Bernard Joy

Bernard Joy

Football Biography
Football Biography Less

Bernard Joy

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Bernard Joy (29 October 1911 – 18 July 1984) was an English football and journalist. He is notable for being the last amateur player to play for the England national football team.


Joy was born in Fulham, London and studied at the University of London, playing in his spare time for the university football side at centre half. After graduating, he played for Casuals, where he eventually became club captain, leading them to victory in the 1936 FA Amateur Cup final. He also won ten caps for the England amateur team and was captain of the Great Britain football side at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. Bernard was father to Christopher Margaret and Karen Joy.

While still registered as a Casuals player, Joy also played for several other clubs in an amateur capacity, including Southend United (1931–33) and Fulham (1933–34). In May 1935 he joined Arsenal, then First Division champions. Joy mainly played as a reserve, only playing two games in his first season – he didn't make his debut for Arsenal until 1 April 1936 against Bolton Wanderers. Arsenal won the FA Cup that season but Joy played no part in the final.

However, he did gain recognition at international level soon after, when on 9 May 1936, he played for England in their 3-2 loss against Belgium, making him the last amateur to play for the national side; given the gulf in quality between the professional and amateur games in the modern day, it is exceedingly unlikely Joy's record will ever be taken by another...
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