Les Smith (footballer, born 1918)

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Les Smith
Personal information
Full name Leslie George Frederick Smith[1]
Date of birth (1918-03-13)13 March 1918
Place of birth Ealing, England
Date of death 24 May 1995(1995-05-24) (aged 77)[1]
Place of death Litchfield, England
Playing position(s) Outside left
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1936–1939 Brentford 62 (7)
1946–1952 Aston Villa 181 (31)
1952–1953 Brentford 14 (1)
1953–1954 Kidderminster Harriers ? (?)
National team
1939 England 1 (0)
1939–1946 England (wartime) 13 (3)
Teams managed
1953–1954 Kidderminster Harriers
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Leslie George Frederick Smith (13 March 1918 – 20 May 1995) was an English footballer. Smith was the son of Francis Edmond and Ethel-May and he had one sister, Frances (m. Byrne). He was born and educated in Ealing and was a junior with Petersham,[2] before joining Brentford as an amateur on 26 June 1934. Whilst as an amateur he gained experience at both Wimbledon and Hayes F.C. on loan, before turning professional with the Bees in March 1936 as an outside-right. On 24 May 1939, he was capped by England, replacing the injured Stanley Matthews against Romania, to become Brentford's second and final England international to date following Billy Scott in 1936.[3]

When the war broke out, Smith played a vital part in the RAF as a rear gunner,[3] where he consequently met his future wife, Joan (who was part of the women's RAF). However Smith still managed to play for Brentford during the war. He also played 13 wartime internationals for England, 11 whilst a Brentford player and 2 once transferred to Aston Villa.[4] He also played in 3 'unofficial International matches', under the guise of an FA XI, but all players played in England shirts, all were English and all received notification on English FA headed paper.

As a consequence of the Second World War, regionalized football returned.[5]

In October 1945, Smith signed for Aston Villa for a fee of £7,500,[3] where he spent six seasons and became a crowd favourite.[6] In 1952, he returned to Brentford, for a fee of £3,000, where he spent one season before retiring.[3] After his retirement he went into management for a season with Kidderminster Harriers, before becoming a scout for Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Personal life[edit]

Smith attended St Dunstan's College in Ealing, where he was a friend of his future Brentford manager Harry Curtis' son Gordon.[7] After leaving Brentford for the second time in 1953, he returned to Aston and ran an electrical business.[3] Smith died of Alzheimer's disease in May 1995.[8]


As a player[edit]




  1. ^ a b "Les Smith". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 7 September 2017.
  2. ^ Brentford v Bristol Rovers match programme. Brentford F.C. 1999–2000. p. 41.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Brentford FC Moment in Time: Aston Villa". Archived from the original on 7 September 2017. Retrieved 7 September 2017.
  4. ^ "Les Smith". 11v11.com. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
  5. ^ "Brentford FC – Our History". www.brentfordfc.com. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
  6. ^ "Leslie Smith's AVFC stats". Jörn Mårtensson. Retrieved 9 March 2008.
  7. ^ Brentford's Official Matchday Magazine versus Luton Town 24/08/96. 1996. p. 20.
  8. ^ Griffin Gazette: Brentford's Official Matchday Magazine versus Oxford United 19/08/95. 1995. p. 23.
  9. ^ Haynes, Graham (1998). A-Z Of Bees: Brentford Encyclopaedia. Yore Publications. p. 84. ISBN 1 874427 57 7.
  10. ^ Chris Wickham. "Kevin O'Connor and Marcus Gayle join others in being added to Brentford FC Hall of Fame". brentfordfc.co.uk. Retrieved 20 October 2015.

External links[edit]