John was on our books from June, 1950 until May, 1964, making 73 senior appearances.
Of those, 44 games were played during season 1958-59 with the remainder as understudy to Ted Ditchburn, Ron Reynolds and then Bill Brown. In addition to his senior action, John kept goal in over 350 competitive games for our reserve, ‘A’ and ‘B’ teams, once scoring from a penalty for the second XI in an 8-0 win over Mansfield Town on March 17, 1962.
Born at Ponders End on January 2, 1934, John Frederick Hollowbread attended Chase Side Junior School and Tottenham Technical College, representing Enfield, Tottenham and Middlesex Schools. He also played for an England Youth XI versus a Public School XI.
On leaving school John worked for a time in the printing trade and played for Enfield prior to signing amateur forms for us on June 3, 1950. He made his debut for our Eastern Counties League 3rd XI in a 3-1 win at Wisbech Town on March 24, 1951.
Upgraded to professional status on January 21, 1952, John completed his National Service with the R.A.O.C., winning the Army and Western Command Cups. Given his reserve team debut towards the end of the season 1954-55, he
had to wait until August 30, 1958 for his first taste of league action, against Blackburn Rovers.
He made a single appearance during the 1960-61 double season and was on hand to step in for the occasional game when required. His final senior appearance in our colours was against Ipswich Town on April 4, 1964.
Transferred to Southampton for a £3,000 fee the following month, John made 40 senior appearances for the Saints before sustaining a serious knee injury versus Coventry City on September 8, 1965 which ended his career.
John played for Mullard Sports, was trainer for Netley Sports and continued to be involved in the local football scene around the Southampton area for many years. He ran the Manor House Inn at Burlesdon from April, 1966, then The Sun Inn Romsey from 1981 and later worked as bar manager of the Bramshaw Golf Club in the New Forest.
John had followed in his father’s footsteps as goalkeeper of Enfield. His dad Fred had played for them, as well as our Northfleet United nursery team, during the 1930’s.
John, who resided at Enfield Highway while on our books, has been living in Spain for the last 14 years with his wife Vera. Although football was always close to his heart, he took up golf at the age of 45 and both John and his wife are members of the 'La Siesta Golf society' at the Campoamor Golf course on the Orihuela Costa.
He played golf three times a week and enjoyed a very full and social life, and could quite often be heard singing on the local kareoke scene. He passed away following a short illness at Torrevieja, on the Costa Blanca.
A cremation service was held on December 11 at San Pedro Del Pintar (Murcia). John leaves his wife Vera and Daughters Jude & Karen, and Grandchildren Natalie, Robert & Karla.
Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad time.
We were saddened to learn of the passing of our former goalkeeper John Hollowbread on December 7, aged 73.