John Ridley

John Ridley: 1952-2020

It was with great sadness that we heard the news that John Ridley, who made 26 league and cup appearances as a defensive midfielder for Leicester City in the 1978/79 season, passed away on 3 May, 2020, six days after his 68th birthday.

Consett-born John arrived at Filbert Street in October 1978.

He was signed for a fee of £55,000 by Jock Wallace in his first season as Leicester City’s manager following the Club’s relegation from the top flight five months earlier,

Prior to arriving at Filbert Street, John had graduated from Sheffield University and had qualified as a teacher. He played for both Sheffield University and the English Universities side before joining Port Vale in 1973, where he was Player of the Year in 1975/76.

In the summer before he signed for Leicester City, John was loaned by Port Vale to the North American Soccer League team Fort Lauderdale Strikers where he played in the same side as Gordon Banks.

Soon after his return from the USA, he was signed by Leicester City to add experience to the young side that Wallace was beginning to build which included, amongst others, Andy Peake, Gary Lineker, Dave Buchanan and Peter Welsh.

Fulfilling this role from his position as defensive midfield player, John stayed at Filbert Street for that one season before moving to third tier Chesterfield in August 1979, helping the Spireites to win the Anglo Scottish Cup in 1981.

He returned to Port Vale in 1982 for another three seasons, winning promotion from the Fourth Division in 1983. He joined non-league Stafford Rangers as player-coach in 1985 and later also coached at Matlock Town and Newcastle Town whilst working as a Maths teacher in Stoke-on-Trent.

Leicester City Football Club’s thoughts are with John’s family and friends at this sad time.

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