Clifford Sydney Bastin was born in Exeter on 14th March 1912, and went on to become the most successful football player to represent ECFC. As a pupil at Ladysmith School in Heavitree, Cliff’s talent was recognised at a young age and the ‘Boy Bastin’ signed for Exeter in 1928 at the age of 16. Known for his ball skills and shooting ability, Bastin didn’t take long to make his name, scoring the first two of his 271 career goals in a 5-1 victory over Newport County just weeks after joining the club. So fast was his rise, that after only a handful of games for City, legendary Arsenal manager Herbert Chapman was impressed enough to sign him for £2000. Bastin enjoyed a glittering career with the Gunners, where he won every domestic honour and represented England 21 times scoring 12 goals. Bastin is still remembered by both clubs, with his image lining up alongside other Arsenal legends at the Emirates, while the Big Bank at St James Park has also been named after him. He’s one of our own…
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