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Michael Roger Channon (born 28 November 1948) is an English former footballer who played as a striker, most notably for Southampton and went on to represent the English national team in the 1970s. He later became a successful racehorse trainer.
|Full name||Michael Roger Channon|
|Date of birth||28 November 1948|
|Place of birth||Orcheston, Wiltshire, England|
|Height||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|1974||→ Durban Celtic (loan)|
|1978||→ Cape Town City (loan)|
|1981||→ Newcastle KB United (loan)||4||(3)|
|1981||→ Gosnells City (loan)||1||(1)|
|1983||→ Durban City (loan)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only
Channon was born in Orcheston, Wiltshire and made his debut for Southampton as a 17-year-old in 1966, scoring in a match against Bristol City. Within three years he had established himself as the club's main goalscorer and was consistent in front of goal at a time when Southampton were one of the less fashionable teams in English football's First Division. However, despite a record season tally of 21 goals for Southampton in 1974, the club was relegated to the Second Division at the end of the season.
Channon stayed loyal to Southampton despite obvious concerns for his international chances and was rewarded in 1976 which was a special year for Channon. Southampton were still in the Second Division but nevertheless enjoyed a dream run to the FA Cup final where they played Manchester United. Although Southampton were a lower division side, they were considerably more experienced than Manchester United's youthful team. Southampton won 1–0, with Channon playing a part in the winning goal scored late in the game by Bobby Stokes. It was his first domestic honour in the game.
In the close season before the 1977–78 season, Channon left Southampton — still in the Second Division — to join Manchester City in a £300,000 deal. His new club were making progress, having just finished second in the First Division behind champions Liverpool, but this was where they peaked and Channon struggled to settle. He scored just 12 goals in his first season and 11 in his second.
Return to SouthamptonEdit
Channon went back to Southampton (by now back in the First Division) in September 1979. Now in his thirties, he continued to play regularly though his goals ratio was not good in his second spell, with only ten coming in each of his first two seasons back at the club. He joined Newcastle United in 1982 after playing 510 games for Southampton over two spells, scoring a total of 185 goals placing him top of the club's list of all-time goalscorers.
He lasted barely a month at Newcastle before joining Bristol Rovers. His impressive career seemingly on the decline, he failed to score in nine games for Bristol Rovers before a sudden departure again, this time to Norwich City where, at the age of 34, he found some of his old touch. He played 88 games over three seasons, scoring 16 goals, and suffered a mixed end to his Norwich career in 1985 when the club won the League Cup — Channon's second and final domestic honour — with a 1–0 win over Sunderland at Wembley, but were then relegated (with Sunderland) at the end of the same season. Channon joined Portsmouth and Finn Harps (where he played in one League of Ireland Cup game), before retiring from the game in 1986.
Called up to make his debut for England by Alf Ramsey in October 1972, Channon played well enough in a 1–1 draw with Yugoslavia at Wembley to be selected for the squads for two subsequent qualifying matches for the 1974 FIFA World Cup, although he wasn't eventually in the team for either.[clarification needed] However, he won his second cap in a famous 5–0 hammering of Scotland at Hampden Park in February 1973, scoring his first goal in the process.
As the year progressed, Channon scored again in a match against Wales and then added a brace in a 7–0 thumping of Austria before he was picked by Ramsey for his first competitive match - a crucial and ultimately infamous World Cup qualifier against Poland at Wembley. If England didn't win, they wouldn't qualify for the tournament. Channon, in his tenth England outing, was in an attacking line-up which spent pretty much the whole match in the Poland half, trying to break the deadlock. Channon saw his own chances saved by the eccentric but inspired goalkeeper Jan Tomaszewski and the game ended 1–1.
He played in a series of post-season friendlies for England, scoring in three of them and was kept in the side the following October as England began their campaign to qualify for the 1976 European Championships. Channon scored in the game against Czechoslovakia as England won 3–0. Channon's next goal for England was a while coming — in September 1975 — as England beat Switzerland in a friendly. England had two qualifying games left at the end of the year for the 1976 European Championships and Channon scored in both, but England lost 2–1 to the Czechs in Bratislava and then only drew 1–1 with Portugal in Lisbon. England failed to qualify and the Czechs went on to win the tournament.
