Arsenal Best Attackers Ever: No5 – One of Our Greatest with 392 Goals in 451 Games

Arsenal’s Century Club – Reg Lewis

Reg Lewis 5 (1)

Reginald (Reg) Lewis was born in Bilston on 7th March 1920. He played local football for Nunhead and Dulwich Hamlet Juniors before joining Arsenal as a professional in March 1937.

Lewis scored on his debut against Everton on 1st January 1938. He joined a team that included Cliff Bastin, Eddie Hapgood, George Male, Ted Drake, Leslie Jones, George Swindin, George Hunt, Bernard Joy, Alf Kirchen, Leslie Compton and Dennis Compton.

However, as Lewis was only 18 and Ted Drake was the first-team centre-forward, he was only given four games in the 1937-38 season. The following season he created a club record by scoring 43 goals in 31 games for the reserves. He also scored 7 goals in 15 first-team appearances.

In 1945 Lewis was a member of the British Army of the Rhine in Occupied Germany. He continued to play for Arsenal and shone as a natural goal scorer; although wartime appearances and goals are not officially counted, he scored 143 goals in 130 games, including four in the 1943 War Cup Southern Final, in a 7-1 demolition of Charlton Athletic. Towards the end of the war he served in the British Army of the Rhine in Occupied Germany, but returned to play for Arsenal once first-class football resumed in 1946. Although most of the Arsenal side of the 1930s were past their best by this time, Reg was still only 26 and he continued to be a regular in the first team throughout the remainder of the 1940s. He was the club’s top scorer in 1946-47 with 29 goals this included a hat-trick against Preston North End and four against Grimsby Town. Jeff Harris, the author of Arsenal Who’s Who, argues: “His ability and knack of scoring goals were attributed to his fine positional sense when finding space in the box as well as being cool, calm and collected.”

Reg Lewis 2 (1)

The following season (1947-48), he partnered new signing Ronnie Rooke and between them they scored 47 goals as Arsenal won the First Division title; however, Lewis suffered from a series of injuries that year but still scored 14 goals in 28 games.

In the first game I watched at Highbury on November 22nd 1947 – GN5 was fortunate to see Reg Lewis play. Also playing that day were – Jimmy Logie, Wally Barnes, Les Compton, Ronnie Rooke, Don Roper and Doug Lishman. Rooke and Logie both scored in a 2-0 win over Huddersfield).

Despite only playing 25 games in the 1948-49 season he still ended up as top scorer with 16 goals. In the 1949-50 season Lewis scored 19 goals in 31 games. He also scored both goals in Arsenal’s 2-0 victory over Liverpool in the 1950 FA Cup Final.

During the early 1950s, Lewis became constantly afflicted with injuries, and he made only 12 appearances in 1951-52 and none at all in 1952-53. In the close season of 1953, he retired from the game at the age of 33. After retiring he first ran a pub and then worked in insurance.

Reg Lewis 3 (1)

His tally of 118 in 176 first-team games puts him 13th in the all-time list but his total figure from 1935 to 1953 was a staggering 392 in 451 matches (an incredible .87 goals per game). His finest hour came in the 1950 FA Cup final, when he scored both goals in a 2-0 win over Liverpool.

Reg scored his 100th goal for Arsenal against Huddersfield, at their Leeds Road ground, on January 20, 1951.

Arsenal’s Century Club
# Player Years Games ** Goals GPG
5 Reg Lewis 1935-53 176 152 118 0.67
6 Joe Baker 1962-66 156 152 100 0.64
7 David Jack 1928-34 208 156 124 0.60
8 Doug Lishman 1948-56 244 163 137 0.56
9 David Herd 1954-61 180 165 107 0.59
10 Cliff Bastin 1929-46 396 174 178 0.45
11 Thierry Henry 1999-07 377 181 226 0.60
12 Olivier Giroud 2012-18 253 237 105 0.42
13 RVP 2004-12 278 238 132 0.47
14 Alan Smith 1987-95 347 251 115 0.33
15 Frank Stapleton 1972-81 300 276 108 0.36
16 Denis Bergkamp 1995-06 423 296 120 0.28
17 John Radford 1962-76 481 306 149 0.31
18 Joe Hulme 1926-38 374 307 125 0.33
19 Theo Walcott 2005-18 397 370 108 0.27
** Games played to reach 100 goals.

