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Tributes to former Bradford City goalkeeper
Tributes have been paid to a highly-regarded Keighley sportsman who played 253 matches as a goalkeeper for Bradford City.
Geoff Smith, of Park Lane, died at his home on Saturday aged 85.
His impressive record included 200 consecutive appearances and 70 clean sheets between the posts.
He and his widow, Margaret, had two daughters – Janet and Kath. Speaking earlier this week, Janet Cooper said her father had arthritis in his later years, but had otherwise been quite healthy.
She added: “He was from an extremely sporty family, and anything to do with sport interested him.
“His brother, Jack, played for Leeds United. Geoff was a lovely, modest man – he never caused any waves.”
Mr Smith was born in Cottingley and worked as a motor mechanic before being called up into the army in 1946. He served with an infantry unit in Malaya for two years.
He had met his future Keighley-born wife, Margaret Smith, in 1944 when they were both 17-year-olds attending a ceilidh at St Anne’s Social Club in Keighley.
Following his return from Malaya, the couple were married at Holy Trinity Church in Lawkholme Lane. They lived in Riddlesden, then later in Cross Roads.
As well as his two daughters, Mr Smith also leaves behind four grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
He played for Bradford City between 1953 and 1959, after previously turning out for Nelson and Rossendale United. When he left City, he and Margaret bought and ran an off-licence in Cross Roads for 25 years, then later managed a newsagents in Hainworth Wood Road for another five years.
Mr Smith was a member of Keighley Golf Club for more than 50 years, and served as club president and captain. He also began playing for Whinswood Bowling Club in 1989, and continued to follow Bradford City’s fortunes long after he finished playing football.
Mr Smith’s funeral service will take place at The Knowle at 10.45am on Tuesday, and he will be cremated at Oakworth.