Player profile

Dave Underwood

Dave Underwood

Birthdate: 15 March 1928
Birthplace: London, England
Date of death: 6 January 1989
Other clubs: Edgware Town (1945-49), Queens Park Rangers (1949-52), Watford (1952-53), Watford (2 / 1956-57), Dartford (1957-60), Watford (3 / 1960-63), Fulham (1963-65), Dunstable Town (1965-66), Hastings United (1966-67)
Bought from: Watford
Signed for LFC: £7,000, 16.12.1953
Liverpool debut: 19.12.1953
Last appearance: 07.04.1956
Contract expiry: 19.07.1956
Win ratio: 34% W:17 D:10 L:23
Total games/goals opposite LFC: 1 / 0
LFC league games/goals: 45 / 0
Total LFC games/goals: 50 / 0

Player profile

This big goalkeeper joined Liverpool from Watford in December 1953 and was one of three different 'keepers used in League matches during the 1953/54 season - the others being Charlie Ashcroft and Russell Crossley. Liverpool had been shipping goals and were heading for the Second Division. The Daily Mail said in September 1953 that Underwood was a "dressing-room comedian who was “a bit of a boxer” in the Army during National Service." At the time of his signing, Don Welsh, Liverpool's manager, claimed Underwood was “the most promising young goalkeeper in football." Underwood went straight into the side after his arrival from Vicarage Road and only missed two games between his debut on 19 December 1953 and the end of that season. Underwood would never forget his debut for all the wrong reasons accidentally shattering the left leg of his teammate, Eddie Spicer, which ended his career. Underwood started the following season as first choice, but lost his place to Ashcroft after only a handful of matches and didn't get another first-team opportunity until at the end of November 1955. He took over from Doug Rudham but after playing 26 consecutive League and Cup games the South African won his place back before the end of the season. Underwood was quite understandably incensed and demanded to be put on the transfer list. His wish was granted and Underwood returned to Watford in Third Division South in July 1956. Underwood had three spells at Watford (1952-1953, 1956-1957 and 1960-1963) and was a very popular figure at the club. Despite being a part-timer, working for a haulage contractor, Underwood's performances impressed and he was voted Watford's Player of the Year in 1962 and landed a move to first division Fulham. Following an injury to Fulham's number one, Underwood made 16 appearances in the 1963/64 season, a great comeback for the 'keeper. In 1977 Underwood was appointed Chairman of Barnet from the 1977/78 season to 1981/82. In his tenure at the club Barnet signed footballing great Jimmy Greaves, who later thanked Underwood for helping him in the fight to overcome his much-publicized alcohol addiction.

Former teammate of Underwood at Hastings recalled his experiences of Underwood in an interview with John Motson. “Dave was manager and goalkeeper with a face like an old-time prize fighter; a broken nose, swollen lips. He also talked with a lisp. I was always notoriously late for games and I remember one Sunday we were playing the inmates of Ford Open Prison and Dave told me the kick-off was two o'clock. At five to two on the dot I rushed in breathlessly to find an empty dressing room. About a quarter of an hour later, big Dave strolled in with the rest of the players grinning fit to burst: `Whoopth-a-daithy,' he says, `I've thuthed you out Ricky, alwayth late. Kick-off'th at free.' I loved the man, I truly did."

Appearances per season

Season League FA LC Europe Other Total
Totals 45 5 0 0 0 50
1953-1954 18 0 0 0 0 18
1954-1955 6 0 0 0 0 6
1955-1956 21 5 0 0 0 26

A more detailed look at the player's appearances

Total Opponent
3 Middlesbrough
3 Manchester City
3 Doncaster Rovers
2 Barnsley
2 Fulham
2 Blackburn Rovers
2 West Ham United
2 Plymouth Argyle
2 Stoke City
2 Scunthorpe United
1 Sunderland
1 Aston Villa
1 Huddersfield Town
1 Bristol Rovers
1 Manchester United
1 Leeds United
1 Bury
1 Preston North End
1 Chelsea
1 Blackpool
1 Swansea City
1 Derby
1 Cardiff City
1 Bristol City
1 Hull City
1 Sheffield United
1 Nottingham Forest
1 Bolton Wanderers
1 Leicester City
1 Burnley
1 Arsenal
1 Sheffield Wednesday
1 Tottenham
1 Port Vale
1 Notts County
1 Accrington Stanley
Total Competition
45 League
5 FA Cup

Milestone Appearances

# Date Against Stadium Competition
1 19.12.1953 Manchester United Old Trafford League
50 07.04.1956 Fulham Craven Cottage League

Related Articles

Liverpool's player career ended with 19 leg fractures against Man Utd

Eddie Spicer suffered the worst of luck regarding injuries. The second leg break of his career retired him.More

Other Clubs

Club Season Club rank League apps League goals Total apps Total goals
Edgware Town 1945-1949 Corinthian League N/A N/A N/A N/A
QPR 1951-1952 England Second Division 2 0 2 0
Watford 1951-1952 England Third Division South 1 0 1 0
Watford 1952-1953 England Third Division South 29 0 32 0
Watford 1953-1954 England Third Division South 22 0 23 0
Watford 1956-1957 England Third Division South 16 0 17 0
Dartford 1957-1960 Southern League 0 0 0 0
Watford 1960-1961 England Third Division 24 0 24 0
Watford 1961-1962 England Third Division 46 0 53 0
Watford 1962-1963 England Third Division 38 0 42 0
Fulham 1963-1964 England First Division 16 0 16 0
Fulham 1964-1965 England First Division 2 0 3 0
Dunstable Town 1965-1966 Southern League 1 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Hastings United 1966-1967 Southern League 1 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Total 196 0 213 0