Reg Lewis passed away in his 77th year in1997.

GunnerN5

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The PL season Starts Again on 17 June: Is This Right or Wrong?

Newhaven

Light philosophical thoughts from the Costa Del Forth. 

The club-season-football should have finished by now, but we all know that the invisible-to-the-naked-eye enemy that is killing hundreds of thousands of people across the world has made this football season very different from any others before. It looks like the PL will be recommenced despite hundreds of people still dying of Covid-19 in the UK alone on a daily basis. About 40000 people died in the UK alone until now. Must the show go on?

I am conflicted re the necessity of finishing off the season and the joy to be had from it.

The WSL will not finish its season and The Netherlands, Belgium, Scotland and France have decided to call it a day too. The PL is based on a mega-capitalist system that is foreign to building up fat for (unexpected yet severe) leaner times. It shows time and again that capitalism, with all its benefits and downsides during normal times, is incapable of dealing with a mega-crisis without asking for enormous financial injections by the much kept at a distance, and often undermined/underappreciated, national and international governments.

cropped-104683668_arsenalbadge2.jpg

The constant footie costs remain high, the income has plummeted and clubs have been making losses almost instantly. Apparently dozens of British clubs are at risk of going under in the next twelve months which would of course be a gigantic disaster. It is all about TV money but also about ticket sales, especially for Arsenal with apparently 40% of all players’ wages funded through loyal, paying Ashburton Grove spectators. By reconvening PL football TV money can flow back into the clubs so I get why everybody is keen to get going again, but it also saddens me that we cannot just cancel the season in respect for all those people killed by the virus and focus on the new season instead.

So here are some questions for you:

  1. Is it safe for the players and support staff, and for their families at home, to resume the competition on the 17th?
  2. How much are you looking forward to watching Arsenal again in a couple of weeks?
  3. Is football without spectators actually football?
  4. Does the show always need to go on?

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Equality and Inclusion for All!

By TotalArsenal

 

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Arsenal Best Attackers Ever: No6 – Even Better Goals Per Game Average Than TH14!

Arsenal’s Century Club – Joe Baker

Joe Baker 7 (1)

Joseph Henry Baker (17 July 1940 – 6 October 2003) was born in Woolton in Liverpool, England however he spent virtually his entire childhood growing up in Motherwell, Scotland. Joe Baker’s mother was Scottish. His father was also born in Woolton and was a sailor; while living in New York in 1938, Joe’s elder brother, Gerry, was born. Early on in the Second World War the family returned from the United States to their hometown Liverpool as Joe’s father George felt he had to enlist and do his bit to help with the war effort and follow the example of his four brothers who were all serving in the British navy.

Liverpool became a prime target for the Luftwaffe. After London it was the second most important port with the docks being heavily blitzed with 4,000 people losing their lives. Joe’s mother Lizzie wasn’t going to let her boys become victims and the family moved up to Wilshaw just outside Motherwell in Scotland to stay with Joe’s grandmother to escape the bombing when Joe was just six weeks old.

In 1944 George’s ship was blown up when returning home across the English Channel. Ironically it was a British mine that blew it up. George was one of the few survivors but was badly injured and had a lump of shrapnel in his stomach. He also lost his bladder and was constantly in and out of hospital over the next four years before finally succumbing to his injuries and losing his battle for life.

Joe, who was a centre forward spent a month on trial with Chelsea as a youngster, but was not signed. However he signed professional terms with Hibernian after playing junior football for local Coltness United, and was then farmed out to another junior team, Armadale Thistle. In his first season with Hibs, the 17-year-old Baker scored all four goals in Hibs’ 4–3 victory over city rivals Hearts in the quarter-final of the 1958 Scottish Cup. Baker played in the 1958 Scottish Cup Final, which Hibs lost 1–0 to Clyde. He also scored nine goals in a Scottish Cup tie against Peebles Rovers. Baker was Hibs’ top goal scorer for four consecutive seasons, scoring a club record 42 goals in 33 league games during the 1959–60 season. He scored 102 goals in just 117 league games and 159 goals in all competitions for the Edinburgh club.

