Asa Hartford

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Asa Hartford
Personal information
Full name Richard Hartford
Date of birth (1950-10-24) 24 October 1950 (age 63)
Place of birth Clydebank, Scotland
Height 1.70 m (5 ft 7 in)
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Norwich City (Scout)
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1967–1974 West Bromwich Albion 214 (18)
1974–1979 Manchester City 185 (22)
1979 Nottingham Forest 3 (0)
1979–1981 Everton 81 (6)
1981–1984 Manchester City 75 (7)
1984 Fort Lauderdale Sun ? (?)
1984–1985 Norwich City 28 (2)
1985–1987 Bolton Wanderers 81 (8)
1987–1989 Stockport County 45 (0)
1989 Oldham Athletic 7 (0)
1989–1991 Shrewsbury Town 25 (0)
Total 744 (63)
National team
1972–1982 Scotland 50 (5)
Teams managed
1985–1987 Bolton Wanderers (player-coach)
1987–1989 Stockport County (player-coach)
1989–1991 Shrewsbury Town
1991 Boston United
1993 Stoke City (caretaker manager)
1996–2005 Manchester City (assistant/caretaker manager)
2007–2008 Macclesfield Town (assistant manager)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Richard "Asa" Hartford (born 24 October 1950) is a retired Scottish international midfielder and footballer who became famous for failing a medical examination due to the discovery of a heart condition which put paid to a high profile transfer to Leeds United in November 1971.

Career[edit]

He first played for Drumchapel Amateurs in Glasgow, but began his professional career at West Bromwich Albion in 1967. During his time with West Brom, the team won the FA Cup Final in 1968 (although he did not play in the final), were beaten semi-finalists in 1969 and reached the League Cup final in 1970.

Given his role in the team it was no surprise that he would attract interest from the top clubs but in November 1971 a high profile transfer to Don Revie's Leeds United was cancelled when a suspected hole in-the-heart condition was found during a pre-transfer medical examination.[1] He was eventually transfer listed by then West Brom coach Don Howe alongside favourites Len Cantello and Jeff Astle in April 1974 and his subsequent career made nonsense of the fears occasioned by Leeds' doubting staff. Hartford moved on to Manchester City for £210,000 making his debut in a 4–0 victory over West Ham United, coming to prominence as a strong, talented midfielder helping City win the 1976 League Cup Final, as well as a regular Scottish international.

At the beginning of the 1979–80 season he was transferred to Brian Clough's European Champions at Nottingham Forest (to replace Archie Gemmill) for £500,000 only to be smartly packed off to Everton for £400,000 after 3 games. In October 1981 John Bond brought him back to Maine Road for £375,000. What followed were stints in the United States (Fort Lauderdale Sun), Norwich City (for whom he scored the winning goal in the 1985 League Cup Final), Bolton Wanderers and Oldham Athletic, before he took up coaching/managerial roles with Stockport County, Shrewsbury Town and Boston United where he made 15 appearances as a player at the age of 40.[2]

International career[edit]

He played in Scotland's oddly ill-fated 1978 World Cup campaign in Argentina where Ally MacLeod's selection vagaries exposed a talented Scottish squad to a first round exit. Brian Glanville commenting, in his frequently updated 'The Story of the World Cup', wrote "The Scots had an abundance of fine midfield players at a time when most other countries looked for them desperately; Bruce Rioch, Don Masson, Asa Hartford, Archie Gemmill, Lou Macari, Graeme Souness". Hartford's international career (which began in 1972 against Peru) came to an end in Seville during the Spanish World Cup of 1982 when he recorded his fiftieth cap for Scotland in the game against Brazil, thereby securing himself a place on the national team's Roll of Honour in the Scottish Football Hall of Fame.

Coaching and managerial career[edit]

Latterly, he joined ex-international team-mates Kenny Dalglish (at Blackburn Rovers), Joe Jordan and Lou Macari (at Stoke City where he spent four matches as caretaker manager) in various coaching/managerial roles before taking on an assistant managerial position at Manchester City with Alan Ball in 1995 and stayed as the reserve team coach until May 2005 when Stuart Pearce brought in his own coaching staff. He thereafter became a coach with Blackpool in December 2005. He left Blackpool in May 2006.

