Luther Blissett is a former professional footballer and manager who also played for the England national team throughout the 1980s. Blissett played as a striker and is best known for his time at Watford F.C., whom he helped win promotion from the Fourth Division to the First Division. As of 2010, Blissett holds Watford’s all-time records for appearances and goals, having played an astonishing 503 games and scoring 186 goals.
Blissett began his career with Watford as an apprentice on leaving school in the summer of 1974. He turned professional for the 1975–76 season, making three appearances in the Football League Fourth Division and scoring one goal. Helping the team to promotion from the Fourth Division to a side who was successful and competitive in the First Division to the surprise of many fans and pundits. In the First Division, Watford briefly led the league in the autumn, before finishing second to Liverpool and qualified for the UEFA Cup. In Watford’s first ever First Division season, Blissett was the division’s top goalscorer that season with 27 goals.
Blissett’s other clubs included A.C. Milan, who paid £1 million for him in 1983 and as of late it has been rumoured that A.C. Milan confused him with his Watford teammate John Barnes, before later selling him back to Watford in 1984. Blissett joined Bournemouth before he returned to Watford, his return did not see as much success, he ended his English league career in early winter 1993 with a five-match spell with Division Three with Mansfield Town that had followed 10 games with Bury. After that came a five-match spell in the Football Conference at Southport, producing two goals, and four games and a goal for Derry City in the League of Ireland before he finally retired from playing in 1995 after a season playing for Fakenham Town in the Eastern Counties Football League.
Blissett was capped 14 times by England, scoring a hat-trick on his debut. Blissett became one of the first black footballers to play for the senior team and in scoring the hat-trick on debut he became the first black player ever to score a hat-trick for England.
After later retiring from playing, Blissett turned to coaching, initially under the management of Graham Taylor at Watford, as well as also managing Chesham United for a year, where he even made two appearances as a substitute.
Outside of the world of football, Blissett had involvement with the Windrush Motorsport project which aimed to enter the Le Mans 24-hour race. Blissett has worked as a television pundit for Channel 4 and Bravo’s coverage of Serie A.
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