Joe Baker 1 (1)

In 1961, Baker was transferred to Torino after the Hibs board refused to give him a £5 wage increase from his existing wage of £12 a week. Torino paid £75,000 for him and he shared a flat in the city with fellow new boy, Denis Law. He began well, scoring twice on his home debut, though his proudest achievement was definitely bagging the winner against Juventus in the Turin derby. It endeared him to fans, but his fondness for nightclubs brought unwanted attention from paparazzi and in one argument with a photographer, the snapper ended up in a Venetian lake.

Joe Baker 3 (1)

His time at the Italian club was short and almost ended in tragedy. Baker was involved in a serious car crash, which meant that he needed life-saving surgery and spent over a month on a drip feed. It was a generally unhappy spell as Baker did not like the press intrusion, which meant that he and team mate Denis Law spent most of their time in their Turin apartment.

Joe Baker car crash (1)

Baker recovered from his injuries and he returned to the UK in July 1962, joining Billy Wright’s Arsenal who, following a string of intense medical tests, paid a club record £70,000 for the 22-year-old. It was at Arsenal where he regained the prolific form which had initially earned him a move abroad. Strong, skilful and quick, Baker was deadly in the box and scored on his debut against Leyton Orient and finished as top scorer in all four of his seasons. Having been used to the tight marking of Italian defenders, all of a sudden he had space to play and he certainly made it count by scoring 100 goals in 156 games for the Gunners.

At 5ft 7in, he was a fearless striker, who in addition to goals, made sure his opponents knew he was not to be messed with. Liverpool’s 6ft 2in Ron Yeats found that out when he was floored by Baker during a game at Highbury, which saw both players sent off.

Frank McLintock said this about him “Joe Baker was a phenomenal player. He was all you could want in a goal scorer – equally adept with both feet and with the sort of pace Ian Rush later used to such advantage. I love players like Joe, with the economical grace of Jimmy Greaves, the short back-lift when they shot and the bravery that distinguishes the great from the merely good. Joe once knocked out Ron Yeats with a punch, which, of course, I can’t condone. But there’s a part of me that admired his courage in even trying it on with someone as intimidating as Liverpool’s tough as teak centre half”

On another occasion during a pre-season tour of the West Indies, Baker’s aggression is said to have caused a riot. ‘He head-butted one of the Jamaican players and the game got abandoned,’ Peter Storey said.

After a disappointing 1965–66 season Wright sold Baker to Nottingham Forest for £65,000. Baker had a successful 1966/67 at Forest, as the club finished runners-up in the top division to the following season’s European Cup Winners, Matt Busby’s Manchester United who included Baker’s ex Torino team mate, Denis Law.

After three years at Forest, Baker had scored 41 goals in 118 league games. He then moved to Sunderland for a fee of £30,000. Baker spent the following two seasons playing for the Black Cats. Baker returned to Hibernian for a second time in 1971 and scored 12 goals in 30 appearances. He moved to Raith Rovers in 1972. He retired in 1974, having in all scored 301 league goals in 507 games.

He is notable for being the first professional player to have played for England without having previously played in the English football league system, and for scoring over 100 goals in both the English and Scottish leagues.

He scored his 100th and final goal for Arsenal against Sheffield Wednesday at Highbury on December 28th, 1965.

Joe suffered a heart attack during a charity golf tournament and passed away in Wishaw General Hospital soon after, he was only 63 years old.

Arsenal’s Century Club
# Player Years Games ** Goals GPG
6 Joe Baker 1962-66 156 152 100 0.64
7 David Jack 1928-34 208 156 124 0.60
8 Doug Lishman 1948-56 244 163 137 0.56
9 David Herd 1954-61 180 165 107 0.59
10 Cliff Bastin 1929-46 396 174 178 0.45
11 Thierry Henry 1999-07 377 181 226 0.60
12 Olivier Giroud 2012-18 253 237 105 0.42
13 RVP 2004-12 278 238 132 0.47
14 Alan Smith 1987-95 347 251 115 0.33
15 Frank Stapleton 1972-81 300 276 108 0.36
16 Denis Bergkamp 1995-06 423 296 120 0.28
17 John Radford 1962-76 481 306 149 0.31
18 Joe Hulme 1926-38 374 307 125 0.33
19 Theo Walcott 2005-18 397 370 108 0.27
** Games played to reach 100 goals.

