JohnAyteo.co.uk.

Biographies Atyeo: The Hero Next Door - Tom Hopegood and John Hudson. [Redcliffe Press. Bristol 2005].

Club Career

Club(s) Played junior football in Wiltshire schools.  Played for Westbury United FC and also played with Portsmouth FC as an amateur in November 1950, making two league appearances. He turned professional with Bristol City FC in June 1951. Retired in May 1966 after 597 league appearances and 315 league goals. In his heyday at Bristol City, the club received offers for Atyeo from Arsenal, Liverpool, Tottenham and AC Milan.  The Italians were rumoured to be willing to pay £50,000 for him.
Club honours Football League Division Three South winners 1954-55;
Individual honours Football League (two appearances)
Distinctions When Bristol City replaced the Park End at Ashton Gate in 1994, the new structure was named the Atyeo Stand.  There is also a street named after him in his home village of Dilton Marsh.

Source

Douglas Lammings' An English Football Internationalist Who's Who [1990] & Hopegood's The Hero Next Door.

England Career

Player number 753rd player to appear for England.
Position(s) Inside-right
First match No. 301, 30 November 1955, England 4 Spain 1, a friendly match at Empire Stadium, London, aged 23 years 296 days.
Last match No. 314, 19 May 1957, England 1 Republic of Ireland 1, a World Cup qualification match at Dalymount Park, Phibsborough, Dublin, aged 25 years 101 days.
Major tournaments None
Team honours None
Individual honours England B (three appearances, two goals), England U23 (three appearances, two goals), England Youth (five appearances, three goals).
Distinctions None

Beyond England

Atyeo remained a semi-professional throughout his football career, working first as a quantity surveyor, and then trained as a mathematician, and taught maths at Kingsdown School, Wiltshire for 20 years.  He also wrote for the Plymouth-based newspaper, the Sunday Independent. - An English Football Internationalists' Who's Who. Douglas Lamming (1990). Hatton Press, p.16/DevonAutographs.com

 

John Atyeo - Career Statistics
Squads Apps Comp.
Apps
Starts Sub on Sub off Mins. Goals Goals Av.min Comp.
Goals
Capt. Disc.
8 6 3 6 0 0 540 5 108 min 4 none none
Due to the fact that many matches rarely stuck to exactly ninety minutes long, allowing time for injuries, errors and substitutions.  The minutes here given can only ever be a guideline and cannot therefore be accurate, only an approximation.

 

John Atyeo - Match Record - All Matches - By Colour of Shirt
Type P W D L F A GD FTS CS FAv AAv Pts % W/L
Home 3 3 0 0 13 4 +9 0 0 4.33 1.333 100.0 +3
Away 3 1 2 0 5 2 +3 1 1 1.667 0.667 66.7 +1
All - White 6 4 2 0 18 6 +12 1 1 3.00 1.00 83.3 +4


John Atyeo - Match Record - By Type of Match
Type P W D L F A GD FTS CS FAv AAv Pts% W/L

WCP

3 2 1 0 10 3 +7 0 0 3.333 1.00 83.3 +2
WCF 0 0 0 0 0 0 =0 0 0 0.00 0.00 00.0 =0
World Cup 3 2 1 0 10 3 +7 0 0 3.333 1.00 83.3 +2
Friendlies 3 2 1 0 8 3 +5 1 1 2.667 1.00 83.3 +2
All 6 4 2 0 18 6 +12 1 1 3.00 1.00 83.3 +4

 

John Atyeo - Match Record - Tournament Matches
World Cup Preliminary Competition
Type P W D L F A GD FTS CS FAv AAv Pts% W/L
WCP 1956-58 3 2 1 0 10 3 +7 0 0 3.333 1.00 83.3 +2
WCP All 3 2 1 0 10 3 +7 0 0 3.333 1.00 83.3 +2
All Competition
Type P W D L F A GD FTS CS FAv AAv Pts% W/L
WC 3 2 1 0 10 3 +7 0 0 3.333 1.00 83.3 +2
All 3 2 1 0 10 3 +7 0 0 3.333 1.00 83.3 +2

 

John Atyeo - Match History
 Club: Bristol City F.C. - 6 full caps

Coach: Walter Winterbottom - 6 full capsx

Age 23
1 u23 19 January 1955 - England U23 5 Italy U23 1, Stamford Bridge, Fulham Fr HW Start ?
2 u23 8 February 1955 - Scotland U23 0 England U23 6, Shawfield Park, Glasgow Fr AW Start ?
1 b 23 March 1955 - England B 1 West Germany B 1, Hillsborough, Sheffield Fr HD Start 8
3 u23 6 May 1955 - England Over30 5 England U23 0, Arsenal Stadium, Highbury u/o HL Start ?
2 b 19 October 1955 - England B 5 Yugoslavia B 1, Maine Road, Manchester Fr HW Start 8
1 301 30 November 1955 - England 4 Spain 1, Empire Stadium, Wembley Fr HW Start 11 8
Age 24
3 b 29 February 1956 - Scotland B 2 England B 2, Dens Park, Dundee Fr HW Start 10
2 303 9 May 1956 - England 4 Brazil 2, Empire Stadium, Wembley Fr HW Start 8
3 304 16 May 1956 - Sweden 0 England 0, Råsunda Fotbollstadion, Solna Tour AD Start 8
- 305 20 May 1956 - Finland 1 England 5, Olympiastadion, Helsinki AW squad member
- 306 26 May 1956 - West Germany 1 England 3, Olympiastadion, Berlin AW
Age 25
4 312 8 May 1957 - England 5 Republic of Ireland 1, Empire Stadium, Wembley WCP HW Start
38,89
8
5 313 15 May 1957 - Denmark 1 England 4, Idrætsparken, København AW Start 76 8
6 314 19 May 1957 - Republic of Ireland 1 England 1, Dalymount Park, Dublin AD Start 89 8

Notes

John Atyeo was the best-known, best-loved and most accomplished player in the history of West Country football.  'Big John' to all who knew him, he merited the epithet for more than his strapping six-foot stature: five strikes in six games for England, more goals scored for one club (his beloved Bristol City) than by any star of any era, the extraordinary record of never being cautioned by a referee in more than 650 senior matches - all that tells only part of the story. The full measure of the man was evident in an engagingly open personality, combining the lively intelligence that made him a successful and enlightened schoolteacher with the unadorned simplicity of a true countryman.

