Asa Hartford

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Asa Hartford
Personal information
Full name Richard Asa Hartford [1]
Date of birth (1950-10-24) 24 October 1950 (age 70) [1]
Place of birth Clydebank, [1] Scotland
Height 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m) [2]
Position(s) Midfielder
Youth career
Drumchapel Amateurs
Senior career*
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)
National team
1970–1973 [3] Scotland U23 5 (0)
1972–1982 Scotland 50 (5)
1977 [4] Scotland U21 1 (0)
Teams managed
1985–1987 Bolton Wanderers (player-coach)
1987–1989 Stockport County [5]
1990–1991 Shrewsbury Town [5]
1991 Boston United
1993 Stoke City (caretaker manager)
1996–2005 Manchester City (asst/caretaker manager)
2007–2008 Macclesfield Town (assistant manager)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Richard Asa Hartford (born 24 October 1950) is a Scottish former football player and coach. He started his professional career with West Bromwich Albion. His early progress led to a proposed transfer to Leeds United in November 1971, but this collapsed when a medical examination discovered a heart condition. Hartford instead moved to Manchester City in 1974. He helped City win the 1976 League Cup Final. After a brief spell with Nottingham Forest, Hartford moved to Everton in 1979 and then had a second spell with Manchester City. After playing for Fort Lauderdale Sun, Hartford joined Norwich City. His shot resulted in the only goal of the 1985 League Cup Final.


Hartford was also a regular in the Scotland national team, earning 50 caps between 1972 and 1982. He was selected for the Scotland squads in the 1978 and 1982 World Cups. Towards the end of his playing career, Hartford became a coach. He was the player/manager of Stockport County and Shrewsbury Town. Since retiring as a player, Hartford has worked in a variety of coaching and scouting roles.


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 1968 FA Cup Final (although he did not play in the final), were beaten FA Cup semi-finalists in 1969 and reached the League Cup final in 1970. [6]

A proposed transfer to Don Revie's Leeds United in November 1971 was cancelled, when the Leeds doctor found that Hartford had a hole in-the-heart condition during a pre-transfer medical examination. [7] [8] He was eventually transfer listed by then West Brom coach Don Howe, alongside favourites Len Cantello and Jeff Astle, in April 1974. Hartford moved on to Manchester City for £210,000, making his debut for City in a 4–0 victory against West Ham. [9] He helped City win the 1976 League Cup Final. [9] [10]

At the beginning of the 1979–80 season he was transferred to Brian Clough's Nottingham Forest (to replace Archie Gemmill) for £500,000, only to be sold on to Everton for £400,000 after just three games with Forest. [9] In October 1981 John Bond brought him back to Manchester City for £375,000. [9] His second stint with City was less successful, as he suffered an ankle injury and the club were relegated in 1983. [9] Hartford left City in 1984 and signed for American club Fort Lauderdale Sun. [9]

He returned to English football soon afterwards with Norwich City. [9] In the 1985 League Cup Final, Hartford's shot was deflected by Sunderland's Gordon Chisholm for the only goal of the match. [11] They were relegated in the same season. [12] [13]

He then had stints with Bolton Wanderers and Oldham Athletic, and then took up coaching/managerial roles with Stockport County and Shrewsbury Town. [5]

International career

Hartford made his full international debut for Scotland on 26 April 1972, in a friendly match with Peru. [14] Hartford made six appearances for Scotland during 1972, but was not selected again until October 1975. [14]

He became a regular in the international side in 1977, as Scotland defeated Czechoslovakia and Wales to qualify for the 1978 World Cup in Argentina. [15] Brian Glanville, 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 played in all Scotland games in Argentina. His side lost 3–1 to Peru, drew 1–1 with Iran and defeated eventual runners-up Netherlands 3–2, [15] [16] which meant that Ally MacLeod's team exited the competition after the first round.

