It says everything you need to know about Trevor Ford that the great John Charles called him ‘his idol’. Born in Swansea, Trevor Ford became a prolific goal scorer (202 league goals) throughout a career that spanned 401 matches and 15 years, the majority coming in the First Division. He launched his career with his hometown club Swansea Town during wartime and played for less than one season in the Second Division. He moved to Aston Villa in 1947 where he scored consistently in the First Division, finishing as the club’s top scorer for three consecutive seasons between 1947 and 1950.
In October 1950, he transferred to Sunderland for the sum of £30,000, breaking the British transfer fee record at the time. At Sunderland, Ford formed a strike partnership with England international Len Shackleton, known as the “clown prince of football”. He left Sunderland in 1953 to return to Wales with Cardiff City and spent three seasons at Ninian Park before being suspended by the Football Association after revealing details of illegal payments being made to players during his time at Sunderland in an attempt to avoid the maximum wage at the time.
Unable to play in Britain due to the suspension, Ford joined Dutch side PSV Eindhoven, but returned to Britain in 1960 when his suspension was lifted to finish his career with short spells at Newport County and Romford.
During his career, Ford represented Wales on 38 occasions and became his country’s all-time record top goalscorer with 23 goals which stood until it was equaled by Ivor Allchurch and later surpassed by Ian Rush and Gareth Bale. Due to his suspension from the game at the time, Ford was overlooked for selection for the 1958 FIFA World Cup.
Trevor Ford, footballer: born Swansea 1 October 1923; played for Swansea Town 1942-47, Aston Villa 1947-50, Sunderland 1950-53, Cardiff City 1953-56, PSV Eindhoven 1957-60, Newport County 1960-61; capped 38 times by Wales 1947-57; died Swansea 29 May 2003.