After winning an FA Cup medal in the 1976 Final, Channon was back at Wembley days later to score twice in England's 4–0 win over Northern Ireland; he then scored again four days later against Scotland but England lost 2–1 at Hampden Park. There followed a summer tournament in the U.S. for the bi-centennial celebrations, and Channon scored twice in a thrilling game against Italy as England came from two goals down to win 3–2. A fortnight later, Channon scored again as England defeated Finland 4–1 in Helsinki to get their qualification campaign for the 1978 FIFA World Cup off to a perfect start, though this would be tempered a month later by a defeat against Italy in Rome.
In March 1977, Channon scored twice as England beat Luxembourg at Wembley to get their World Cup campaign back on track; Luxembourg were the 'whipping boys' of the group and England would later need to demolish Luxembourg by a similar or better scoreline in Luxembourg to give themselves a chance of overhauling Italy and qualifying for the World Cup.
Channon hit his 20th England goal in a 2–1 win over Northern Ireland in May 1977. A week later came another Channon goal against Scotland - this time from the penalty spot - but this proved an infamous England defeat as the Scots won 2–1 and their fans invaded the Wembley pitch in celebration, ripping up clods of souvenir turf and pulling down one of the crossbars.
After an ill-fated move to Manchester City affected his form, Ron Greenwood chose to omit him from the starting line-up when England played the crucial World Cup qualifier in Luxembourg in October 1977. England 'only' won 2–0 and, despite victory over Italy in the last game of the campaign, the goals record was insufficient to take them to the World Cup. Channon was not selected for his country again; his international career ended with 46 appearances and a healthy 21 goals. England's failure to qualify for three major international tournaments during Channon's career leaves him as the most-capped player never to have been named to a World Cup or European Championships squad. He remains joint 16th in the all-time England scorers list, level with Kevin Keegan.
As a playerEdit
Channon always had an interest in horse racing during his football career. After retiring from full-time professional football in 1986, he began working as an assistant trainer, before becoming a licensed trainer in his own right in 1990. He initially had ten horses.
In 2002, he ended the season with 123 winners, topping the 100-mark for the first time in his career. He is one of the sport's most respected trainers, though has yet to produce a winner of one of the British Classic Races. In May 2012, he produced his first Classic winner when Samitar took the Irish 1,000 Guineas.
Group 1 / Grade I winsEdit
- Cheveley Park Stakes: Seazun (1999), Queen's Logic (2001)
- Dewhurst Stakes: Tobougg (2000)
- Falmouth Stakes: Music Show (2010)
- King's Stand Stakes: Piccolo (1995)
- Nunthorpe Stakes: Piccolo (1994)
- St. James's Palace Stakes: Zafeen (2003)
- Sun Chariot Stakes: Majestic Roi (2007)
- E. P. Taylor Stakes: Lahaleeb (2009)
- Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud: Youmzain (2008)
- Prix Morny: Silca's Sister (2005)
- Prix Rothschild: Ascension (2001)
- Prix de la Salamandre: Tobougg (2000)
- Preis von Europa: Youmzain (2006)
This section relies largely or entirely on a single source. (March 2018)
On 27 August 2008, Channon was involved and injured in a motorway accident on the M1. He was travelling from the Doncaster Sales to his West Ilsley stables in Berkshire when the accident happened. Channon was reported to have suffered a punctured lung and broken arm and jaw.
During an interview with Clare Balding broadcast on BBC One on 3 January 2009, Channon spoke about how, as a result of the broken jaw, he was subsequently fitted with metal plates in his face. Bloodstock agent and friend Tim Corby died in the accident.
- Batt, Peter (2005). Mick Channon: The Authorised Biography. Highdown. ISBN 1-905156-05-7.
- Holley, Duncan; Chalk, Gary (2003). In That Number – A post-war chronicle of Southampton FC. Hagiology Publishing. ISBN 0-9534474-3-X.
- Manns, Tim (2006). Tie a Yellow Ribbon: How the Saints Won the Cup. Hagiology Publishing. ISBN 0-9534474-6-4.
- Wilson, Jeremy (2006). Southampton's Cult Heroes. Know The Score Books. ISBN 1-905449-01-1.