 

 

 

GunnerN5

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Arsenal Best Attackers Ever: No7 – One of the Finest Inside-Rights Ever Seen

Arsenal’s Century Club – David Jack

David Jack 4 (1) 

Born in Bolton, Lancashire, David started his career with his father’s club, Plymouth Argyle in 1919. There he scored 15 goals in 48 appearances in all competitions. In 1920 he returned to the town of his birth, moving to Bolton Wanderers for £3,500. He spent eight seasons with the Trotters, forming a formidable partnership with Joe Smith, and between them they scored over 300 goals. While at Bolton, he made history by being the first person to score a goal at Wembley Stadium, in the 1923 FA Cup Final; Bolton won 2–0 and Jack earned his first medal.

David Jack 2 (1)

A year later, he won his first England cap, in a 1–2 defeat against Wales on 3 March 1924. In eight years he played eight times for his country and scored three times. He continued to have success with Bolton, winning the FA Cup again in 1925–26, scoring the only goal in a 1–0 win over Manchester City. He was the club’s top scorer for five of the eight seasons he was there, scoring 144 goals in 295 league matches.

In 1928, with Bolton in financial trouble, he was signed by Herbert Chapman’s Arsenal for £10,890 (nearly double the previous record).

Here is the complete story of when Herbert Chapman signed David Jack.

Once upon a time, Arsenal actually spent big in order to attract quality players and their free spending ways attracted criticism from the Football Association.

David Jack was well known to football fans when Arsenal manager Herbert Chapman signed him for a record £10,890 in 1928.

The striker had scored the first ever goal at Wembley (the stadium had just been built) when his Bolton team beat West Ham in the 1923 FA Cup final, but the fee appalled some.

Sir Charles Clegg, head of the Football Association, believed no player was worth £10,000, but it could have been worse given Bolton initially asked for £13,000 – double the previous transfer record set by Sunderland when they bought Bob Kelly from Burnley in 1925.

Chapman, though, had a trick up his sleeve according to club secretary Bob Wall when he invited a Bolton delegation to London for drinks.

Wall was just 16 at the time and carrying out minor admin duties when he accompanied Chapman to the ‘meeting’.

Instructing the barman to give his guests whatever they wanted as long as they were double measures, Chapman explained he would be drinking gin and tonic and his young assistant was on the whiskey and ginger.

Except the barman, whose pockets were now stuffed with Chapman’s cash, was to leave the gin and whiskey out.

So, many rounds later when the Bolton lot were feeling merry, a very sober Chapman was able to haggle the price.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………….

But surely Jack was passed his best at 29 years old anyway?

No is the simple answer. He finished the season as top scorer and in 1930 won the FA Cup again to become the first player to win the trophy with two different clubs at Wembley.

They were magical times for Gooners, with Jack playing in one of the most devastating attacks the game has seen alongside Joe Hulme, Alex James, Jack Lambert and Cliff Bastin who was dazzled by his team-mate’s talent.

“David was one of the finest inside-rights I ever saw,” he explained in his autobiography Cliff Bastin Remembers.

“An amazing natural body swerve and a terrific shot made him a terror to defences,” he added.

In addition to FA Cup glory, Jack won three league titles and scored 124 times in 208 matches before retiring in 1934.

Intended as a replacement for retired captain Charlie Buchan, David was a success at Highbury. He made his debut against Newcastle United on 20 October 1928, and became a regular straight away. He was the club’s top scorer for the 1928–29 season. Although less prolific than centre-forward Jack Lambert, he still scored important goals, including the one in the 1929–30 FA Cup semi-final against Hull City which sent Arsenal through to the final; Arsenal beat Huddersfield Town 2–0 in the final and he became the first player to win the Cup at Wembley with two different clubs.

David Jack 1 (1)

He continued to feature for Arsenal through the early 1930s, recording a personal best of 34 goals in Arsenal’s First Division-winning season of 1930–31. He won two more titles in 1932–33 and 1933–34; however by the time of the latter he was in his mid-30s and reaching the end of his career, with competition for his place from new signing Ray Bowden meant Jack played only 16 matches that season. He retired soon after winning his third league medal, in May 1934. In all he scored 124 times in 208 matches for Arsenal.

