- Written by Walter Pless
- Published: 26 February 2014
Photo: Gordon Nutt at KGV Park [PlessPix]
The former Arsenal winger, Gordon Nutt, has passed away at Cygnet in Tasmania at the age of 81.
Gordon, who also played for Cardiff City, Coventry City, PSV Eindhoven and Southend United, had suffered ill health in recent years.
Photo: Gordon Nutt (left) with Australian football icon Johnny Warren at KGV Football House [PlessPix]
He represented the English FA on a tour of the Caribbean in the 1950s.
Gordon made 189 league appearances in England and scored 32 goals.
He was born in South Yardley, Birmingham on 8 November 1932 and passed away in Cygnet yesterday.
He moved from Coventry City to Cardiff City in 1954 for a fee of 12,000 pounds but stayed only a year before being sold to Arsenal.
He made his debut for Arsenal on 24 September 1955 against Sunderland.
Gordon played 51 times for Arsenal and scored 10 goals for the Gunners.
I was first introduced to Gordon in the early 1990s by Dennis McCauley, who was for a brief time, CEO of the Tasmanian Soccer Federation.
Dennis and Gordon ran the very successful and well organised Tasmanian Soccer Schools, based at The Hutchins School in Sandy Bay.
I recall attending a barbecue for Gordon’s birthday when he and his family were living at Old Beach.
Roger Ferguson - father of Tilford Zebras goalkeeper, Matthew - also attended. He had just returned from London and presented Gordon with a large framed photograph of a 360 degree view of Highbury, signed by Arsene Wenger and the entire Arsenal squad.
There were many sepia photos outlining Gordon’s football career on the walls of the rooms of Gordon’s house.
Gordon often told me how exciting it was being a footballer in London in the 1950s.
He recalled warmly the rail trips back to London after an away match in Manchester, for example, and the players hitting the nightspots on their return late at night.
Gordon was in the Arsenal team that played Manchester United before a crowd of 63,578 at Highbury on 1 February, 1958.
Manchester United won 5-4 and Gordon had two assists for Arsenal.
It was the last time that people would see that great Manchester United side, the Busby Babes, which included Bobby Charlton and Duncan Edwards and was managed by Matt Busby.
Five days later, the team was destroyed in an air crash in Munich on their way home from a European Cup match in Belgrade.
Photo: Gordon Nutt at a Clarence United game at KGV Park [PlessPix]
Gordon came to Australia in 1965, where he played for Sydney Croatia and Manly-Warringah before retiring.
He came to Tasmania and ran a television and film lighting business and did some work for the ABC (look for his name in some of the credits) in this field, as well as running his Tasmanian Soccer Schools.
He was assistant director the Australian cult movie, "Stone".
Gordon was always approachable and was ready to offer his knowledge and service to local clubs and coaches.
He was involved with Clarence United for a while and assisted with the coaching of the senior side.
He is survived by his wife Jenny and son Asher.