Homesbook Factoring McGouldrick's Pool and Sports Bar

Harry Hood

Twice as Good…

In mid-November 1962 Harry Haddock played his last game for Clyde, and Alec Blain also dropped out the team following a 0-2 loss to Dundee United. That allowed youngsters Harry Hood and Donald MacDonald to make their Clyde debuts in our next game, on the 24th of November 1962, against Rangers at Ibrox. The home team won 3-1 that day, but a journalist does note that Harry was first to threaten for Clyde with a shot that the keeper saved.

Eight minutes into our next league match, against Aberdeen at Shawfield, Harry went one better and opened the scoring. Again, though, our opponents won by a score of 3-1.

The entire 62/63 season was a difficult one for Clyde and Harry, and although he ultimately returned 5 goals from 16 starts it wasn’t enough to avoid relegation.

The Second Division of Season 63/64 was dominated by a rampant Morton, but with Clyde hard on their heels. Harry scored 37 times from his 45 matches that season, including the only goal of the game as Second Division Clyde beat Rangers 1-0 at Ibrox in the Glasgow Cup semi-final. After that result the only possible final was Celtic at Parkhead, but that proved a hurdle too far and Clyde went down 0-2. Still, a couple of weeks later Harry scored twice as we beat Montrose 2-0 at Shawfield to secure promotion back to Division One. Not surprisingly Harry’s goals earned him the club’s top scorer accolade that season.

The following season started brightly for Clyde. We reached the League Cup Quarter finals, and were sitting proudly in sixth when we beat Dundee United 2-0 at Shawfield on the 7th of November 1964. The significance of this match is that it was Harry’s last game of his first spell with the Bully Wee, before he was off to Roker Park Sunderland, for a fee of around £30000. He had played 19 games that season, and shown he could score in the top division, with 11 goals to his credit before his move.

At Roker Park Harry teamed up with another Clyde legend, George Herd. In Harry’s third game for Sunderland, an FA Cup match at home to Everton, he and George both scored in a 4-0 win. A few months later Manchester United rolled into town, including the likes of Bobby Charlton, Denis Law and George Best. Harry eclipsed them all with the only goal of the game, in front of almost 52000 fans at Roker Park.

For a variety of reasons Harry’s spell at Sunderland came to an end, and in October 1966 he found himself back at Shawfield, for a reported fee of around £13000. Harry’s second debut, like his first, resulted in a 3-1 scoreline; the difference this time was that Clyde had beaten Motherwell at Fir Park. Again, Harry scored in his second league match, as season 66/67 just kept on getting better. Celtic, league champions, were about to lift the European Cup, and Rangers, who reached the Cup Winners Cup final, occupied the top two positions. The feat of Clyde, a part-time team, in finishing third behind Celtic and Rangers, cannot be underplayed.

Before Harry’s return that season, we had failed to progress from a League Cup section comprising Celtic, St Mirren and Hearts, and in Harry’s second game back, we went out the Glasgow Cup to Partick Thistle at Firhill, so that only left the Scottish Cup. Morton, East Fife and Hamilton were dispatched before we met all-conquering Celtic at Hampden in the semi-final. Harry and co held Celtic to a creditable 0-0 draw, with Joe Gilroy missing a good chance with five minutes to go that could have made the result so different. Harry missed the replay, and Clyde went out the cup via a 0-2 defeat.

Still, there was always the consolation of European qualification, or so we thought. A rule of “one city one club” was used to permit Rangers entry into the Inter-City Fairs Cup, but not that other club resident in Glasgow, Clyde. Hibs, whom we had beaten 5-1 at home and drawn 1-1 with at Easter Road and who had finished two places below us in the league, took our place and reached the quarter-finals of the tournament, beating FC Porto and Napoli before losing out to eventual winners Leeds United. In the semi-final, Leeds overcame Dundee by a single goal over two legs. Dundee had finished in sixth place in the league, three places below Clyde.

By virtue of missing the start of the 66/67 season, Harry only finished as second top scorer for the Bully Wee that season, Ian Stewart beating him by four goals, but from nine additional games played. Harry, though, was top scorer in both 67/68 and 68/69 seasons, with 15 and 13 goals respectively, meaning he is the only Clyde player to top the club’s scoring charts in two different spells with the club.

Harry got another chance at domestic glory with Clyde when he lined up against Celtic in the League Cup semi-final of 1968/69, but he was to be denied again, this time by a solitary counter.

Then, on the 15th of March 1969, Harry’s Clyde career ended where it had started – at Ibrox. This time it was a move to Celtic for a fee in the region of £40000.

In his first spell with Clyde Harry played 82 matches, scoring 53 goals, while his second spell saw him play 115 matches, scoring 43 goals. Adding those up gives Clyde career totals of 197 matches and 96 goals – very marginally under a goal every two games.

One other interesting statistic is provided by a quick analysis of what happened to the Clyde result when Harry scored. Harry’s 96 goals came in 72 matches, and from those 72 matches Clyde won 56, drew 10 and only lost 6.

Harry signs for Celtic, watched by Archie Robertson and Jock Stein

Harry had seven successful seasons with Celtic, winning five league titles, three Scottish Cup medals and two League Cup winners’ medals, before he upped and went to the fledgling North American Soccer League (NASL) in 1976 to play for San Antonio Thunder. The NASL awarded players 2 points for a goal and 1 point for an “assist”, and Harry finished that season in 19th place overall. It is worth noting that he finished ahead of Geoff Hurst, but playing in a struggling team and still managing to finish not too far behind the likes of Rodney Marsh (12th), Eusebio (8th), George Best (6th), Pele (3rd) and Georgio Chinaglia (1st) makes his achievement all the more creditable.

One season was all Harry stayed in the USA, returning home to play for Motherwell and Queen of the South, before having a go at management with both Queen of the South and Albion Rovers.

On the international front, Harry was one of many players who never got the recognition that many – and not only Clyde supporters – believed he should have. He did, though, take part in a Scotland Touring Party that went to Israel, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. Playing in five of the nine matches, he scored an 83rd minute winner in the first match against Israel, and also scored in a 4-1 win against Hong Kong. But the full international cap eluded him.

Harry did play in an Under-23 international whilst with Clyde, against England at Hampden in February 1968, and scored in Scotland’s 1-2 reverse.

Selection for the Scottish League against the League of Ireland in 1970, whilst with Celtic, was Harry’s last representative honour.

Harry was a very popular choice to be brought into Clyde FC’s Hall of Fame in 2012.