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"The fans were very good. I used to enjoy playing in the local derbies"

Former Grecians Keith Harvey sat down to discuss some of his first, best and worst City moments

20 June 2018

A central defender who clocked up well over 500 appearances in all competitions for the Grecians, Keith Harvey is somewhat of a City legend.

Second only to Arnold Mitchell in the number of appearances for the Grecians, Harvey signed as a professional for the club in August 1952. A player to overcome a broken leg and ankle whilst at St James Park, as his time progressed with the club he became more of a crucial player. He was ever-present in the City side that won promotion in 1964 and went on to win Player of the Year in 1965/66.

Ben Strange spoke to Harvey to talk about some of his First, Best and Worst moments with the club.

First...

...appearance for City

Yes, that match came in 1952 which was in the league. It was against Bristol Rovers in a goalless draw.

...memory of the City fans

They were very good, I didn’t encounter any problems. I used to enjoy playing in the local derbies. In my first match against Bristol, of course, it was a bit of a derby and it had a good atmosphere. The club had a good following with a strong amount of people coming to watch.

...footballing idol

Well, the one I used to like happened to be at Exeter City! A local lad, and he was already at the club when I joined after moving from Plymouth Argyle. Ray Goddard was a very good friend of mine, we got on very well. He taught me a lot of things. Ray was a centre half which was a position that I eventually took over, he could read the game well.

Best...

...friend at the club

He’s sadly passed away now, another long-lasting City player, Arnold Mitchell. He had 15 years with the club, like me, and I had three years as a coach.

...coach you worked under

There’s lots of good ones, and it was always changing over the years. I would probably say Frank Broome, he was very good, he did everything. I wanted to take a coaching course but I didn’t get around to do it. Whilst I was there I enjoyed helping out with the coaching staff when I could over three years.

...player you played with

There were so many players and it’s difficult to pick one out. Perhaps, a player that came to us later in my time and that was Alan Banks. He used to play as a forward, he came down from Liverpool and he was a very good player. He had some very good times with club scoring lots.

Worst...

...injury

Well, I broke my leg on two occasions. It was a collision with an opponent, my leg went one way and I went the other. It was unfortunate because it put me out for at least 12 months.

...defeat you’ve been involved in

We had a 5-0 defeat once. I couldn’t tell you who it was against but I can remember the feeling of losing the match. It was a very bad day at the office!

away trip

We did a lot of travelling, we went up north to the likes of Grimsby Town and Workington. They were very long trips.


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