Arsenal 1930 FA Cup winners medal (1)

After retiring from playing, he went on to become manager of Southend United, and then Middlesbrough. He also managed League of Ireland side Shelbourne from the summer of 1953 to April 1955.

He passed away 1958, aged 59.

David’s 100th goal for Arsenal was scored against Sheffield Wednesday at Highbury on April 16th 1932.

Arsenal’s Century Club
# Player Years Games ** Goals GPG
7 David Jack 1928-34 208 156 124 0.60
8 Doug Lishman 1948-56 244 163 137 0.56
9 David Herd 1954-61 180 165 107 0.59
10 Cliff Bastin 1929-46 396 174 178 0.45
11 Thierry Henry 1999-07 377 181 226 0.60
12 Olivier Giroud 2012-18 253 237 105 0.42
13 RVP 2004-12 278 238 132 0.47
14 Alan Smith 1987-95 347 251 115 0.33
15 Frank Stapleton 1972-81 300 276 108 0.36
16 Denis Bergkamp 1995-06 423 296 120 0.28
17 John Radford 1962-76 481 306 149 0.31
18 Joe Hulme 1926-38 374 307 125 0.33
19 Theo Walcott 2005-18 397 370 108 0.27
** Games played to reach 100 goals.

GunnerN5

 

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‘I Love my Club but I don’t Like it’: What Arteta Needs to Do to Win the Fans Back

‘I love my club but I don’t like it’, or something of that notion, is what a few bloggers here on BK said a few weeks ago. I think we can all sympathise with this notion to at least some extent. It is becoming harder and harder to identify with our beloved club and I reckon the main reason for this is a lack of vision and deterioration of our values. And that we live in dangerous times for football clubs, further exasperated by the colossal impact of Covid-19, you don’t need me to tell you. The club cannot afford to sit around and do nothing.

arsenal-badge

Arsene’s initial success of winning, beautiful football – playing football the Arsenal Way – has been superseded by other clubs – by first copying us successfully, and then building further on this and outpacing us with both money AND vision. Liverpool and Man City play football that is not too dissimilar to Arsenal’s version of total football between 1996-2006, but, for various reasons, Arsenal did not build further on its earlier successes; and in the process we have not only lost our connection to the top (four) but also our relatively recent acquired reputation of a club with a strong vision and values, and quality, entertaining football to boot. Gazidis picked the wrong coach and then departed himself, just six months after the biggest managerial appointment in over 20 years at Arsenal.

Some will argue that our vision and values were lost after Arsene finally departed but I think it goes deeper than that. Some, if not many, blame the owners fully for this but I reckon they are only partly to blame. The essence for me is that a successful club, in terms of having loyal supporters who not only love their club but also really like it, makes its supporters feel at home based around a vision for the future and values that will optimise the quality of football, both in terms of winning silverware but also a brand of football that delights the heart and gains the respect of all Arsenal – as well as many non-Arsenal – fans.

There is real hope that Arteta will be successful and so gain time and support from the BoD to return Arsenal to its former glory and reputation. This will go a long way in making the supports like the club again, but something else is needed. We need to attract and then bind players to the club we can all associate with. Wenger may have replaced British players with often cheaper and better foreign players, but those who came from European and African soils would love the club and stay loyal in most cases.

Over the last few years we have seen players come and go as they, and the club, please. We have become a stepping-stone club rather then a place to stay put and shoot roots. We have let genuine shirt-lovers like Giroud, Koscielny en Monreal go and have replaced them with new, and exciting, players who could be sold again in the (near) future, possibly with a juicy profit. Those French and Spanish players seemed to understand what it meant to wear the shirt and we fans felt that they were fighting for us. We could associate with them.

Auba does his best to connect with the club and I like Leno, Torreira and Xhaka too. There are a few others who have the potential to become stalwart Gunners but all of the players mentioned in the previous sentence could also be sold in just a few months. I have no doubt that Arteta’s vision and strategic plans will move us upwards and onwards, but in order to lay a strong foundation and get the supporters really back he will need to establish a core of intrinsically motivated, shirt-loving Gunners who will make Ashburton Grove their home of football. He cannot do it alone; the BoD need to support him all the way. 

By TotalArsenal. 