Hartford's international career came to an end after the 1982 World Cup, where he recorded his 50th and final cap for Scotland in the game against Brazil. [17] This appearance secured Hartford a place on the national team's roll of honour, as the 8th player to make 50 appearances for Scotland. [17] [18] Hartford did not appear in any other matches at the 1982 World Cup, as Scotland were again eliminated after the group stage. [17]

Coaching and managerial career

Hartford served Stockport County (1987–89) and Shrewsbury Town (1990–91) as a player/manager before his retirement as a player. [5] He subsequently joined ex-international teammates 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. He became assistant manager at Manchester City in 1995, working with Alan Ball. [9] He was caretaker manager in September 1996, after Ball left, but he did not express any interest in becoming manager on a permanent basis. [19] He stayed with City for several years as their reserve team coach, until Stuart Pearce brought in his own coaching staff in May 2005. [20]

Hartford became a first team coach with Blackpool in December 2005, [21] but left the club 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. [22] He subsequently worked for Birmingham City as a scout. [23]

Career statistics

As a player

Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
ClubSeasonLeagueFA CupLeague CupOther [A] Total
West Bromwich Albion 1967–68 First Division 6100000061
1968–69 First Division2674100733711
1969–70 First Division351107040471
1970–71 First Division342402120423
1971–72 First Division391101030441
1972–73 First Division413513141536
1973–74 Second Division 333402000393
1974–75 Second Division0000003030
Manchester City 1974–75 First Division302101000322
1975–76 First Division3992192305312
1976–77 First Division404401020475
1977–78 First Division374205020464
1978–79 First Division393305082555
Nottingham Forest 1979–80 First Division3000000030
Everton 1979–80 First Division351513000432
1980–81 First Division395603000485
1981–82 First Division7000000070
Manchester City 1981–82 First Division303204100364
1982–83 First Division383314000454
1983–84 Second Division7100000071
Norwich City 1984–85 First Division282408300405
Bolton Wanderers 1985–86 Third Division 465104171587
1986–87 Third Division353500030433
Stockport County 1987–88 Fourth Division 310401010370
1988–89 Fourth Division140000010150
Oldham Athletic 1988–89 Second Division7000000070
Shrewsbury Town 1989–90 Third Division170101010200
1990–91 Third Division80002000100
Career Total7446362566951792384

As a manager

Managerial record by team and tenure
Stockport County 12 June 19871 April 198993243435025.8
Shrewsbury Town 1 January 199017 January 199155161920029.1
Stoke City 10 September 199429 September 19944301075.0
Total [24] 152435356028.3




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  4. "Scotland U21 player Asa Hartford". FitbaStats. Retrieved 18 September 2020.
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  12. "Birmingham wouldn't be the first team to win the League Cup and go down". Daily Mirror. 20 May 2011. Retrieved 24 July 2018.
  13. Struthers, Greg (28 September 2003). "SportsFile: Caught in Time: Norwich win the League Cup, 1985". The Times. Retrieved 24 July 2018.
  14. 1 2 Brown, Alan; Tossani, Gabriele (5 July 2018). "Scotland - International Matches 1971-1975". RSSSF. Retrieved 24 July 2018.
  15. 1 2 Brown, Alan; Tossani, Gabriele (5 July 2018). "Scotland – International Matches 1976-1980". RSSSF. Retrieved 24 July 2018.
  16. "Ally MacLeod" 13 December 2010
  17. 1 2 3 4 Brown, Alan; Tossani, Gabriele (18 January 2018). "Scotland - International Matches 1981-1985". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 31 May 2018.
  18. 1 2 "International Roll of Honour". Scottish Football Association. Archived from the original on 27 April 2011. Retrieved 11 March 2017.
  19. Nixon, Alan (3 September 1996). "Hartford has 'no desire' for City top job". The Independent. Retrieved 24 July 2018.
  20. "Man City give Wigley coaching job". BBC Sport. 26 May 2005. Retrieved 24 July 2018.
  21. Fudge, Simon. "Grayson takes on Asa". Sky Sports. Retrieved 24 July 2018.
  22. Flanagan, Chris (20 October 2011). "Former Manchester City ace Hartford sad after Accrington Stanley redundancy". Lancashire Telegraph. Retrieved 24 July 2018.
  23. Evans, Gregg (8 April 2012). "Birmingham City: Blues to broaden their scouting network". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 24 July 2018.
  24. "Asa Hartford". Soccerbase. Retrieved 2 July 2016.
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