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Elliot Godfrey in pseudonym controversy

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The Non-League Paper

Sunday, October 3, 2004


Hoaxing Hampton sign false name star

Ryman Premier club Hampton & Richmond Borough player former Watford whiz-kid Elliot Godfrey under a false name while they negotiated to sign him.

The "cloak and dagger" method was to avoid anyone else snapping up the talented youngster who had attracted several Non-League clubs.

After being released by Watford, 19-year-old striker Godfrey turned out for Hampton in a friendly against Leatherhead as Elliot Smith.

Manager Alan Devonshire says that he did not remember Godfrey's surname and so put him down as Smith because the youngster arrived after he had submitted his team sheet.

"It was not a deliberate lie," he insisted.

But club press officer Les Rance told a different story: "It was a ploy to keep Elliot's identity secret whilst negotiations went on," he said.

Hampton had been tipped off by Watford manager Ray Lewington, whose son Craig plays for the Beavers, that Godfrey was being released. He was injured in the friendly and his signing was put on hold until he was fit again.

Godfrey proved his recovery with the winner after coming on as a substitute last Saturday against Windsor & Eton last week - and Hampton wasted no time in signing him.

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That was interesting. There was a similar story years ago in Junior hockey. They dressed a young player and changed his name so no one esle could nab the kid since he wasn't 'listed'. While that's shady, junior teams go to pretty good lengths not to tip off who their non-list players are.

The interesting thing involves insurance in the event of an injury. Not sure how it would work for Godfrey, but in the junior kid's case apparently he would have been SOL had he gotten hurt.

Is Godfrey secretly a fan of sad folk-pop?



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