Written by Peter Smith, Boreham Wood FC Director
Boreham Wood FC recently announced the sad passing of a true playing legend of the club – the one and only John Sneddon.
For any of our supporters aged 40 and under, the name John Sneddon will be one they have only read about, but for those of a certain age their eyes will light up at the very mention of the name.
John’s illustrious career with us started back on 16 August 1969 in an Athenian League Division One game. That season saw the first of many honours he won with us as we were runners up to Lewes and achieved promotion to the Athenian League Premier Division.
With the FA Cup having played such a huge part in the recent history of Boreham Wood FC it is poignant to recall that John played in our very first ever FA Cup game, a 4-2 win at Leyton in August 1970.
John was also a key member of the Boreham Wood side that won the Herts Senior Cup for the first time in 1972, beating Cheshunt 2-0 at the old Bishops’ Stortford ground.
After a brief spell with Harlow Town John soon returned to Broughinge Road and was again a key member of the team that won the Athenian League Championship in the 1973-74 season, and also reached the first round of the FA Cup for the very first time, losing at Southend United.
After we were elected to the Isthmian League John was again a stalwart in our further promotion to the then elite Isthmian Premier Division.
Inevitably time eventually caught up with John, but as one of the great characters in the club’s history he was awarded a testimonial match on Sunday 29 April 1979, along with his old sparring partner Micky Jackson. Numerous other “greats” from that era joined them in a high-spirited game here at Meadow Park.
Between them those two legends played over 1000 competitive games for the club. Indeed, the word competitive is the best one to describe John’s forceful style of play, and many opposing forwards back in the day would recall that being tackled by Sned was best avoided if possible.
He was quite a regular in the referee’s little black book but had a hatred of losing and was arguably the most competitive player ever to represent the club.
Indeed, he was soon back in action after his jaw was broken by an assault from a Tilbury player when he ended up in hospital with his mouth wired up and a few teeth missing. He was urged by club officials to take out a civil case for assault but his response was “I’ve given out enough over the years, you have to take it as well.”
The word “legend” is often used far too liberally but in Sned’s case it is absolutely merited and he will always be remembered as one of the true greats of Boreham Wood FC in the 1960’s and 1970’s.
Once again, we would like to pass on our sincere condolences to John’s family and friends at this sad time.
OUR CLUB. OUR TOWN. OUR COMMUNITY.