John Hills (footballer)

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John Hills
Personal information
Full name John David Hills
Date of birth (1978-04-21) 21 April 1978 (age 37)
Place of birth Blackpool, England
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Playing position Defender
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1994–1995 Blackpool 0 (0)
1995–1998 Everton 3 (0)
1997 Swansea City (loan) 11 (0)
1997 Swansea City (loan) 7 (0)
1998 Blackpool (loan) 6 (0)
1998–2003 Blackpool 157 (16)
2003–2005 Gillingham 52 (2)
2005–2007 Sheffield Wednesday 45 (0)
2007–2008 Blackpool 4 (0)
2008–2010 Fleetwood Town 14 (0)
2010–2011 A.F.C. Fylde 0 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 20:25, 20 December 2008 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).

John David Hills (born 21 April 1978) is a former English footballer.

Playing career[edit]

Early career – From Blackpool to Everton and back to Blackpool[edit]

Hills started in the youth team at hometown club Blackpool. He was signed by Everton manager Joe Royle for £90,000 as a schoolboy from Blackpool in 1995, after he impressed in an FA Youth Cup match playing for the Blackpool youth team against their Everton counterparts.[1]

His only full appearance for the Toffees was at home to Chelsea on 11 May 1997. He had two loan spells at Swansea City, making eighteen appearances and scoring once, before returning to his hometown club for £60,000 in 1998, after an initial loan spell. In the 2000–01 season he was an integral part of the Third Division play-off final-winning team. In the 2001–02 season he scored the Seasiders third goal as they beat Cambridge United 4–1 at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff to win the LDV Vans Trophy.[2] He also helped Blackpool win the LDV Vans Trophy in the 2003–04 season.

Hills made almost two hundred appearances over five years, scoring twenty goals and he also held the captain's armband in the absence of Ian Hughes.

Gillingham and Sheffield Wednesday[edit]

Hills left Blackpool for Gillingham, who were then in the Championship in 2003 and appeared fifty-eight times over two years, scoring two goals. After his contract was not renewed, Paul Sturrock signed him for Sheffield Wednesday, for whom he sometimes played on the left-wing. His time with the Owls was blighted by injury, which only allowed him to appear forty-six times, and was released by the club after two years.

Back to Blackpool again[edit]

On 5 July 2007, Hills signed a one-year contract (with an option for a further year) with Blackpool, his third spell with his hometown club. On 7 May 2008 he was released by Blackpool after making only four league appearances.[3]

Fleetwood Town[edit]

An operation in the summer meant he was not fully fit and without a club.[1] On the eve of the 2008–09 season, Hills signed for local Fylde coast club Fleetwood Town who had been promoted to the Conference North,[4] on a non-contract basis.[1] On 25 October 2008 he played in Fleetwood's FA Cup fourth qualifying round 4–3 win over Nantwich Town which saw the club reach the First Round Proper.[5] At the end of the 2009–2010 season he was released by the club.

AFC Fylde[edit]

Following his release from Fleetwood Hills signed for his third Fylde team A.F.C. Fylde as player and first team coach ready for the 2010–11 season. He played and coached the team for one season before returning to Blackpool to become Head of Youth.[6]

Personal life[edit]

In 2008 Hills invested in a public house in Blackpool, becoming the landlord of The Welcome pub, in Marton.[1] He has also helped coach youngsters on the Fylde coast with two fellow local players, who were also with Hills at Everton Jamie Milligan, now at Southport, and Gavin McCann. In February 2008, Milligan and McCann launched the first football academy on the Fylde coast, the Milligan-McCann Academy which is aimed at 8 to 12-year olds and runs at King Edward VII and Queen Mary School in Lytham St Annes. Hills also coaches.[7]

Coaching career[edit]

In 2010 Hills was employed by A.F.C. Fylde as both player and first team coach which he performed for one season before getting the job of Head of Youth at Blackpool.[6]

In 2011, Hills returned to his first club Blackpool as a coach in their Centre of Excellence. In August of that year, he was made Head of Youth, replacing Jamie Shore who has been brought in to replace the sick Gary Parkinson.[8]

On 15 May 2013, Hills was appointed as assistant to Alan Wright at Southport.[9]

On 13 Nov 2014, Hills became First-team coach at Hyde, but left on 2 Jan 2015.




  1. ^ a b c d Canavan, Steve (16 October 2008). "Hillsy – the down to earth football star". Blackpool Gazette. Retrieved 4 October 2008. 
  2. ^ Fletcher, Paul (24 March 2002). "Blackpool lift LDV Vans Trophy". BBC Sport. Retrieved 12 December 2008. [dead link]
  3. ^ "Retained List Latest". Blackpool F.C. 7 May 2008. Retrieved 7 May 2008. 
  4. ^ "John Hills signs for Town". Fleetwood F.C. 8 August 2008. Retrieved 8 August 2008. 
  5. ^ "Fleetwood Town 4–3 Nantwich Town FT". Fleetwood F.C. 26 October 2008. Retrieved 26 October 2008. 
  6. ^ a b
  7. ^ Thomas, Cherry (28 February 2008). "Academy for young sports aces". Blackpool Gazette. Retrieved 23 May 2008. 
  8. ^ "HILLS APPOINTED HEAD OF YOUTH" – Blackpool F.C.'s official website, 9 August 2011
  9. ^ "Alan Wright is the new Southport Manager". Southport F.C. Retrieved 15 May 2013. I am bringing in John Hills as my number two. 

External links[edit]