Tony Ford (footballer, born 1944)

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For the Grimsby Town footballer, see Tony Ford (footballer, born 1959).
Tony Ford
Personal information
Date of birth (1944-11-26) 26 November 1944 (age 72)
Place of birth Thornbury, England
Playing position Right back
Youth career
Bristol City
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1961–1969 Bristol City 171 (10)
1969–1971 Bristol Rovers 28 (1)
Teams managed
1978 Hereford United
1981 Heart of Midlothian
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Tony Ford (born 26 November 1944) is an English former football player and manager. As a player, he appeared in the Football League for both of Bristol's professional clubs during a career curtailed by injury.[1] As manager, he took brief charge of Third Division club Hereford United and Heart of Midlothian of the Scottish Premier Division.


Ford started his professional career with Bristol City in 1961, having joined the club as an apprentice.[2] Predominantly a right back he made 171 league appearances for the first team and scored 10 goals.[1] He moved across the River Avon to Bristol Rovers in 1969, for a fee of £4,000,[2] and was appointed captain, but was forced to retire because of injury in 1971, having appeared only 28 times in the league for Rovers.[3] He was awarded a benefit match in July of that year, a game between the two Bristol teams which Rovers won 3–1 at Ashton Gate.

He subsequently moved into coaching, his first appointment being with Plymouth Argyle. In 1973, Ford moved to Hereford United as assistant to former Bristol City coach John Sillett, newly appointed as manager, whom Ford knew from his playing days. Sillett left Edgar Street in 1978 and Ford was appointed caretaker manager. Unable to stop their relegation, he was not offered the position permanently.[4]

Ford's next port of call was Heart of Midlothian, where he became Bobby Moncur's assistant. Moncur resigned in 1981 when Wallace Mercer gained executive control of the Edinburgh side and Ford was appointed manager when Mercer failed to convince either Jock Wallace, then at Leicester City, or Dundee United’s Jim McLean to move to Tynecastle. Again though Ford's managerial tenure was to be brief and he was dismissed in December 1981, his five months in charge including defeats to minnows such as East Stirlingshire.[5]

Ford's son Mike played in the Football League for Cardiff City and Oxford United. He has two other children, Daren and Louise (twins), and 8 grandchildren.


  1. ^ a b "Tony Ford". UK A–Z Transfers. Neil Brown. Retrieved 11 December 2009. 
  2. ^ a b "Player information: Tony Ford". Citystats. Archived from the original on 14 February 2005. 
  3. ^ "Spurs finish third: Busby goes out with win". The Times. 6 May 1971. p. 11. Tony Ford, the 26-year-old Bristol Rovers captain whose playing career was cut short following an injury early in the season, is planning to continue in the game as manager. 
  4. ^ "John Sillet". Hereford United F.C. Retrieved 11 December 2009. 
  5. ^ "1974–1984". Heart of Midlothian F.C. Retrieved 11 December 2009. 

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