From his boyhood in Wiltshire, Atyeo was an outstanding all-round sportsman but, though his talents at rugby and cricket were enviable enough, it was at football that he excelled. For a centre-forward, he lacked nothing: big-framed and brawny, majestic in the air, he possessed both skill and power in either foot and the acumen to apply those gifts to optimum advantage. Indeed, so colossal was his potential that he was coveted by the reigning League champions, Portsmouth, who gave him two first team outings as an amateur in 1950-51 and made strenuous attempts to secure his signature.

But Atyeo's roots were deep in home soil and he opted for the more familiar surroundings of Ashton Gate, Ashton Vale, Bedminster. Before long, he was scoring prolifically for Bristol City and in the mid-1950s offers poured in from the likes of Arsenal, Spurs, Liverpool and even Internazionale, the Milan club. The fee mentioned was pounds 50,000 - at today's inflated valuations, the equivalent of millions - but he was not to be tempted when in an era when players were limited to a niggardly maximum wage.

Atyeo's decision was influenced by the need for more mental stimulus than any game could provide. Throughout most of his career he played part-time, first working as a quantity surveyor, then training as a teacher, and but for that semi-professional status must have represented his country more often. Even with an international strike-rate close to a goal a game, even after scoring the goal that won England qualification for the 1958 World Cup finals in Sweden, even though he never finished on the losing side, he was discarded, the only conceivable explanation being that the selectors (there was no all- powerful manager then) objected to a part-timer. No matter, between 1951 and 1956 he served City royally, scoring 350 goals, helping them win the Division Three South title in 1955, and captaining them to promotion to Division Three 10 years later.

Off the pitch, Atyeo's life was equally fulfilling. On retirement from football he threw himself into teaching and went on to become head of mathematics at a school in Warminster, where he lived with his wife and four children. He was utterly dedicated and on exam days would rise early to offer pupils last-minute revision sessions at 7am - he reckoned there was more satisfaction in helping youngsters than in all his footballing glory and to the last he was unstinting with his time and effort.

A perceptive columnist for the Plymouth-based Sunday Independent, John Atyeo was open-minded and astute, modest and humorous, qualities enhanced by old-fashioned family values yet tempered by a certain disarming naivety that never left him. His death at home, following a heart attack, leaves the football scene immeasurably poorer.

'Big John' to all who knew him, he merited the epithet for more than his strapping six-foot stature: five strikes in six games for England, more goals scored for one club (his beloved Bristol City) than by any star of any era, the extraordinary record of never being cautioned by a referee in more than 650 senior matches - all that tells only part of the story. The full measure of the man was evident in an engagingly open personality, combining the lively intelligence that made him a successful and enlightened schoolteacher with the unadorned simplicity of a true countryman.

From his boyhood in Wiltshire, Atyeo was an outstanding all-round sportsman but, though his talents at rugby and cricket were enviable enough, it was at football that he excelled. For a centre-forward, he lacked nothing: big-framed and brawny, majestic in the air, he possessed both skill and power in either foot and the acumen to apply those gifts to optimum advantage. Indeed, so colossal was his potential that he was coveted by the reigning League champions, Portsmouth, who gave him two first team outings as an amateur in 1950-51 and made strenuous attempts to secure his signature.

But Atyeo's roots were deep in home soil and he opted for the more familiar surroundings of Ashton Gate, Ashton Vale, Bedminster. Before long, he was scoring prolifically for Bristol City and in the mid-1950s offers poured in from the likes of Arsenal, Spurs, Liverpool and even Internazionale, the Milan club. The fee mentioned was pounds 50,000 - at today's inflated valuations, the equivalent of millions - but he was not to be tempted when in an era when players were limited to a niggardly maximum wage.

Atyeo's decision was influenced by the need for more mental stimulus than any game could provide. Throughout most of his career he played part-time, first working as a quantity surveyor, then training as a teacher, and but for that semi-professional status must have represented his country more often. Even with an international strike-rate close to a goal a game, even after scoring the goal that won England qualification for the 1958 World Cup finals in Sweden, even though he never finished on the losing side, he was discarded, the only conceivable explanation being that the selectors (there was no all- powerful manager then) objected to a part-timer. No matter, between 1951 and 1956 he served City royally, scoring 350 goals, helping them win the Division Three South title in 1955, and captaining them to promotion to Division Three 10 years later.

Off the pitch, Atyeo's life was equally fulfilling. On retirement from football he threw himself into teaching and went on to become head of mathematics at a school in Warminster, where he lived with his wife and four children. He was utterly dedicated and on exam days would rise early to offer pupils last-minute revision sessions at 7am - he reckoned there was more satisfaction in helping youngsters than in all his footballing glory and to the last he was unstinting with his time and effort.

A perceptive columnist for the Plymouth-based Sunday Independent, John Atyeo was open-minded and astute, modest and humorous, qualities enhanced by old-fashioned family values yet tempered by a certain disarming naivety that never left him. His death at home, following a heart attack, leaves the football scene immeasurably poorer. - The Independent obituary

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CG