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Past Masters #1 – Harry Haddock

As part of our commitment to keep you entertained over the summer months and try and ease that ‘end of season affective disorder’, a selection of The Clyde View’s excellent “Past Masters” series, by Paul Pettigrew, will be re-published on the website at regular intervals.

To start off, who better than one of the all time greats; the late Harry Haddock. Now a few years old, this interview is special because it was the last Harry ever gave…

#1 – Harry Haddock (1950s)

Can you give a potted history of your career with dates? – During service with the RAF (1943-47) I played with Exeter City FC (1944-46). When the war finished a large number of aircrews were made redundant and had to take a new trade. After training I became a PTI and after demob I returned to Civvy Street and joined GTC, finishing up as a bus driver. I was reinstated to junior football and signed for Renfrew Juniors. After four or five months I signed for Clyde FC, playing with them from 1947-1963.

What are you doing now? – I retired from the GPO in 1990 doing nothing now in particular.

What was the highlight of your career with the Bully Wee? – I’m one of the lucky ones, who had many highs. Two Scottish Cup Winners medals, the second one as captain. Being capped for my country, playing against the great Hungarians, Puskas etc, playing against Stan Matthews at Wembley, representing the Scottish League, captaining Glasgow Select against Sheffield.

And the worst moment? – About three to four months after signing for Clyde I received a bad injury which almost finished my career before it had started. I was out of the game for about 18 months and I was helped to return by a physio (Willie Kinloch) who treated me for a long time and finally convinced me I would come back.

Any ambitions unrealised? – Not really. I had set my mind as a very small boy on becoming a professional footballer but never dreamed of the career I had.

Any personal regrets? – None whatsoever. The friends I made, both fellow players and spectators, far outweigh any disappointments.

Who was the best player you played with at Clyde, and why? – Who was the best? Oh dear, that’s a hard one. I could name quite a few. Tommy Ring, Archie Robertson, George Herd, Albert Murphy. To be honest, I think the secret of our success was the fact that we were a TEAM. Bassey Keogh was another one, defence, midfield, striker. I thought we had a world beater in Norrie Innes, who retired through injury.

Do you still look out for the Clyde results on Saturdays, or perhaps even come to watch our games? – I have to admit, the first result I look for is Clyde. I was at the Forfar game at Broadwood and was very pleased with the way they played.

Would you rather be playing today compared to your day and why? – I don’t think so. Perhaps money-wise, yes, but I think the players are missing out. I believe half the fun was the contact with our supporters, even when we lost a game.

Do you still keep in touch with any of your former teammates, and is so, who? – Unfortunately, contact with former teammates nowadays is usually at funerals.

X-Files: Tell us something about yourself that would surprise us? – I always, in fact still do, wonder why I was so lucky to have had my boyhood dreams realised.

What was the funniest incident you experienced with Clyde? – Playing Deveronvale FC at Banff. Clyde took the field dressed as normal, our opponents came on wearing pullovers under their strip, wearing gloves and some them wearing tracksuit bottoms. Mind you, it was very cold. We played midweek as the game had been called off on the Saturday due to snow. Up until about an hour before kick off, they were still scraping away snow.

Which former teammate was the funniest or oddest character and why? – I don’t think we had any one character, I think we all had our funny moments.

Anything you want to say that I haven’t asked? – There was one incident I think made an impression. When in the home game against Celtic, when the wall round the dog track collapsed, at the Bridgeton end, there were so many hurt. Some were taken to the Royal Infirmary and others to the Victoria. At Christmas time, Rex of the Sunday Mail took the injured and their parents to the Kelvin Hall Circus and invited some of the Celtic and Clyde players. It was wonderful to see all the faces of the children.

Which former star would you like to read about next? Next time, we’ll be revealing all about a player from the 80s, so head over to the Message Boards and make a suggestion!

Thanks to Paul Pettigrew for his co-operation.