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David Herd: 1934-2016

2 October 2016

Former City manager David Herd has sadly passed away at the age of 82.

Although born in Hamilton David Herd grew up in Manchester as his father Alex played for Manchester City and later Stockport County which was where David began what was a successful playing career.  

David made his Football League debut in May 1951 when he scored in a 2-0 victory against Hartlepool but the match was also notable as he played alongside his father which was believed to be the first time a father and son had appeared in the same Football League team.

National Service duties restricted him to just a further 14 County appearances scoring five time, before he moved to Arsenal in 1954 for a reported £10,000.  Initially in the reserves it took until December 1956 before he became a first team regular and once in the team he began to score goals and finished the Gunners top scorer for four successive seasons although the team didn’t, apart from 1958/59 when they finished third, threaten to win the title.

In October 1958 he made his debut for Scotland in a 3-0 win against Wales and went onto make a further four appearances, scoring twice between then and 1961.

In all he scored 97 Division One goals in 166 appearances along with 10 in 14 FA Cup games for Arsenal before he joined Manchester United in July 1961 for £37,000.

He scored on his second Football League appearance for them (and went one better in the FA Cup, League Cup, European Cup Winners Cup, Inter City Fairs Cup and European Cup as he scored on his debuts for United in each of those competitions) as he enjoyed seven seasons at Old Trafford winning the title in twice in 1964/65 and 1966/67 as well as the FA Cup in 1962/63 when he scored twice in the final against Leicester City

A broken leg suffered ironically against Leicester in March 1967 meant he found first team chances limited following his recovery and left Old Trafford at the end of the 1967/68 season after 201+1 FL apps (114 goals), 35 FA Cup apps (15 goals), 1 League Cup app (1 goal), 2 Charity Shield apps (1 goal)  and 25 European apps scoring  14 times.  Even today only 12 players have ever scored more goals for United than Herd did but of those 12 only two played fewer games.

He joined Stoke City on a free transfer in July 1968 making 39+5 FL apps scoring 11 times and four goalless FA Cup appearances and his name was linked to Lincoln in 1970 but he moved to Ireland where he finished his playing career with Waterford.

It wasn’t long though before he was at Sincil Bank taking over from Bert Loxley as team manager in March 1971 with the team struggling near the foot of the Fourth Division table beginning his reign with a 1-1 draw at Peterborough United.

Results until the end of the season though continued to be disappointing and just two wins were achieved, although nine games were drawn, in 15 games as the club finished in the re-election positions but had no trouble securing enough votes to continue in the League.

The following season proved to be the best the club had enjoyed since the 1950’s as a serious promotion challenge was mounted as well as reaching the Third Round of the League Cup.  An unbeaten January saw Herd become the first City manager to win a Manager of the Month but after going into the final 10 games of the season in second place a poor run saw five draws and just two victories in those final games meaning the side finished in fifth position.

Hopes were high that 1972/73 would prove a successful season but an indifferent start including a First Round League Cup exit left the side in the lower reaches of the table until a ten match unbeaten run took the side to second by mid October but results again fell away and six games without a win plus a First Round FA Cup exit saw Herd quit the Club in December, never to manage again, to return to Manchester to look after his garage businesses there and in Stoke before retiring in 1999.

He had been in charge of the Imps for 82 Football League games winning 30, drawing 30 and losing 22 with the team scoring 130 goals and conceding 112 but never managed another club.

Manchester United and Stoke City both marked his passing by wearing black armbands during Sunday’s match at Old Trafford.

David George Herd
15/04/1934 – 01/10/2016

Sources: www.enfa.co.uk / www.dailymail.co.uk / Who’s Who of Lincoln City.


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