On 29 June 2007 it was announced that he had been appointed assistant manager at Macclesfield Town but both he and Ian Brightwell were sacked in February 2008 to be replaced by Keith Alexander. In April 2008 he was given a role with Accrington Stanley coaching the junior teams and the reserves, but was made redundant from this role in October 2011 and subsequently joined Birmingham City as a scout. In the summer of 2012, he returned to one of his former clubs Norwich City to assist with scouting duties having previously spent a season at Carrow Road in his playing career.

Career statistics[edit]

As a player[edit]

Club Season League FA Cup League Cup Other[A] Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
West Bromwich Albion 1967–68 First Division 6 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 1
1968–69 First Division 26 7 4 1 0 0 7 3 37 11
1969–70 First Division 35 1 1 0 7 0 4 0 47 1
1970–71 First Division 34 2 4 0 2 1 2 0 42 3
1971–72 First Division 39 1 1 0 1 0 3 0 44 1
1972–73 First Division 41 3 5 1 3 1 4 1 53 6
1973–74 Second Division 33 3 4 0 2 0 0 0 39 3
1974–75 Second Division 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 3 0
Total 214 18 19 2 15 2 23 4 271 26
Manchester City 1974–75 First Division 30 2 1 0 1 0 0 0 32 2
1975–76 First Division 39 9 2 1 9 2 3 0 53 12
1976–77 First Division 40 4 4 0 1 0 2 0 47 5
1977–78 First Division 37 4 2 0 5 0 2 0 46 4
1978–79 First Division 39 3 3 0 5 0 8 2 55 5
Total 185 22 12 1 21 2 15 2 233 27
Nottingham Forest 1979–80 First Division 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0
Total 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0
Everton 1979–80 First Division 35 1 5 1 3 0 0 0 43 2
1980–81 First Division 39 5 6 0 3 0 0 0 48 5
1981–82 First Division 7 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 7 0
Total 81 6 11 1 6 0 0 0 98 7
Manchester City 1981–82 First Division 30 3 2 0 4 1 0 0 36 4
1982–83 First Division 38 3 3 1 4 0 0 0 45 4
1983–84 Second Division 7 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 7 1
Total 75 7 5 1 8 1 0 0 88 9
Norwich City 1984–85 First Division 28 2 4 0 8 3 0 0 40 5
Total 28 2 4 0 8 3 0 0 40 5
Bolton Wanderers 1985–86 Third Division 46 5 1 0 4 1 7 1 58 7
1986–87 Third Division 35 3 5 0 0 0 3 0 43 3
Total 81 8 6 0 4 1 10 1 101 10
Stockport County 1987–88 Fourth Division 31 0 4 0 1 0 1 0 37 0
1988–89 Fourth Division 14 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 15 0
Total 45 0 4 0 1 0 2 0 52 0
Oldham Athletic 1988–89 Second Division 7 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 7 0
Total 7 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 7 0
Shrewsbury Town 1989–90 Third Division 17 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 20 0
1990–91 Third Division 8 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 10 0
Total 25 0 1 0 3 0 1 0 30 0
Career Total 744 63 62 5 66 9 51 7 923 84

As a manager[edit]

Team From To Record
G W D L Win %
Stockport County 12 June 1987 1 April 1989 93 24 34 35 25.81
Shrewsbury Town 1 January 1990 17 January 1991 55 16 19 20 29.09
Stoke City 10 September 1994 29 September 1994 4 3 0 1 75.00
Total 152 43 53 56 28.29

References[edit]

Specific
  1. ^ "The Asa Hartford affair". Mighty Leeds. Retrieved 26 April 2013. 
  2. ^ "Asa Hartford". ex-canaries.co.uk. Retrieved 26 April 2013. 
General
  • Glanville, Brian – World Cup. The Story of the, Faber & Faber, London, 2005.

External links[edit]