Alec Herd

Alec Herd

Alec Herd was born in Bowhill, Scotland on 8th November 1911. An inside-forward, he played for Hamilton Academicals in the Scottish League before joining Manchester City on 4th February 1933. Later that month he made his debut for the club against Blackpool.

Herd immediately established a regular place in the first-team and in his first season he scored 7 goals in 16 games. That season the club could only finish 14th in the league. However, they enjoyed a good FA Cup run. Fred Tilson scored a hat-trick in City's 9-0 victory over Gateshead. Eric Brook scored both goals against Walsall (2-0) and a hat-trick against Bolton Wanderers (4-2). Tilson scored against Burnley (1-0) and Derby County (3-2) and Manchester City had reached the final at Wembley. The Everton team that day included players such as Dixie Dean, Cliff Britton, Ted Sager and Albert Geldard. With Tilson missing because of injury, City lost the game 3-0.

In the 1933-34 season Manchester City finished 5th in the First Division of the Football League. Alec Herd was top scorer with 17 goals. The club also enjoyed another good FA Cup run beating Blackburn Rovers (3-1), Hull City (4-1), Sheffield Wednesday (2-0), Stoke City (1-0), Aston Villa (6-1) to reach the final against Portsmouth. Herd scored 4 goals on the way to Wembley.

Manchester City played Portsmouth in the final at Wembley. Fred Tilson had such a terrible injury record that when Sam Cowan introduced him to George VI before the game, he said: "This is Tilson, your Majesty. He's playing today with two broken legs." However, it was Herd who got injured early in the game. Tilson remained fit and scored both of the goals in the 2-1 victory.

In 1936 Wilf Wild purchased Peter Doherty from Blackpool for a club record fee of £10,000. Manchester City won the First Division title in the 1936-37 season and Doherty ended up as the top scorer with 30 goals. Alec Herd scored scored 15 in 32 games.

The 1936-37 Championship team. Back row (left to right) Keller McCullough, Billy Dale, Frank Swift, Bobby Marshall, Jackie Bray. Middle: Ernie Toseland, Alec Herd, Fred Tilson, Wilf Wild, Sam Barkas, Peter Doherty, Eric Brook. Front: Jimmy Heale, Joe Rodgers, Gordon Clark and Peter Percival.
The 1936-37 Championship team. Back row (left to right) Keller McCullough, Billy Dale, Frank Swift, Bobby Marshall, Jackie Bray. Middle: Ernie Toseland, Alec Herd, Fred Tilson, Wilf Wild, Sam Barkas, Peter Doherty, Eric Brook. Front: Jimmy Heale, Joe Rodgers, Gordon Clark and Peter Percival.

However, the following season Manchester City finished in 21st position and was relegated to the Second Division. That year Herd only scored 12 goals in 35 games.

Herd's football career was interrupted by the outbreak of the Second World War. By the time the Football League started again after the war he was 31 years old and past his best. However, he retained his place in the team and was a member of the side that won the Second Division championship under manager Sam Cowan in the 1946-47 season.

In March 1948 Herd joined Stockport County on a free transfer. While playing for Manchester City he had scored 107 goals in 260 games.

On the final day of the 1950-51 season he made history when he played alongside his son David Herd in a game against Hartlepool United. Herd scored 35 goals in 111 appearances for Stockport.

Alec Herd died in Scotland on 21st August 1982.

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