Danny Hegan: Enigmatic midfield schemer who helped Ipswich into the First Division and Wolves to a European final

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The Independent Online

It has been said of Danny Hegan that he was one of football's great socialisers, and certainly there were plenty of disciplinary scrapes along a career pathway that was frequently controversial. Be that as it may, the chunky Northern Irish international was an exquisitely talented, if enigmatic, midfielder who passed the ball beautifully and could go past opponents with a swerve and a swagger.

He enjoyed his pomp with Ipswich Town, whom he helped to the Second Division championship in 1967-68, then added his flair to the Wolverhampton Wanderers team which reached the final of the Uefa Cup in 1972, losing 3-2 to Tottenham Hotspur over two legs.

Scotland-born, with an Irish father, Hegan began his senior career with Albion Rovers in 1959. A £6,000 switch to Sunderland brought no breakthrough and it was not until a £4,000 deal took him to Ipswich in July 1963 that he made a positive impact. The Suffolk side were relegated in his first season, but under new manager Bill McGarry Hegan sparkled alongside the likes of Ray Crawford, Frank Brogan and Colin Viljoen on the way to the top flight.

Hegan scored 38 goals in 230 appearances before a brief, unproductive sojourn at West Bromwich Albion in 1969-70 was followed by an enterprising stint with Wolves and a fleeting return to Sunderland in 1973. The clever schemer, capped seven times between 1969 and 1973, was often at his most fluent at Molineux alongside Kenny Hibbitt, Jim McCalliog and Dave Wagstaffe. But there were escapades...

Later he played for Highlands Park in South Africa, then non-League Coleshill Town before coaching at Butlin's. µ IVAN PONTING

Daniel Hegan, footballer: born Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire 14 June 1943; died Birmingham 6 August 2015.

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