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Obituary - Colin Brittan

Posted on 15 April 2013  - 06:08

We were sorry to learn of the recent passing of Colin Brittan, aged 85, who was on our playing staff for 10 years during the immediate post-war era.

Obituary - Colin Brittan

A stalwart of our Reserve Team, he made over 300 appearances for the club but of those only 45 were at senior competitive level. Colin had to vie with the likes Ronnie Burgess, Bill Nicholson, Danny Blanchflower and Tony Marchi for a slot in our half back line.

Born at Bristol on June 2, 1927, Colin Brittan attended Bristol North School and a local technical school before working for the Bristol Aeroplane Company at Filton. He spent his National Service with the Royal Fleet Arm. Spotted by us playing for the Bristol North Old Boys club he signed as an amateur on January 20, 1948.

Colin featured in our “A” Team’s first game in the Eastern Counties League - versus Clacton Town on August 21, 1948 - and stepped up for his Reserve Team debut away at Bristol City on October 16.

He took up the offer of a full professional contract on October 27 that year and ended the following season with an East Anglian Cup winners’ medal. He was ever-present in the five matches culminating in the 4-1 victory over Harwich & Parkeston in the Final on May 6, 1950.

It was against Burnley on October 7, 1950 that Colin made the first of his 41 appearances in our Football League side. His best season was 1952-53 making 13 senior appearances, including four in the FA Cup.

Colin’s only senior goal for us was the winner in a 2-1 victory at White Hart Lane over Sheffield United on April 17, 1954. His 52nd minute long range strike through a crowded penalty area secured our top flight status.

Colin won Football Combination Championship medals in seasons 1955-56 and 1956-57. He sustained a first half injury on his final senior outing, at Sunderland on November 2, 1957, but played the rest of the game on the left wing.

Colin returned to action with our Reserve and “A” sides and made the last of his 257 appearances for our intermediate teams at Chelmsford City on November 15, 1958.

During his time with us Colin lived initially at Somerford Grove, Park Lane, and later at Arbour Road, Ponders End.

He left us to join Bedford Town on November 21, 1958 and made 24 appearances for them in their Southern League Championship side that season. He later had a spell as captain of another Southern League club Tunbridge Wells United.

On retiring from football Colin worked for the Fisons smelting company at Avonmouth. Colin also enjoyed many forms of sport including swimming and bodybuilding. He lived in recent years at Pucklechurch.

Colin Brittan passed away at Bristol on April 4, 2013. He is survived by his partner Hazel, sister Olive, brother Gordon, daughter Kim, son Cliff and grandchildren Holly, Shannon and Tom. A funeral service will be held at 11.30 a.m. on Tuesday, April 23 at Westerleigh Crematorium, Westerleigh Road, Westerleigh, Bristol, BS37 8QP.

With thanks to Club Historian, Andy Porter