University graduate, amateur english footballer, schoolmaster, intelligence officer and journalist, Bernard Joy was a multi talented man with a reserved and serious nature.
After playing football for London University, Joy became an important member of the Corinthian Casuals amateur football club, whom he later captained,. He also played as an amateur for Southend United, Fulham, Arsenal (1935-1946), Southampton and West Ham United ( the latter two as a guest player). He played as a centre-half and also captained the Great Britain football team during the 1936 Olympics.
He is perhaps best remembered as a footballer by having the distinction of being the last amateur player to be capped by the England national team. His one official cap came in a 3-2 away defeat to Belgium in 1936, and he subsequently played in an unoffical game during the war (his war service was as an intelligence officer).
He retired from football shortly after the war and, rather than returning to his pre-war career as a schoolmaster (in Hounslow), chose to move into journalism. Being London based he became the football correspondant for The Star, one of three London evening newspapers at the time, and later for the Evening Standard and the Sunday Express (for whom he was the football and tennis corresdpondant).
He was a highly respected journalist. Much of his writing was compiled slowly and patiently by hand. He had a vivid writing style and a deep understanding of the game and his beloved Arsenal Football Club. He was as adept at writing journalistic pieces as he was writing about tactics, techniques, players, history and club finances. This grasp of so many different aspects of football led to a number of books penned by him, including the important Forward, Arsenal! (with whom Joy retained links throughout his life), at the time the most concise history of this club to have been written (published by Phoenix House Ltd).