CLIFF BASTIN d1991. English footballer. He started his career at Exeter City making his début for the club in 1928 at the age of 16. Despite only playing 17 games and scoring 6 goals in his time at Exeter, he was spotted by Arsenal manager Herbert Chapman in a match against Watford. He was attending to keep tabs on a Watford player, but the 17-year-old Bastin's ability was so evident that Chapman decided to sign him at the end of the 1928-9. Bastin played the rest of his career at Arsenal, and formed an integral part of the side that dominated English football in the 1930s. He scored 178 goals in 395 games, which made him Arsenal's all-time top goalscorer from 1939 until 1997, when his total was surpassed by Ian Wright. In 2005, Thierry Henry passed both Bastin and Wright's totals, thus meaning Bastin is currently (as of May 2012) Arsenal's third-top goalscorer of all time. During his career he also played for England between 1931-1938, winning 21 caps and scoring 12 goals. The Second World War intervened when Bastin was 27, thus cutting short what should have been the peak of his career. Bastin was excused military service he failed the army hearing test owing to his increasing deafness. An injured leg had hampered his performances in wartime matches and would ultimately curtail his career. After the war was over, by now in his thirties, he played only seven more times (failing to score in any of them) before retiring in January 1947. After retirement he returned to his native Exeter and ran a pub. He died in 1991 at the age of 79.
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