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Arsenal Best Attackers Ever: No8 – Our Club Top Scorer for Five Successive Seasons

Arsenal’s Century Club – Doug Lishman

Doug Lishman 4 (1) 

Born in Birmingham, Doug first played as a centre forward for non-league Paget Rangers, before signing as a professional for Third Division South Walsall in August 1946. In two seasons with the Saddlers, Lishman scored 26 goals in 59 league appearances.

He was signed by Arsenal in the summer of 1948 for £10,500, as backup for Reg Lewis, who was only 28 but was injured frequently, Doug made his debut against Sheffield United on September 4, 1948, but a promising first season (scoring 13 goals in 25 appearances), and his 1949-50 and 1950-51 seasons were marred by injuries. He was passed over for the 1950 FA Cup final (which Arsenal won 2-0), in favour of Lewis and Peter Goring, and then just as he came back into the Arsenal first team, he broke his leg playing against Stoke City on Christmas Day in December 1950.

Doug Lishman taking a foam massage bath (1)

However, he recovered to become Arsenal’s top scorer in 1950-51, and the next season hit 30 goals, including three hat-tricks in three successive home matches;

(GN5 saw them all)

27 October 1951 4-3 v Fulham

10 November 1951 6-3 v WBA

24 November 1951 4-2 v Bolton W

Arsenal finished third that season. The following season (1951-52) they reached the FA Cup final, only to lose to Newcastle United; a series of injuries meant only eight fit players finished the match (no substitutes were allowed in those days). Doug came close for Arsenal with a header, which clipped the crossbar, but Arsenal lost 1-0.

His disappointment was soon forgotten, as Arsenal won the League Championship in 1952-53. He was again Arsenal’s top scorer, this time with 26, and with every goal proving vital, Arsenal won the title on goal average above Preston North End. His form was good enough for him to be picked for an England B match against Scotland B in March 1953, although he was never capped for the full national side.

Doug was top scorer for another two seasons after that, making it five successive seasons as the club’s top scorer in total. He scored 137 goals in 244 appearances, making him the club’s tenth-highest goal scorer of all time. However with younger men like Derek Tapscott and David Herd taking over goal scoring duties for Arsenal, Doug was dropped from the first team in 1955-56.

Doug Lishman, Arsenal  (Photo by Barratts/PA Images via Getty Images)

In March 1956 he was sold to Second Division Nottingham Forest. He scored a hat-trick in the match that got Forest promoted (a 4-0 win over Sheffield United) to Division One in 1956-57, but decided to retire in the summer of 1957. He left the game entirely after retiring. He joined his father-in law in business (furniture retail) in Stoke on Trent, later taking over the business himself. He continued to live in Stoke on Trent until his death in 1994.

Doug scored his 100th goal for Arsenal against Cardiff City at Ninian Park on September 26th 1953.

Arsenal’s Century Club
# Player Years Games ** Goals GPG
8 Doug Lishman 1948-56 244 163 137 0.56
9 David Herd 1954-61 180 165 107 0.59
10 Cliff Bastin 1929-46 396 174 178 0.45
11 Thierry Henry 1999-07 377 181 226 0.60
12 Olivier Giroud 2012-18 253 237 105 0.42
13 RVP 2004-12 278 238 132 0.47
14 Alan Smith 1987-95 347 251 115 0.33
15 Frank Stapleton 1972-81 300 276 108 0.36
16 Denis Bergkamp 1995-06 423 296 120 0.28
17 John Radford 1962-76 481 306 149 0.31
18 Joe Hulme 1926-38 374 307 125 0.33
19 Theo Walcott 2005-18 397 370 108 0.27
** Games played to reach 100 goals.

GunnerN5

 

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Arsenal Best Attackers Ever: No9 – Another One We Let Go ‘Up-North’ Far Too Readily

Arsenal’s Century Club – David Herd

Football F.A. Cup 6th Round 1957: Arsenal V
David Herd heads Ars

David Herd was born on 15 April 1934 in Hamilton, Lanarkshire, his mother went north to family just prior to his birth so he could qualify for Scotland like his father.

His father helped Manchester City win the FA cup a few weeks after David’s birth; David grew up in Moss Side beginning his professional career at Stockport County as an amateur in 1950. He signed professionally a year later and in May 1951 played as a 17 year old in the same Stockport forward line up as his 39 year old father Alec. David scored in the 2-0 win.

