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John was the son of Albert, a Royal Navy operative who had spent some time serving in South Africa. Indeed John was born in that country in 1932. His family subsequently sailed to Southampton, United Kingdom in March 1933. John departed Durban at the age of 6 months with his father and mother, Mary, on the Annandale Castle ship.
They settled to live at 10 Folly Street, Gosport, Hampshire. His marriage to Evelyn Beacon is registered in Gosport in July 1952. John signed for the Saints from the Gosport RU club but just how his talent was picked up by the Saints remains shrouded in mystery.
John never made it onto the first team but he has the distinction of being our first ever recruit born in South Africa.
Dave Dooley and Alex Service
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