Ivor Broadis 1922 – 2019
When he passed away on April 12, at the age of 96, Ivor Broadis was the holder of two contrasting records.
Back in 1946 he was appointed player manager of Carlisle United at the age of 23, still by several years the youngest anyone has become a league club manager.
More recently he was not only the oldest living England international, a distinction he had held since the death of Tom Finney, but since last August had become the longest lived of all the 1,242 England soccer internationals.
These distinctions bookended a remarkable career. Though he spent most of his life in Carlisle, he was born and bred on the Isle of Dogs in London. On leaving his rugby playing grammar school, he signed for Tottenham as an amateur but was still only 16 when war broke out.
He joined the RAF, where he served as a navigator in Transport Command. He played for Spurs but also guested for Millwall, Bradford PA and Manchester United. At the end of the war he was posted to Crosby aerodrome, beginning his long association with Carlisle.
Ivor made an immediate impact guesting with Carlisle and having been demobbed in August 1946, he became United’s player manager. Money was in short supply at the club but although the team contained some talented players and at times played entertaining football, it was the pace, ball control and shooting power of Broadis himself that attracted the scouts. In January 1949 he joined Sunderland for a fee of £18,000, a record for a Third Division North player.
Ivor spent two years at RokerPark in a Sunderland team that in 1950 almost won the title. The following year he signed for ManchesterCity. While at Maine Road he gained the first of 14 England caps in November 1951. In all he scored eight goals for his country and played in the 1954 World Cup, becoming the first England player to score twice in a World Cup match in the 4-4 draw with Belgium.
Manchester also saw the start of Ivor’s career as a journalist. He wrote a weekly piece for the Manchester Evening News where he was one of the few such contributors who always wrote his own copy. His views, on issues such as the retain and transfer system, were not always appreciated by his employers.
In 1953 he was transferred again, joining Newcastle United in another big money move. He was still at St James Park when he featured in the World Cup but the following year he was omitted from the cup winning team. In the summer of 1955 he returned to BruntonPark as player coach.
Ivor spent another four seasons here, the highlight perhaps being the 1957 FA Cup tie against Birmingham that ended in a thrilling 3-3 draw. He also played a record four times for the Third Division North team in their matches against their southern counterparts. Leaving BruntonPark in the summer of 1959, his playing days ended with two seasons at Queen of the South. Queens reached the League Cup semi final in his first year at Palmerston and his spell north of the border was one of his happiest as a player.
Refusing offers to stay in the game as a manager, Ivor became a respected sportswriter. For many years he wrote for the Newcastle Journal before a final spell with the Carlisle Evening News. To do justice to such a long career is not easy in a short space but he summed things up in his own words: ‘Few people get to do the job they want to do. In playing football then writing about it, I was fortunate to spend my working life doing the two jobs I most wanted to do’.