Jock Davidson: Footballer who overcame three leg-breaks early in his career to become a bulwark of Hull City's defence


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The Independent Online

When Jock Davidson stepped inside the Lanarkshire pit where his father toiled to make a living, he knew he didn't want to be a miner. So when Hull City offered him a trial at the age of 14, he leapt at the chance and grabbed it so avidly that he went on to make nearly 600 senior appearances for the Tigers, easily a club record.

Davidson was a formidably tough character, recovering from three leg-breaks early in his career to become a bulwark of Hull's rearguard at right-back, even though he preferred a more advanced role and made his debut in 1952 as a centre-forward.

By 1955 he was a first-team regular in the No 2 shirt and thereafter missed only a handful of matches until injury finally forced him into retirement in 1968. Highlights of his career included promotion from the newly formed Third Division as runners-up to Plymouth Argyle in 1958-59, then captaining the Tigers to the Third Division championship in 1965-66, proving an inspirational motivator to a gloriously entertaining side featuring the free-scoring strike pairing of Chris Chilton and Ken Wagstaff.

Though Davidson never sampled the top domestic flight, there was talk of international recognition at his peak, but it never arrived, perhaps because he lacked the pace to supplement his courage, determination and all-round enterprise.

When his playing days ended he served Hull as a coach, then a scout, until 1979, later becoming a fishmonger.


Andrew Davidson, footballer, coach and scout: born Douglas Water, Lanarkshire 13 July 1932; played for Hull City 1949-68; died Yorkshire 5 April 2014.