Hail King John Charles

Last updated : 27 November 2003 By Kevin Markey
The awards were set up by the BBC to recognise sporting achievement and excellence and this is its 5th year.

John was born in Swansea but made his league debut for Leeds United at the age of 16 in December 1947.

He is commonly recognised as the greatest player ever to appear for Leeds United.

Hall of Fame 2003 - John Charles, known as the Gentle Giant. John Charles is still a hero in Leeds despite 40 years elapsing since he was at Elland Road.

In two spells at Leeds, spread over 15 years, John made 329 appearances scoring 157 goals.

In season 1953/54 as Leeds' centre-forward he scored 43 goals in 41 appearances, a great scoring rate, even for that period.

A world record fee tempted Leeds to let Charles go to Juventus in Italy, a momentous event in the late 1950's.

He stayed at Juve for five years scoring 105 goals in 178 appearances, a magnificent ratio for Italian football, and he also had a spell at another Italian club, AS Roma.

He ended his football career with Cardiff City, finishing with 38 caps for Wales.