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Alan Birchenall

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Full name  Alan John Birchenall
Years  Team
Position  Midfielder
1963–1964  Sheffield United
Height  1.82 m
Role  Footballer
Place of birth  East Ham, England
Name  Alan Birchenall

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Date of birth  (1945-08-22) 22 August 1945 (age 70)
Books  Bring Back the Birch: The Alan Birchenall Story
Similar People  Keith Weller, Tony Currie, Steve Kember, Frank Worthington

Playing position  Attacking Midfielder

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Alan John Birchenall MBE (born 22 August 1945) is an English former footballer who played during the 1960s and 1970s as a forward. Born in East Ham he made his Football League debut with Sheffield United and went on to have a varied career, spending time at Chelsea and Leicester City as well as playing in the NASL and representing England at Under-23 level.


Alan Birchenall BBC Leicester Sport Leicester City Goodbye Filbert

Jeremy nicholas meets alan birchenall

Sheffield United

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Birchenall's parents had moved from East Ham to Nottinghamshire when he was four and he played in the local junior leagues for Thorneywood Boys where he was spotted by Sheffield United. Signed by then manager John Harris Birchenall was a skilful attacking midfielder who initially played in the Blades youth and reserve team where he became a prolific goal scorer. He made his league debut a year after he was signed playing against Stoke City in September 1964.

Alan Birchenall Leicester legend Alan Birchenall has heart attack and fans will

Nicknamed The Birch, Birchenall soon cemented himself in the Blades first team, endearing himself to the fans by scoring both goals against local rivals Sheffield Wednesday in a 2–0 victory at Hillsborough in only his second game. Netting nine goals in his first twelve First Division games he soon formed a formidable partnership with fellow striker Mick Jones who he had played with as a Nottinghamshire schoolboy. In 1967 however, with United seeking to raise funds both Birchenall and Jones were sold in quick succession with Birchenall being transferred to Chelsea. He left Bramall Lane having played over 120 games for the club, scoring 37 goals and having the 'distinction' of being the first Blades player ever to be substituted in a League game (against Fulham in September 1965).

Chelsea and Crystal Palace

Alan Birchenall About us Patrons Ambassadors Patrons LOROS

Birchenall was among the first players to command a £100,000 price tag when he moved from Sheffield United to Chelsea in November 1967. He missed Chelsea's win in the 1970 FA Cup Final due to injury. After three years at Chelsea, he joined Crystal Palace, in June 1970, in another £100,000 deal and was the team's top scorer in his first season at Selhurst Park, with 10 goals from 36 appearances.

Leicester City and the NASL

Alan Birchenall Alan Birchenall recovering in hospital after heart attack Football

Leicester City paid £80,000 for him in September 1971, and he remained with them until signing for Notts County in 1977. He later played for NASL sides the San Jose Earthquakes and the Memphis Rogues.

Return to England

Alan Birchenall Alan BIRCHENALL League appearances for The Foxes Leicester City FC

He also spent brief spells with Blackburn Rovers, Luton Town, Hereford United and Trowbridge Town where he was player manager.

International career

Birchenall was capped four times for the England Under-23's with his appearances being spread between his time at Sheffield United and Chelsea.

Personal life and post playing career

Birchenall is currently club ambassador, which includes the role of pre-match and half-time host, at Leicester City. He also ran a footwear company and The Griffin Inn in Swithland following his retirement from playing.

Birchenall is a patron of PROSTaid a prostate cancer charity.


In 2002 Birchenall was awarded an MBE for his charity work. Leicester City Council announced in February 2009 that he was to be given the Honorary Freedom of Leicester alongside singer Engelbert Humperdinck and author Sue Townsend. Two years later in July 2011 he received an honorary Doctor of Law Degree from the University of Leicester.


Alan Birchenall Wikipedia