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Ex Saints Keeper Campbell Forsyth Passes Away.
Tuesday, 17th Nov 2020 10:56

Older Saints fans will be saddened to learn of the death of 1960's goalkeeper Campbell Forsyth who played 51 times for the club before injury ended his career .

Campbell Forsyth was signed by Saints from Kilmarnock in December 1965 and it was his former club who have announced his death with a tribute on their website.

They have not mentioned the circumstances behind his death.

He joined Saints then pushing for promotion to the top flight for £10,000 on the back of being in the Kilmarnock Scottish League winning team of the previous season and also making his Scotland debut the previous year in a 1-0 win over the Auld enemy England.

He was straight into the first team and was then ever present to the end of the season when Saints won promotion to the top flight.

But after starting the club's first ever season in the top flight and in fine form, disaster struck, in the 8th game of the season Liverpool came to The Dell in September 1966. In a pile-up with Denis Hollywood and the visitor’s Ian Callaghan, Campbell broke his leg, he was stretchered off not knowing that he had played 30 of the 48 League appearances he would eventually make for the club.

By the end of the season Saints had signed initially signed Dave McClaren from Wolves as a short term replacement, had the 20 year old Gerry Gurr chomping at the bit and then signed Eric Martin who ended the season as the number one.

In 1967/68 Forsyth appeared to have regained the green jersey from Martin, but it was clear that his confidence was shattered.

On his excellent website https://www.saintsplayers.co.uk/ Duncan Holley has this to say about Campbell.

"He was out for the season and would have to compete for his place, in 1967-68, with Bates’s latest goalkeeping hope from Scotland, Eric Martin. Campbell got his place back – in two spells, the first of which ended in a 5-1 home defeat by Leicester City.

The visitors’ fifth goal was scored by Peter Shilton, whose long clearance bounced and flew over a stranded Forsyth. Campbell blamed the way the groundsman, Len Stansbridge, hand-painted his pitch-markings. But his defence that the ball hit one of Stansbridge’s “hard-baked, painted lines and it shot” is not borne out by the video evidence or by Shilton’s own verdict – that it was “just a complete fluke”.

However you explain it, it did not help Campbell’s rehabilitation. His “confidence was shattered” and, after another short burst of appearances, he quit the game. Watneys employed him as their Edinburgh representative for 28 years and he scouted for Bates in Scotland. Three of his recommendations – Jim Steele, Gerry O’Brien and Ally MacLeod – would play first-team football for the Saints."

A sad ending for a goalkeeper who looked to have a glittering career ahead of him at 26 but by 28 when he was coming into his prime his career was over.

Im sure that all Saints fans send their condolences to Campbell Forsyth's family in Scotland.

Photo: Action Images

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grumpy added 12:30 - Nov 17
Campbell was one of the best goalkeepers to play for Saints.
I was stood on The Milton Road End when he broke his leg, very sad day.
RIP Campbell.

Chesham_Saint added 13:27 - Nov 17
Never saw him play, but sounds like a very good keeper. Another sad day for football....

underweststand added 14:34 - Nov 17
A truly dominant figure in Saints goal who didn't like defenders " cluttering up " his space, and fans could often hear him shouting at his CB's to " get up field ...and out of his area ".
Was very athletic at 6´1" and over 13½ stone (which was BIG in those days), but in retrospect that tragic accident (v. Liverpool) was the major set-back in his career and
although he eventually got back into the side around a year later, he had lost that fine agility and the extra weight he had gained whilst injured was proving hard to lose.
That notorious 1-5 Dell defeat on a wet and windy day at The Dell... (ironically v. Leicester).. must have shaken his confidence and after being on the wrong end of yet another 5 goal defeat v. Chelsea in January 1968 he had played his last game for Saints. A sad ending for a keeper who was outstanding in the second part of the 1965-66 season and truly deserved his share of credit for that promotion. RIP Campbell.

** As Nick noted above..such defeats are a big knock on a goalkeeper's confidence, as we saw more recently, when Forster concede 5 v. Spurs and when Angus Gunn conceding the infamous 9 v. Leicester. Getting back between the posts is always a psychological battle.

Sadoldgit added 17:38 - Nov 17
Campbell Forsyth was the keeper in the first Saints game I saw. Sad news. RIP

kernow added 10:46 - Nov 18
He was quite a capture for Saints when he signed.
Was stood yards from Grumpy when he broke his leg v Liverpool.
Think we won 2-1 with Terry Paine scoring a rare header.
It sadly finished his career.
That goal scored by Shilton must have bounced on the only firm patch of that quagmire of a pitch. Campbell was well off his line as the ball bounced over his head.
I remember a TV general knowledge panel game that he appeared on with other Saints players. His question was about the name of the ship that sailed from Southampton and struck an iceberg. Mauretania was his answer. "No" I shouted at the telly.
Sad to hear about the passing of Campbell Forsyth. RIP

ssxsaint added 17:14 - Nov 18
When he arrived at the Dell he was a forceful dominant goalkeeper who had full control of his area. He was very popular with the crowd.
A very sad end to his Saints career.

saintpete01 added 07:06 - Nov 19
RIP Campbell

SanMarco added 15:31 - Nov 19
I missed the chance to see him play by about a year but I do remember my dad talking about him breaking his leg. The sad thing is that in those days you didn't have millions to fall back on like the current lot would have. RIP Campbell.

PS he has his place in Saints history for scouting Jim Steele even if he'd never played a game for us!!

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