Saturday 30 December 2017

The ex-Charlton player who sacrificed his knighthood

Reading the New Year's Honours List today reminded me of a story about Ted Croker. Ted only featured as a centre half for Charlton in the 1950/51 season. His career was interrupted not just by the Second World War, when he was a flying officer, but also by the Korean War when he was called up by the RAF.

From 1973 to 1989 Ted served as secretary and chief executive of the FA. It would have been customary for his retirement to be marked by a knighthood, but Ted had blotted his copybook. Indeed, he was the first FA secretary in a century not to be knighted.

In 1985 Margaret Thatcher held a crisis summit at 10 Downing Street. Various football dignitaries were required to attend and Mrs Thatcher asked what football was going to do about its hooligans. Ted replied: 'These people are society's problems - we don't want your hooligans in our sport, Prime Minister.'

Before he joined the FA, Ted developed and marketed a snow blowing machine called the Croker Sno Blo.


  1. Don't mess with The Thatch...Arthur Scargill made a similar mistake! However with his strong war and public service record Ted Croker deserved to be honoured. Petty mindedness by Thatcher..How many of today's lickspittles pick up a knighthood by just keeping a seat warm?

  2. Ding Dong...well that’s the Wicked Witch for you ! Mrs T did shed a tear when her beloved son SIR Mark got lost in the desert ( or was it Indianapolis 500 ? ). The Honours system is a disgrace. Public Servants whose bravery was in evidence at such tragic events as Grenfell and Borough Market are ignored whilst the Maybot dishes out Knighthoods to her backbencher to keep in with those damn fine chaps what ho !

  3. Ted Croker was a brave man to stand up to Thatcher in her pomp, and he was decorated for bravery during his RAF service. Another story about his time as FA Secretary concerned a visit to The Valley when he remarked how much he enjoyed the chance to watch one of his old teams. Mike Gliksten, then Charlton's chairman and whose family had owned the club for many years, apparently snorted and asked why in that case Croker had not gone to watch the reserves. His brother Peter achieved much more as a player.

    Luv Robin

    1. Given Croker’s record of Service in the RAF and aa FA Secretary It’s a tad rich to be the recipient of such riposte from a man who mainly saw action uncorking a bottle of wine !