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Happy Birthday Mike Channon
Monday, 29th Nov 2021 10:22

One of my first Saints heroes was Mike Channon along with then goalkeeper Eric Martin, it is great to see that he is still with us and celebrated his birthday yesterday, here are our birthday wishes to the great man.

These days he is usually referred to as Mick Channon, but back in the early 1970's it was more commonly Mike although Mick and to a lesser extent Micky.

Indeed his authorised biography in 1977 Home & Away was credited to Mike Channon although almost a decade later his second book Man On The Run had Mick Channon on the cover.

But in his first stint at the Dell, he was referred to as Mike in the club programme line ups.

It's great to see him turn 73 today and he is undoubtably one of the greatest players to have represented Southampton Football Club, in truth perhaps only Terry Paine, Mike Channon, Ron Davies and Matthew Le Tissier can lay a claim to be the greatest player ever to play for the club, perhaps the younger generation will put Rickie Lambert's name forward and there is certainly a case for that, but for most of his time at Saints Rickie was not a household name and he played 3 of his 5 seasons outside of the top flight.

In his first spell from his debut at 17 until his departure in the summer of 1977 he played 391 League games for the club and then returned for just under another 3 seasons and by the time he left he had made 507 League starts for the club plus another 4 as sub and scored 185 goals.

In total in all competitions he played 602(plus 6 as sub) and scored 228 goals and out of all the contenders I have mentioned for our greatest player, he is the only one to play in a major Cup Final for the club and indeed to win a trophy.

A charismatic man, before he had finished playing and he went on until he was 37, playing his last League game in a season at Pompey in 1985/86, he was already a regular pundit on television, his Wiltshire burr and his pronunciations of the "Boy Lineker" made a nation laugh in the World Cup of 1986.

A little known fact is he is the most capped England player never to have been named in a squad for the World Cup or European Championships finals as his golden period with England coincided with our failure to qualify for any of these tournaments in the period 1972-1978.

But he was my first hero, as a 10 year old I had the red & white shirt with the round collar and a number 8 on the back, black shorts and the red socks with the white hoop back in 1972 to grace Green Park in Millbrook.

He of course left football and started a new career as a race horse trainer and was successful at that as well.

Perhaps the story I love best about Mike is one recounted by Ted Bates in his biography, in an away game at Tottenham the then Saints manager was trying to give a team talk and he noticed Mike with a transistor radio glued to his ear, (Under 50's ask your Dad/Grandad) trying to get the racing results.

"For gods sake Mike" said Ted "Pay attention" Mike looked up and in his broad Wiltshire accent said "What you have to remember Gaffer, is this (referring to the football) is only my f*cking hobby "

Mike Channon Always a Saints legend !

Photo: Action Images

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codge added 11:03 - Nov 29
Never forget that windmill wave when celebrating a goal👍

SaintPaulVW added 11:56 - Nov 29

ThereIn76 added 12:06 - Nov 29
Have a look on You Tube at some of his matches for Saints and England to see (or remind yourself) how good he was. Example: England v CZ, D Revie's first match in charge, Channon made of a mess of a header in the first but got it right in the second to put England ahead, then laid on two assists for Colin Bell.

ThereIn76 added 12:12 - Nov 29
Eeek! See if this works

Number_58 added 12:15 - Nov 29
My first hero.

silverspringsaint added 13:50 - Nov 29
For one who started to attend games regularly at the The Dell in the mid to late 1960s, Channon (along with Davies) was a hero - made us quickly get over the departure of Chivers (remember him?) to Spurs. On the topic of his England career, worth adding that he gained many of his caps while playing second tier football for Saints. Also I believe he might have captained his country at least once. But ultimately to be remembered as a Saints legend, whose scored his final goal in the early 1980s (against Liverpool), at the end of a scintillating team effort which was awarded Goal of the Season by MOTD.

Sadoldgit added 14:13 - Nov 29
Ron Davies was my first Saints hero, closely followed by Mick Channon. I remember in his early days he used to fall over a lot prompting many a groan from around The Dell. What a terrific player he became though. I can’t remember when and why the windmill celebration happened but it was certainly a later addition in his career.

cotswoldsaint added 14:44 - Nov 29
One of my favourite Channon quotes was after an England -v- Italy game when he was man-marked throughout the whole 90 minutes: "That Tardelli bloke, he'll follow you into the dressing room!"

Hamnottingham added 15:45 - Nov 29
He was always quick, but what made him especially effective at the Dell was the fact that he could sprint to the dead ball line and stop before smashing into the concrete wall, whilst defenders daren't take it that close............or at least that was the memory of a small lad from those days.

kernow added 19:41 - Nov 29
Happy Birthday Mike Channon, 73 and still full of life.
Memory is fading but pretty sure it was his 16th birthday, and maybe his debut?, when I saw him smash it in off the bar from 25 yards for the reserves v Bristol Rovers.
I must have been 11 or 12 at the time.
He always was and still is a hero in my eyes and a true Saints legend.
Enjoy your day sir. ❤️

A1079 added 11:39 - Nov 30
A day late on this, but my personal favourite player for Saints. His ability to cross from what was then called the Bye line were often very effective and he knew how to take a corner - in fact it was often like having a penalty. We don't seem to have anyone now who can make a corner the value that it once was.

pcarey1953 added 17:08 - Jan 4
Mick was our hero at the Dell. Bobby Stokes got the winner at Wembley, and that photo of the team with Laurie McMenemy brings back so many memories. I remember one goal Bennet scored from the halfway line. Bennet was a bruiser, but one day he just let go at one from about the halfway line and he scored ! Happy Birthday Mick ! You gave us Saints fans so much Joy !

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