Buxton-born footballing star returning to his roots to promote new autobiography

Les Bradd dives head-long to score one of his record tally of 136 League and Cup goals for Notts County.
Les Bradd dives head-long to score one of his record tally of 136 League and Cup goals for Notts County.

Les Bradd, the first Buxton-born footballer of the post-war era to make the grade in the professional game, is returning to his roots next week.

The former Rotherham, Notts County, Stockport, Wigan and Bristol Rovers striker will be at Buxton Library speaking about his 17-year career on Thursday November 23 - and also signing copies of Far Post, his newly-published autobiography.

Goalkeeper George Wood is helpless as Les Bradd scores a memorable League Cup goal for Stockport against Arsenal.

Goalkeeper George Wood is helpless as Les Bradd scores a memorable League Cup goal for Stockport against Arsenal.

And the man from Harpur Hill, who made history in 1967 when he quit his apprenticeship at Hillhead Quarry to sign for Rotherham, is keen to turn the event into something of a reunion.

He explained: “Although I’ve lived in Nottingham for the past 50 years I’m a Buxton man at heart and always will be. I’ve got great memories of my early days living in Sunnyfields, attending Harpur Hill Juniors and then Kents Bank. From there, I worked at Hillhead and played for Earl Sterndale in the Fairfield League.

“It’s going to be very special for me to go to Buxton Library and it will absolutely make my day if I’m able to meet up again with some of the people I grew up with.”

Harold Merrick, a local man who scouted for Rotherham, spotted the blond teenager playing for Earl Sterndale and Bradd recalled: “I was constantly told growing up to forget about becoming a professional footballer because it wasn’t something that boys from Buxton ever achieved.

Les Bradd on defensive duty in the Nottingham derby against Forest at a packed City Ground.

Les Bradd on defensive duty in the Nottingham derby against Forest at a packed City Ground.

“It didn’t put me off though, and I was so proud when Rotherham took me on after a successful trial period.”

Within months, Bradd had moved to Notts County for £1,000. He went on to become the all-time record goalscorer for the oldest League club in the world before boosting his goals tally to exactly 200 with Stockport, Wigan and Bristol Rovers.

He added: “I had a choice of three clubs to join when I left Notts County and eventually chose Stockport. It wasn’t the best of career moves because I was dropping down two divisions, but it meant I could continue living in Nottingham and get to stay with my mum in Buxton two nights a week.

“Mike Summerbee was the Stockport manager, Freddie Pye was chairman, and we did the deal over a coffee in Spring Gardens. We didn’t achieve the things we had planned but I still had three happy years at Stockport.”

Far Post ... the fascinating tale of a Buxton boy who made good.

Far Post ... the fascinating tale of a Buxton boy who made good.

• The free event at Buxton Library takes place from 10.30am until 12.30pm and for those not able to attend, copies of Far Post will also be on sale at High Peak Bookstore.