Boy From Brazil Bradford City Hall of Fame

Inductee October 2001

Cec Podd

If you saw Bradford City in the seventies or early eighties, you saw Cec Podd.

Between his debut in 1970 and his departure for Halifax Town in 1984 Podd played 502 times in the league for Bradford City, his only major spell out being at the start of the 1982 when he almost had to quit the game, more of which later.

The reason why you would have noticed Podd, even if you supported a team playing City, was that as a black football he stood out. Cec Podd was one of the trailblazers of Afro-Caribbean footballers in England.

Podd took the grief that black players continued to get into the eighties but rose above it on the field and off it. Cec's point, if he was trying to make one, was that cat calls and boos by away supporters may set him aside from the other players on the field, but he was no different to the man opposite: football without colour, so to speak.

And where that all Cec Podd had going for him he would be worth a footnote in the BfB Hall of Fame but Cec had more. A right back that covered his back line and got forward well Cec Podd's talent could have taken him further in the game, much further, to Old Trafford indeed.

Podd recalls Manchester United approaching him over a possible transfer in the seventies. Podd turned them down. The club and people of Bradford had been good and fair to him, he stuck by them despite the approach.

Podd never played outside of the bottom two divisions, leaving City in 1984 before promotion in 1985 to division two, but played his part in any glory that the club had in those times. When City had a good team, Podd was playing well, when the team was poor, Podd got his head down and worked until it was better.

Ironically it was Podd's position, so often filled by the man himself, that a young Stuart McCall came into the City team. Podd had woken up one morning in the Summer of 1982 with a loss of vision in his right eye. He tried to play but could not and when the season came around he sat it out allowing McCall to make his first appearances for the Bantams. Podd was on the verge of quitting football and England to live in St Kitts when, on a visit to his church, Podd remembers he pried for divine help and surely got his vision back.

A couple of promotion for City in his career at City paled next to his contribution to the advancement of black players in English football. In respect of Podd stars such as John Barnes played in a tribute game in 1983.

Podd got his day of glory in the game in 1988 when as club captain of Scarborough when they were promoted to the football league after close to 110 years in the lower leagues. He went on to work for Leeds United before joining the St Kitts and Nevis FA as manager of "The Sugar Boys".

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