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Posted on 23 September 2007  - 12:00

We were sorry to learn of the passing of our 1950's goalscoring winger Johnny Gavin, aged 79.

We were sorry to learn of the passing of our 1950's goalscoring winger Johnny Gavin, aged 79.

The first Spur to gain Republic of Ireland international honours, Johnny spent 13 months on our books, netting 16 goals in 34 senior appearances.

Chiefly associated with Norwich City, where he holds the club goalscoring record, Johnny gained seven Full caps for the Republic between 1949 and 1956.

Born at Limerick on April 20, 1928, John Thomas Gavin played for Jamesborough United and Limerick, and represented the Irish Free State prior to joining Norwich City for a £1,500 fee during August, 1948. He made his league debut for City against Bristol Rovers on April 30, 1949 and had scored 76 goals in 203 league games for Norwich by the time he joined us for a reported £9,000 fee on October 14, 1954.

He stepped straight into our senior side, scoring 14 goals in 31 appearances by the end of that season. During May, 1955 he faced the Netherlands and West Germany, gaining his fifth and sixth cap for the Republic and started our first three games of season 1955-56, netting two goals. He added five goals in nine appearances for our intermediate teams before returning to Carrow Road as part of an exchange deal which saw Maurice Norman arrive at Tottenham on November 7, 1955.

Johnny’s second spell at Norwich yielded a further 46 league goals in 109 games, which, with 10 goals in 26 FA Cup matches, gave him a club record haul of 132 goals in 338 senior appearances. Spells followed with Watford from July, 1958 – 12 goals in 43 league games – and Crystal Palace from May, 1959 – 15 league goals in 66 appearances. On the non league circuit he served Cambridge City during season 1961-62, Newmarket Town as player/coach from August, 1962 and joined Fulbourn during November, 1967.

After several years as a publican Johnny worked in the painting and decorating business. He lived at Ponders End during his time with us and in recent years resided in the Cambridge area.

Johnny Gavin passed away at a Cambridge hospice on September 18. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Bridie, five children, 13 grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.

Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad time.