For the roots of the unlikely story of Brazilian legend Socrates’ lone appearance for Garforth Town in 2004 you have to rewind to the mid 90’s, and to a soccer skills class outside a school in Leeds. It was here that Garforth Towns future owner Simon Clifford founded the first of his highly influential soccer schools, based on the training techniques and style of Brazilian football.
His initial venture was a success and a year after the schools foundation Clifford gained funding for a trip to Brazil that was to be filmed by the BBC. The publicity around the trip, during which Clifford talked with the likes of Zico and Rivellino, helped cause an explosion in the popularity of his Brazilian soccer schools brand which soon saw the brand expanding internationally
Five years after opening his first soccer school Clifford decided try his hand at football club ownership with the purchase of Garforth Town, then of the Northern Counties East League. He was bullish with his intentions for the club, looking to both raise its profile and league standing.
The 20th November 2004 would see him at the very least emphatically achieve the former.
Reporters and photographers from across the UK gathered early that freezing November day. They must scarcely have believed that in a few hours the iconic Dr Socrates, leader of the great Brazilian side of the 80’s, would be turning out for Garforth, a town of 20,000 on the outskirts of Leeds.