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🔢 City by number: No. 25

A look back at the season that City legend Tony Kellow netted 25 league goals for the Grecians

29 April 2019

Great goal scorers are hard to come by.

Every club will snap your hand off for a striker that will net 20 a season, as a number of goals like that can be the difference between promotion and mid-table obscurity.

These forwards will often be in contention for the league’s golden boot, competing with other strikers for the title of the division’s most deadly shooter.

However, not many of these forwards are able to score so many goals that they are crowned the top scorer in the entire Football League. One striker that can claim to have done just that was legendary City forward Tony Kellow, whose 25 goals in the 1980/81 season made him the top scorer out of all four divisions.

After re-joining the Grecians in March 1980 for a then club-record fee of £65,000 from Blackpool, Tony initially struggled to adapt to life back at St James Park, as he only scored twice in 10 games.

However, this all changed with the start of the new season, Tony was in lethal form, scoring five in City’s first six games. The striker’s form continued into September with a dramatic hat-trick in a 4-3 victory over Charlton at the Park.

Tony’s form peaked in mid-October with a run of 11 goals in just nine games, which included another hat-trick in a 5-1 thrashing of Gillingham.

It wasn’t just in the league that Tony was firing, as another hat-trick, this time in the FA Cup against First Division Leicester City, sent City through to the fifth round, setting up a famous tie with Newcastle United.

By the end of the season, Tony had netted 25 times in the league, being crowned City’s player of the season and the Football League’s top goal scorer, winning the Adidas Golden Boot which still sits in the Grecians’ trophy cabinet to this day.

If you include his FA and League Cup goals, Tony scored a total of 33 goals, more than European Golden Shoe winner Georgi Slavkov, whose total came to 31. In his entire Grecian career, Tony scored 129 times in 298 appearances.


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