Dick White (footballer)

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For other people with the same name, see Richard White.

Dick White (born 18 August 1931) was a professional footballer from 1950 to 1964.

Life and playing career[edit]

Born in Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire, England, Dick played as an amateur for Scunthorpe Sports and Brumby Amateurs before he turned pro with his local club Scunthorpe United where he stayed for 5 years amassing 133 appearances while scoring 7 goals.

Liverpool manager Don Welsh was alerted to White and decided to signed him for £8,000 on 10 November 1955; he made his debut on 10 March 1956 in a league match at Oakwell. Barnsley couldn't live with a rampant Liverpool that day as the Reds took both points back to Anfield from a 5-0 victory. White's only goal for Liverpool came in a FA Cup 3rd round replay at Roots Hall on 8 January 1958. Southend United had already pulled off a surprise 1-1 draw at Anfield the previous Saturday and almost finished off the job on home soil. John Molyneux scored a 1st-minute opener, his first for the club; unfortunately he followed this up by netting an own goal. White in the 79th and Tony Rowley two minutes later helped the Reds avoid embarrassment by making the score 3-2.

White made 8 appearances after signing on at Anfield and just 5 in his first full season; things were better for White in the 1957/58 campaign as he, along with Ronnie Moran, headed the appearance chart beings called upon 46 times, both missing just 1 league fixture. The following season was again a good one for White as he was the only ever-present playing 43 games; the one downside was that Liverpool, again, finished outside the promotion spots for the 3rd time on the spin. It was also in this season that Liverpool were memorably knocked out 2-1 by non-league Worcester City in the FA Cup third round. White scored an own goal for Worcester's second, which proved to be the decisive goal.

The pressure was all too much for manager Phil Taylor who resigned as boss stating the stress of trying put Liverpool back where they belong was too much to take. He was replaced by a man who become an icon at Anfield: Bill Shankly. Shankly liked the way White played and put him in his plans; he played 43 times as Liverpool, again finished just outside the all important top 2. White again featured highly in the 1960/61 season: he was made captain and played in all 47 fixtures, but it was disappointment once more as the Anfield club finished 3rd for the 5th straight time.

Enough was enough as far as Shankly was concerned: changes were needed and he decided to go back to his home land to make them. He bought Ian St John from Motherwell and, more significantly for White, Ron Yeats from Dundee United. Yeats was immediately made club captain which virtually guaranteed him a starting role and White was the man he replaced, although Dick did start the 1961/62 season in the side at right-back.

Liverpool remained unbeaten for the first 11 matches, winning 10, but were brought back down to earth when Middlesbrough beat them 2-0 at Ayresome Park; ironically Molyneux had come in for his first appearance of the season replacing White. Dick was put back into the starting line-up the following week and Liverpool got back to winning ways thrashing Walsall by 6 goals to 1.

White was eventually replaced by Molyneux but did manage to get 25 appearances under his belt (24 league) as Liverpool finally broke their 3rd place hoodoo by winning the 2nd Division title by 8 clear points over Leyton Orient.

White was then deemed surplus to requirements by Shankly and after 217 appearances for the Merseyside club he was allowed to leave and did so in May 1962. The recently installed Doncaster Rovers manager Oscar Hold saw the opportunity of signing an experienced 5'11", 12 st defender and paid around £3,500 for his services. White made his Donnie debut on his 31st birthday, 18 August 1962, in a 4th Division fixture against Brentford at Belle Vue. Unfortunately for both White and Rovers the result didn't go their way as the Bees took both the points back to Griffin Park after a 2-0 victory.

White again switched between the full-back and centre-back roles during his 2-year spell at Doncaster and he eventually bagged 92 appearances for the Yorkshire club. Kettering Town then approached White with the offer of a player/manager role for the Northamptonshire side which he duly accepted.

After his spell at the helm of Kettering, White retired. He then bought a motor business in Nottingham where he stayed until his retirement.

Career honours[edit]

  • Scunthorpe United F.C (1950–1955) - 133 appearances, 7 goals
  • Liverpool F.C (1955–1962) - 217 appearances, 1 goal
    • Second Division Championship winners medal (1962)
  • Doncaster Rovers F.C (1962–1964) - 92 appearances

External links[edit]