Leslie Dodds - Q&A

Living now: Cleadon Village
Born: 1936
Occupation now: Retired

As a youngster, who was the biggest influence on your career?
A female teacher recommended me as a 13 year old boy at Throckley School to trial for Newburn Boys

How did you come to join Sunderland?
After four appearances for England schoolboys (including playing at Wembley in 1952) I was signed as an amateur in August of that year.

How do you remember your Sunderland debut?
It was a friendly against Leeds United at Roker Park. I played against the great John Charles and we beat them 5-2

What was your most memorable match as a Sunderland player?
Playing against Man United at Old Trafford in December 1955. I met up once again with Duncan Edwards, having played alongside him for England Schoolboys.

Who was the best player you player alongside at Sunderland?
Len Shackleton - he was also my schoolboy hero.

Who was the best you played against?
Once again, I have to say Duncan Edwards

What’s the greatest moment of your playing career?
Playing for England schoolboys at Wembley in 1952

Who do you rate as the best manager you player under?
Bill Murray

What was the funniest incident you recall during a game?
Not funny, but certainly unusual. I broke my nose in 3 consecutive games. First time I knocked it left to right, then right to left ... and the last time, I knocked it straight!

What was the best part of being a professional footballer?
Playing against other professional players at such a young age.

And the worst?
Giving up my career at a young age.

Looking back at your playing career, any regrets?
see above

What did you do as your playing career ended?
I returned to my trade as an engineer, then in 1973 I joined Sunderland Housing Department, until I retired at 60

What are doing these days?
Gardening, watching Sunderland and helping out with the grandchildren. And the occasional game of golf

What’s the most important thing in your life at present?
My wife & family

Any comments for the website?
I am extremely proud of having been accepted as a member of Sunderland Former Players Association.


Team (as a kid) - Sunderland
Boyhood footballing idol - Len Shackleton
Best friend in football - Jimmy Hetherington
Favourite ground (other than Roker) - Old Wembley
Favourite current premiership player - Steven Gerrard
Favourite current premiership manager - Alex Ferguson
Singer - Frank Sinatra
Film star - Jean Simmons
Film - The Great Escape
TV programme - Sky Sports
Past-time (except football) - Golf
Food - Steak & Veg
Holiday - Cruises