Alan Frederick Graham Skirton
Date of birth
(1939-01-23) 23 January 1939 (age 78)
Place of birth
West Twerton Youth Club
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
Alan Frederick Graham Skirton (born 23 January 1939) is an English former footballer.
1 Playing career
5 Further reading
6 External links
Skirton started out as a player with West Twerton Youth Club in his home city of Bath before joining Bristol City as an amateur. However, they did not retain him and he then joined hometown club Bath City in the Southern League. He soon attracted the attention of several other clubs. Arsenal won the fight for his signature, signing him in January 1959 for £5,000. Soon after signing, however, Skirton contracted pleurisy and pneumonia and was out of action for eighteen months.
He finally made his debut for Arsenal against Burnley on 20 August 1960. He played sixteen games that season, sharing the right wing position with Danny Clapton. He supplanted Clapton altogether the following season, and scored nineteen goals in 40 matches, making him the club’s top scorer for that season.
After the signing of Johnny MacLeod in the summer of 1962, Skirton was switched to the left wing, where he played for the next four seasons, albeit irregularly, as Arsenal manager Billy Wright preferred to field only one out-and-out winger. The emergence of the young George Armstrong also meant Skirton’s place was under threat, and Skirton shared duties with Armstrong for his final two seasons at the club.
Nevertheless, Skirton still averaged twenty appearances a season, and made history by becoming the first Arsenal player to score a goal in a European match at Highbury, against Danish club, Stævnet on 22 October 1963. However, Wright’s successor, Bertie Mee, was looking to youth as the means to success for the Gunners. After playing the first two matches of the 1966–67 season, Skirton signed for Blackpool on 12 September 1966 for £65,000. He had played 154 matches for Arsenal, sco