Brian Snowdon - man mountain
Posted on 15th Aug 2023 by David Taylor
Brian Snowdon passed away recently at the age of 88. He spent four years at Fratton Park and played a key role in Pompey’s winning of the Third Division title in 1962.
The centre-half – who spent his National Service with the Royal Air Force – played for Shildon Works in Durham before signing for Blackpool.
Brian was signed from Blackpool in 1959 by boss Freddie Cox for £10,000 and made his debut at the Baseball Ground in a 1-0 defeat to Derby County but was on the winning side the next week when Pompey won their first home game in ten months with a single goal victory over Plymouth. Plum marked Brian’s signing with a cartoon suggesting in Pompey’s predicament they need to sign Everest rather than Snowdon!
The programme notes from the Plymouth game tell the story 'The signing of Brian Snowdon from Blackpool has upset the club's proud record of producing centre-half-backs. Not since the signing of John McIlwaine in the mid twenties has the club speculated heavily in the transfer market for a man to fill the pivot position. Many fine players have served the club in this position, in fact, Pompey and outstanding pivots was an accepted thing in football. Following in line of some of the famous names is in itself a task, but from the games played Brian looks more than capable of establishing himself and worthy of the right to be holding a position in the team that in the past has been commanded by great names in football.
The arrival of the new centre-half saw a change in Club captaincy. After six seasons of 'carrying the ball' Jimmy Dickinson had for some time been of the opinion that a younger player should be groomed for the job. Statements have appeared in both the local and national press. To Jimmy goes a sincere vote of thanks for all his work on and off the field in the interest of the club. Free from the added strains of captain it is the hope of everyone that he will continue to play long enough to see the team regain former glories'.
Wise words indeed at a low moment in the club's history. Jimmy Dickinson would go on to play for another six seasons until his fortieth birthday and only injury would deprive Brian becoming a great skipper something he would achieve elsewhere.
After winning the Third Division title in 1962 where Brian would miss only four games, injuries to his shoulder and knee would mar his Pompey career and he slipped into the reserves.
George Smith allowed the centre-half to move on and he signed for Millwall in 1963, going on to make 143 appearances for The Lions across four seasons, captaining two successive promotion-winning sides as Millwall launched themselves from Division Four to Division Two. During that period, Snowdon and his team-mates went on a remarkable run of 59 home matches unbeaten.
Snowdon later appeared for Margate, Detroit Cougars and Crystal Palace, also working as a PE teacher.
Full details of Brian’s Pompey career can be found here pompeyrama.com/pompey-fc-players-448-Brian-Snowdon.html