Herd caught the eye of Matt Busby in 1952 but a hiccup scuppered the transfer deal and he remained at Edgeley Park in the 3rd Division North. National Service intervened and for two years he was in the RAF, and a few hours after his demobilization Tom Whittaker swooped to purchase him on 24 August 1954 for £10,000.

Herd made his Arsenal debut on 19 February 1955 at home to Leicester and took a while to bed into the team, but between 1957-1961 he was the leading Arsenal goal scorer for four successive seasons. One of these goals was scored for the Gunners in the Busby Babes’ last match on English soil, a 4-5 defeat at Highbury on 1 February 1958, often noted as one of the greatest ever games.

David Herd 4 (1)

For Arsenal Herd scored 107 goals in 180 appearances. At one point an explosive right foot missile of his was timed at 72.5 mph, it being no surprise he was nicknamed “Hot Shot” Herd. He is the club’s 16th highest ever goal scorer, with a hit ratio of 0.594 goals per game, which places him just outside the all time top ten of Arsenal’s best strike rates. He also played 85 games in the reserves and scored 46 goals, one of which was in the 1954-55 final of the London FA Challenge Cup in which Arsenal beat West Ham.

His final match for the club came on 29 April 1961 at Everton, where he scored in a 1-4 defeat. Despite all his goals the best League position while at the club was third in 1958-59, and it would have been understandable were he to look elsewhere for the chance of honours. This course of action appeared to be encouraged as manager George Swindin offered him as a makeweight in deals for both Denis Law and George Eastham in March and September 1960. More than hinting he was not part of the manager’s longer term plans, it was somewhat ironic as Herd ended up the 2nd highest scorer in the whole of the top flight during the 1960-61 season.

david herd 5 (1)

Consequently, Herd moved to Manchester United on 26th July 1961 for £40,000. There he won 2 League and 1 FA cup winners medals, and he also received a European Cup winners medal as a squad member. A broken leg in 1967 put paid to his position in their forward pecking order. He is 13th in Manchester United’s all-time goal scoring list, 145 goals from 265 appearances, which was almost identical to his scoring ratio while at Arsenal.

On 15 July 1968 he moved to Stoke City on a free transfer, and then onto Waterford briefly in 1970 before ending his playing career which had seen him net 272 times in 516 appearances!

A Scotland international, he scored 3 times in the 5 occasions he appeared for his country between 1958-61. All of these caps were won at Arsenal which aside from being a ridiculously low total for such a natural goal scorer, is an indictment of the SFA in repeatedly ignoring a title winning forward.

A short spell as manager of Lincoln City in the early 1970s saw the his football career come to a halt and he ran a number of Manchester based car garages before retiring in 1999. He also enjoyed playing golf and cricket.

David Herd passed away on 1 October 2016. 

Former Arsenal, Manchester United and Scotland centre forward David Herd passed away on October 1st, 2016, after a five-year battle against vascular d. 

He joined the Gunners in what is now known as “The Dark Era”. The team which had won the FA Cup in 1950 and the League in 1953 was breaking up and during Herd’s seven years in North London, the Gunners never finished better than third. That was in 1958-59, the season in which Herd won the first of his five Scottish caps, when he was one of four debutantes named for the opening Home International of the season, against Wales, in Cardiff. 

He left football to enter the motor trade in the Manchester area, running a garage in Urmston right up until he reached retirement age in 1999. 

He had first invested in the business in 1965, already looking ahead to the end of his playing career. It gave him ample opportunity to indulge in his love of fast cars, while his sporting instincts were satisfied by his long-time membership of Ashton-on-Mersey Golf Club – where he had a low handicap for many years, and by playing cricket for various club sides around his home in South Manchester. 

A “destructive” batsman, he was still playing first-team cricket into his 60s, while, away from the sports field, he enjoyed cruising holidays, visited Malta at least once each year and made two trips back to Scotland each year, to see family and to attend the Dunhill Links Championship at St Andrew’s, which he loved.    

David scored his 100th goal for Arsenal on January 1st 1961 at Highbury, it was the third goal in his third hat trick of the season.

GunnerN5

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