Thanks to Dave Rowntree for many of the player images after 1984.
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Full Name: John Arthur Boden
Came from: Croydon Common Went to: Gillingham
First game: 17 September 1910 Last game: 05 October 1912
Appearances: 67 (67/0) Goals: 32
Boden was born in Northwich in 1882 and played for local side Wharton Juniors, as well as hometown team Northwich Victoria, before beginning his professional career with Glossop in 1902. He spent three years with the Second Division side, making more than 90 appearances. In May 1905 he moved to Clapton Orient and played 33 times during the 1905-06 campaign, including the club's first Football League match in September 1905. In March 1906 Boden signed for Aston Villa but struggled to hold down a regular place in the first team. After just nineteen games in 15 months with the club he moved on, returning briefly to Northwich Victoria before signing for Reading in June 1907. In two years at Elm Park he played almost 70 times before joining Croydon Common in 1909.
He made twenty appearances for Croydon before joining Argyle in September 1910. Signed primarily as a half-back, Boden was an extremely versatile player and often played as a centre-forward. In fact, during his brief spell with Croydon he played in no less than six different positions - centre-half, centre-forward, right-back, left-back, right-half and left-half. His goalscoring record whilst at Home Park shows that he performed his duty with no little success and the 1911-12 club handbook describes that he "helped Argyle valuably at centre-forward last season, his terrific shooting securing many league points last back end". He again performed well up-front throughout the 1911-12 campaign, including scoring two hat-tricks, one of which was against his former club, Reading. Early on in the 1912-13 season Boden left Home Park to join Gillingham, where he spent the remainder of the campaign. In 1913 he returned to Northwich Victoria before ending his career with brief spells at Stalybridge Celtic and Witton Albion.
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APPEARANCE DETAILS [reselect competitions]
The details below reflect appearances in all first-team competitions.
We're grateful to Andy Chapman, Paul Roberts, Steve Rhodes and Mark Lovell for their help in writing GoS-DB's player pen-pictures, and to the PAFC Media Team and Colin Parsons for their help with photos. Thanks also to staff at the National Football Museum, the Scottish Football Museum and ScotlandsPeople for their valuable assistance.
The following publications have been particularly valuable in the research of pen-pictures: Plymouth Argyle, A Complete Record 1903-1989 (Brian Knight, ISBN 0-907969-40-2); Plymouth Argyle, 101 Golden Greats (Andy Riddle, ISBN 1-874287-47-3); Football League Players' Records 1888-1939 (Michael Joyce, ISBN 1-899468-67-6); Football League Players' Records 1946-1988 (Barry Hugman, ISBN 1-85443-020-3) and Plymouth Argyle Football Club Handbooks.
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