Former Town winger, Brian Hill will be our special guest on Saturday.
Brian was born at Mansfield Woodhouse, joining Town as his first professional club in 1960. Jimmy Fell had just been signed by Everton for a then record fee of £18,500, when Brian made his debut against Torquay and scored in a 4-2 victory. However, the young Hill had to wait for a regular place after speedy Freddie Jones was signed and took the left-wing role. But from early on in the 1962-3 season, when Town were back in second division (Championship as now named), Brian made the left wing berth his own, with great ball control and speedy, mazy runs in front of the Barretts or Main Stand, that few right-backs could stop. From time to time he proved his versatility by playing inside left, and even right-wing when Doug Collins was introduced on the left.
One match doesn't define any player, but few Town fans who were there will ever forget his hat-trick in a 7-1 victory over Scunthorpe in September 1966, when Rod Green also put 3 past future England keeper Clemence, and Tees scored the other goal.
Unsurprisingly, former Town manager came back for Hill and paid £20,000, a new club record, for him to play for Huddersfield, who sold him on for £35,000 3 years later. Whilst on the subject of left-wingers and club record fees, Doug Collins, who took over from Brian, then also set another club record when he was sold to Burnley for £27,000. Clearly, there was something in the Cleethorpes air that helped us produce wingers of such calibre!
Welcome Brian, the winger with the silky skills!