Southampton mourn the passing of former goalkeepers Bob Charles and John Christie

John Christie

Bob Charles

First published in Sport
Last updated

Saints are mourning the death of two of the club’s former goalkeepers – Bob Charles and John Christie.

Both men passed away over the last few days.

Charles, who was 72, played for Saints from 1959 until 1960, making 35 appearances for the club.

Christie, who was 84, enjoyed a longer spell at The Dell, playing there from 1951 until 1959, racking up 217 appearances.

The Scotland-born star, who lived in Chandler’s Ford, is rated as one of the finest keepers ever to pull on a Saints jersey.

Indeed, honorary club president Terry Paine selected Christie as substitute to Campbell Forsyth in his all-time Saints squad.

Christie had been signed from Ayr United after coming to the club’s attention during his National Service, at Farnborough.

While he had to contend with some competition for his spot in the team at times, he became a regular fixture in the side, before departing for Walsall in 1959.

Christie returned to Southampton in 1964, after his playing days ended, and spent 27 years as a rep in the electrical business, while he also had a spell as a site supervisor at a Winchester school before retirement.

Charles was a born-and-bred Southampton man.

He kept goal for the Southampton side that won the English Schools Trophy in 1957, while he also earned international schoolboy honours and played in the same England youth team as Geoff Hurst and Nobby Stiles.

Charles made his first-team debut for Saints at the age of 17, in September 1959.

He lost his place later in the season, however, as Ted Bates signed the experienced Ron Reynolds for the Third Division run-in, following heavy defeats to Newport County and Coventry that had threatened the club’s promotion hopes.

Saints held onto their position at the top of the league, but Charles’ Saints career was over shortly afterwards.

Following spells at Weymouth and Hastings United, he remained in Southampton, working at the docks for 20 years, while also running a car sales business in Portswood for a time.

Comments (6)

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11:17am Mon 10 Mar 14

Jan28th1984 says...

RIP John and Bob - gone but not forgotten.
RIP John and Bob - gone but not forgotten. Jan28th1984
  • Score: 9

12:53pm Mon 10 Mar 14

Rising_Son says...

Bob Charles was actually a pretty decent goalkeeper who never recovered from an injury (to his elbow, if I remember correctly). Thanks for the memories. I'm sure I saw John Christie, but I can't recall a clear image of him. RIP.
Bob Charles was actually a pretty decent goalkeeper who never recovered from an injury (to his elbow, if I remember correctly). Thanks for the memories. I'm sure I saw John Christie, but I can't recall a clear image of him. RIP. Rising_Son
  • Score: 6

1:11pm Mon 10 Mar 14

Cincinnati says...

The highlight of Bob Charles career has to be the 5-1 away cup win against first division Man City in January 1960. The first time I saw Saints play was a 1-1 draw with Swindon at the Dell in August 1958. Christie was in goal that day and my memories of him were that he was a competent goalie.
The highlight of Bob Charles career has to be the 5-1 away cup win against first division Man City in January 1960. The first time I saw Saints play was a 1-1 draw with Swindon at the Dell in August 1958. Christie was in goal that day and my memories of him were that he was a competent goalie. Cincinnati
  • Score: 4

3:52pm Mon 10 Mar 14

nottinghamsaint 1 says...

Thank you both you gave a young lad a lot of pleasure
Thank you both you gave a young lad a lot of pleasure nottinghamsaint 1
  • Score: 5

1:53pm Tue 11 Mar 14

PompeySaves says...

Always sad when clubs lose their past legends. I wonder how many of todays players will be remembered with such fondness?

The older players played for their club with pride and passion and their heads were not turned by big miney moves!!

RIP
Always sad when clubs lose their past legends. I wonder how many of todays players will be remembered with such fondness? The older players played for their club with pride and passion and their heads were not turned by big miney moves!! RIP PompeySaves
  • Score: 3

1:54pm Tue 11 Mar 14

PompeySaves says...

Big MONEY moves (silly skate)
Big MONEY moves (silly skate) PompeySaves
  • Score: 0

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