All at Cray Wanderers are saddened to hear of the passing of John Faulkner aged 69 who passed away on December 28th. John was one of the select few players who played for Cray Wanderers and later in the top flight of English football.
Orpington born John played for Cray for two seasons in 1967-68 & 1968-69 when Cray were in the Metropolitan League playing the likes of Arsenal, Tottenham and West Ham A Team’s. Cray also had a good cup side at this time reaching the 3rd Qualifying Round of the FA Cup and also the last 16 of the FA Amateur Cup. Faulkner was a key part of the side under the astute ownership of Mick Slater making 96 appearances scoring 14 goals before moving to Sutton United in 1969. His performance in an FA Cup tie against Leeds United in January 1970 where he marked Mick Jones earned him a transfer to Leeds virtually straight away where he was deemed understudy to the aging Jack Charlton. He played four times for Leeds making his league debut in April 1970 against Burnley and a couple of European appearances but following an injury found it hard to dislodge Charlton before moving to Luton Town in 1972 where he spent six seasons helping the Hatters to reach the 1st Division in 1974-75.
He played 209 games for Luton scoring six goals before spending the latter part of his career in American football with Memphis Rogues and California Surf. He returned to England and became Reserve team manager at Norwich City in 1992 when Mike Walker was manager until 1995 and returned to Norwich in 1998 when Walker came back for a second time and became Assistant Manager at Carrow Road until 2000.
John is remembered fondly by all at Cray Wanderers and we pass our condolences and thoughts to his family and wish them peace at this time.
John watches on as Barry Diggins goes close against Eastbourne Borough in 1968
John in the Cray Wanderers team lineup from 1968-69, first left in the back row
John in his Leeds United days, first left in the middle row.
John went on to make 209 appearances for Luton Town between 1972-77, second left in the middle row pictured in 1974-75.
Here club historian Jerry Dowlen looks back at a game where John made a huge impact.
Two goals for John Faulkner as Cray defeat the Wombles
Cray Wanderers 3 Wimbledon Reserves 1
Metropolitan League (Autumn Shield)
Saturday 26th October 1968
This was an afternoon of contrasting fortunes for three Cray players of the 1960s decade … each of them named John!
Centre half and skipper John Dorey gifted Wimbledon an early goal after a mix-up with Cray’s ‘keeper Cyril Hill. And when Cray were awarded a penalty-kick in the 30th minute, John missed the target.
So it wasn’t one of John Dorey’s best games amongst the nearly 500 appearances that he made for Cray. But on 31 minutes Cray levelled the scores when winger John Mears netted with a fine shot. And then in the 55th and 89th minutes came goals from wing half John Faulkner, both from headers, to seal a good win for Cray at Grassmeade.
Writing his match report for the Kentish Times, Ernie Oglivie noted for Cray’s opening goal that Mears ‘slung a fast, rising shot that Guy knew little about.’ That was the legendary Dickie Guy who went on to play nearly 600 games for the Dons first team and who once saved a Peter Lorimer penalty-kick in a sensational 0 – 0 draw in an F.A. Cup tie versus Leeds United at Elland Road.
Cray team: Hill, Bishop, Howe, Gauntlett, Dorey, Faulkner, McGannon, Wiltshire, McDermott, Hutchins, Mears.