John Roberts (footballer, born 1946)

John Roberts
Personal information
Full name John Griffith Roberts
Date of birth (1946-09-11)11 September 1946
Place of birth Abercynon, Wales
Date of death 4 January 2016(2016-01-04) (aged 69)
Playing position Defender
Youth career
1961–1963 Abercynon Athletic
1963–1964 Swansea Town
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1964–1967 Swansea Town 37 (16)
1967–1969 Northampton Town 62 (11)
1969–1972 Arsenal 59 (4)
1972–1976 Birmingham City 66 (1)
1976–1980 Wrexham 145 (5)
1980–1982 Hull City 26 (1)
1982–1983 Oswestry Town
National team
Wales U-21 1 (0)
Wales U-23 5 (0)
1971–1976 Wales 22 (0)
Teams managed
1982–1983 Oswestry Town (player manager)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

John Griffith Roberts (11 September 1946 – 4 January 2016) was a Welsh footballer who made nearly 400 appearances in the Football League and won 22 caps for Wales.[1]

Playing career

Born in Abercynon, Rhondda Cynon Taff, Roberts played football for local club Abercynon Athletic while working as a railway fireman. He joined Swansea Town as an apprentice in 1963, turning professional in 1964. Initially a striker who later switched to centre half, he moved to Northampton Town in 1967 and then Arsenal in 1969. He played for Arsenal for three seasons, including 18 appearances in the 1970-71 season, when Arsenal won the First Division title, thus earning him a championship medal. Roberts however did not play in the FA Cup Final the same year, which Arsenal also won to complete the Double.

Roberts left Arsenal in 1972, having played a total of 81 matches, scoring five goals.[2] He went on to have spells at Birmingham City, Wrexham and Hull City before trying his hand as player-manager of Oswestry Town. He also won 22 caps with Wales.

Later career

He went on to work as a stationery salesman and as a driving instructor.

Roberts' death at the age of 69 was reported on 4 January 2016.[3]


  • "Caught In Time: Arsenal 1971". Archived from the original on 17 August 2012.
  • Matthews, Tony (1995). Birmingham City: A Complete Record. Derby: Breedon Books. p. 120. ISBN 978-1-85983-010-9.
  1. ^ "John Roberts". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 4 January 2016.
  2. ^ "John Roberts". AFS Enterprises. Retrieved 4 January 2016.
  3. ^ "John Roberts: Former Wales & Arsenal defender dies aged 69". BBC Sport. 4 January 2016. Retrieved 4 January 2016.