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Thomas Fergus Godwin (August 20 1927August 6 1996), commonly referred to as Tommy Godwin, was an Irish footballer who played for Shamrock Rovers, Leicester City and Bournemouth & Boscombe Athletic F.C.. On September 21, 1949, together with Con Martin, Johnny Carey and Peter Farrell, he was also a member of the Ireland team that defeated England 2–0 at Goodison Parkmarker, becoming the first non-UKmarker team to beat England at home.

Playing career

Shamrock Rovers

After playing as a youth with both Reds United and Home Farm, Godwin joined Shamrock Rovers while he continued to work as a carpenter. He made his Rovers debut in a friendly against Leeds United and saved a penalty . It was one of many penalties Tommy saved while at Milltownmarker. He played in the semi-final of the 1948 FAI Cup, but missed the final after breaking a leg. While playing for Rovers, his team mates included, among others Frank Glennon and Paddy Coad. He also represented the League of Ireland XI and made his international debut for Ireland. In all he earned 5 caps while in the green and white .

Leicester City

In September 1949, after his impressive performances while playing for Ireland, Godwin transferred to Leicester City. He made his English League debut for City on November 26, 1949 at home to Swansea Town. While with Leicester he faced competition for the goalkeepers position from Scotland international John Anderson. As a result he made just 45 league appearances and 1 FA Cup appearances in four seasons .


In June 1952 Godwin signed for Bournemouth & Boscombe Athletic and remained with the club for ten years making 357 league appearances in the Third Division South and Third Division . In 1957 Godwin was a member of the Bournemouth & Boscombe team that reached the quarter finals of the FA Cup. In the first three rounds, they knocked out Burton Albion, Swindon Town and Accrington Stanley, scoring 11 goals in the process and conceding none. However it was the next three games that saw the team attract national attention. In round four they beat a Wolves team featuring Billy Wright 1-0 in front of a Molineux crowd of 42,000. Wolves were, at the time, placed third in the First Division. In the last 16 they faced second placed Tottenham Hotspur with a team that included Danny Blanchflower, Terry Medwin and Ted Ditchburn. At their home ground of Dean Courtmarker in front of 25,892, Bournemouth won 3-1. In the quarter finals they face Manchester United, the league leaders and cup holders. In front of 28,799 at Dean Court they took a shock lead after just 10 minutes. However they eventually lost 2-1 to the Busby Babes .

Ireland international

Between 1949 and 1958 Godwin made 13 appearances for Ireland. He made his international debut on May 22, 1949 in a 1-0 win against Portugal at Dalymount Parkmarker. This would be the first of four clean sheets he kept during his international career. Godwin quickly established himself as a regular in the team and played in all four of the 1950 World Cup qualifiers against Sweden and Finland. The highlight of his international career came on September 21, 1949 when, together with Con Martin, Johnny Carey and Peter Farrell, he was a member of the Ireland team that defeated England 2–0 at Goodison Parkmarker, becoming the first non-UKmarker team to beat England at home. Together with Tommy O'Connor, Godwin was one of two Shamrock Rovers players in the Irish line-up. He put in an outstanding performance, keeping the third clean sheet of his international career. The game proved to be the turning point in his career and within days he was signed by Leicester City. Godwin later lost his place in the Ireland team to Fred Kiernan, but in 1956 after a six year absence, he earned a recall and subsequently played in two qualifiers for the 1958 World Cup, one against England and one against Denmark. He made his last appearance for Ireland on May 11, 1958 in a 2-2 away draw in a friendly against Poland . On May 9, 1955 at Dalymount Parkmarker, Godwin also played for an All-Ireland XI against an England XI in an unofficial international organised as part of the An Tostal Festival. His team mates included, among others, Robin Lawler, Con Martin, Peter Doherty and Peter McParland. The English XI won 6-5.

Later years

After retiring in 1962, Godwin settled in Bournemouthmarker and worked for the local council as a parks supervisor .


Shamrock Rovers

  • LFA Presidents Cup
    • 1948-49: 1


  2. The Hoops by Paul Doolan and Robert Goggins (ISBN 0-7171-2121-6)
  3. The Complete Who's Who of Irish International Football, 1945-96 (1996):Stephen McGarrigle [1]
  5. Daily Echo
  6. Ireland stats
  7. Match report with picture of Godwin
  9. The Boys In Green - The FAI International Story (1997): Sean Ryan
  10. Northern Ireland’s Footballing Greats

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