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Exeter City legend Arnold Mitchell passes away aged 84

20 October 2014

Club legend and record appearance-maker dies

We are saddened to report that Exeter City legend and record appearance-holder Arnold Mitchell passed away on the evening of Saturday 18th October 2014 at the age of 84.

Born in December 1929 in Rawmarsh, near Rotherham, Mitchell began his playing career as an amateur with Sheffield Wednesday, before moving to Derby County as a pro in 1948 but didn’t break through into the first team.  He then made moves to Nottingham Forest and Notts County before coming to Devon.

Mitchell had just one professional appearance under his belt when he arrived at St James Park in 1952, but he would go on to feature 516 times and score 46 goals for Exeter City during a Grecians career spanning 14 years.

During his time at the club Mitchell filled a variety of positions on the pitch – including standing in as goalkeeper when Geoff Morton was injured mid-game against Southend in 1954 – before settling down as a wing-half.  He also combined his playing role with that of the club’s assistant lottery organiser in 1962.  Mitchell was an ever-present during the 1958/59 Division Four season, and was a member of the team that won promotion for the first time in the club’s history in 1963/64.

One of his most notable assets as a player was his drive and encouragement of the teammates around him, which inevitably led to him being named as Exeter City captain.  Last year, as part of the Football League’s 125-year celebrations, Grecians supporters voted Arnold Mitchell as the greatest captain in the club’s history.

After departing Exeter City in 1966, he joined Taunton Town.  He sustained a broken fibula early during his time with the Somerset side, effectively ending his playing career.

After hanging up his boots, Mitchell continued to live in Exeter and became an accomplished golfer.  He had joined Dawlish Warren Golf Club in 1957 along with many of his teammates, and after his football career he represented the club competitively and with notable success.  He was awarded lifetime membership in 2013.

When health allowed, Mitchell made occasional returns on matchday to St James Park to mingle with his former club colleagues.  He was inducted into Exeter City’s Hall of Fame in July 2014 for his service to the club.

The thoughts and wishes of everyone at Exeter City are with Arnold’s family and friends.

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