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Southampton mourn the passing of former goalkeepers Bob Charles and John Christie
Updated 12:51pm Monday 10th March 2014 in Football
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.
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