Tommy Hutchison

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Tommy Hutchison
Tommy Hutchison.jpg
Personal information
Full name Thomas Hutchison [1]
Date of birth (1947-09-22) 22 September 1947 (age 75)
Place of birth Cardenden, Scotland
Height5 ft 11+12 in (1.82 m) [2]
Position(s) Midfielder
Senior career*
0000–1965 Dundonald Bluebell
1965–1968 Alloa Athletic 68 (4)
1968–1972 Blackpool 165 (10)
1972–1981 Coventry City 314 (24)
1980Seattle Sounders (loan) 25 (3)
1981–1982 Manchester City 46 (4)
1982–1983 Bulova 22 (0)
1983–1985 Burnley 92 (4)
1985–1991 Swansea City 178 (9)
1991–1994 Merthyr Tydfil 73 (2)
International career
1971 [3] Scotland U23 1 (0)
1973–1975 Scotland 17 (1)
Managerial career
1985–1986 Swansea City
*Club domestic league appearances and goals

Thomas Hutchison (born 22 September 1947) is a Scottish former footballer who played as a midfielder. He made over 1,100 appearances, including 314 in the Football League alone for Coventry City, and more than 160 apiece in the competition for Blackpool and Swansea City (serving the latter as manager for a season before resuming as a player, which continued into his mid-40s), plus shorter spells in the United States and Hong Kong. Hutchison gained 17 caps for Scotland between 1973 and 1975.


Club career

Born in Cardenden, Fife, Hutchison began his professional career with Alloa Athletic in the Scottish Second Division, after he was spotted by manager Archie McPherson. He showed enough potential to attract the attention of larger clubs, and he joined Stan Mortensen's Blackpool in February 1968 for just over £10,000. Almost immediately, he took the place of Graham Oates at outside-left, making his debut against Plymouth on 30 March in the English Second Division.

The Scot was brought in to bolster the Seasiders' flagging promotion drive, and out of the final nine games of the 1967–68 season, they won eight. Promotion, however, was missed on the final day. [4]

Les Shannon took over from Mortensen as manager, and in his first season achieved promotion to the First Division in 1970 – but it only lasted one season. When Bob Stokoe took over from Shannon in June 1971, he worked on Hutchison's crossing ability, believing it to be his only weak spot.

In 1972, Coventry City manager Joe Mercer offered £140,000 cash plus Billy Rafferty for Hutchison's services. He signed for the Midlands club, leaping at the chance to play in the First Division on a regular basis. 'Hutch' remained at Highfield Road for eight years, playing 355 games and scoring 30 goals. During his time at Coventry he played probably the best football of his career, winning all of his 17 Scottish caps while at the club. Nicknamed "Mr Magic" by the club chairman, Derrick Robins, he was voted supporter's Player of the Season three times during his eight-year spell at Highfield Road – a feat no other Sky Blues player has yet equalled.

Hutchison joined Manchester City for a fee of £47,000 in October 1980, becoming John Bond's first signing at Maine Road. In May 1981, he scored for both sides in the FA Cup Final, as Tottenham Hotspur drew 1–1 with Manchester City. He was not the first to do this — Bert Turner had done so in the 1946 final for Charlton and Derby, and Gary Mabbutt would do the same in the 1987 final for Coventry City and Tottenham Hotspur. He had initially put City in the lead, but his own goal (deflecting a free-kick) meant that the final would go to a replay, which City lost 3–2 five days later. [5]

Hutchison later played for Bulova of Hong Kong and Seattle Sounders (US) before returning to the UK, re-joining John Bond at Burnley in 1983 and moving to Swansea City in 1985 to be managed by Bond at a third different club in his career. When Bond departed, Hutchison served as manager for six months after the club went into liquidation. Come September 1989, Hutchison – now just shy of his 42nd birthday – made his debut in European club competition. Having won the Welsh FA Cup the season before, Swansea entered the UEFA Cup Winner's Cup, and were drawn against Greek giants Panathinaikos. They were eliminated at the First Round stage, but not before giving the Greek team a scare losing 3–2 in Athens and drawing 3–3 at Vetch Field. He is in the record books as the oldest player to have played for Swansea City, playing against Southend United in March 1991 at the age of 43 years, five months and 19 days.

In late-May and early-June 1984, Hutchison made three guest appearances for Manchester United on their summer tour of Australia, playing against Australia, Nottingham Forest and Juventus. He then made another guest appearance for the club the following May, when he played in Peter Foley's testimonial against an Oxford United XI.

He left Swansea near the end of the 1990–91 season, and joined Southern League side Merthyr Tydfil, where he spent another three years before finally retiring from the game in May 1994, at the age of 46, having played more than a thousand first-team games in his career.

International career

Capped 17 times for Scotland, Hutchison appeared at the 1974 World Cup, though was surprisingly omitted from the 1978 World Cup squad in Argentina when he was arguably playing the finest football of his career.


On retiring from league football at the age of 43, he joined non-league Merthyr Tydfil where he played for three seasons, finally hanging-up his boots in 1994. He remained in South Wales until 2012, working as a Football Development Officer across the Severn Estuary for Bristol City, but moved back to live in Scotland. A poll by the Coventry Evening Telegraph voted him the most popular Coventry player of the club's First Division era.

Blackpool F.C. Hall of Fame

Hutchison was inducted into the Hall of Fame at Bloomfield Road, when it was officially opened by former Blackpool player Jimmy Armfield in April 2006. [6] Organised by the Blackpool Supporters Association, Blackpool fans around the world voted on their all-time heroes. Five players from each decade are inducted; Hutchison is in the 1970s. [7]




Seattle Sounders

Manchester City

Bulova [8]

Swansea City


See also

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  1. "Tommy Hutchison". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 27 February 2017.
  2. Rollin, Jack, ed. (1981). Rothmans Football Yearbook: 1981–82. London: Queen Anne Press. p. 216. ISBN   0-362-02046-9. OCLC   868301130.
  3. (Scotland U23 player) Hutchison, Tommy, FitbaStats
  4. Calley, Roy (1992). Blackpool: A Complete Record 1887–1992, p. 98. Breedon Books Sport. ISBN   1-873626-07-X
  5. "1981 - Villa thriller". BBC News. 10 May 2001.
  6. Singleton, Steve, ed. (2007). Legends: The great players of Blackpool FC. Blackpool Gazette (1 ed.). Blackpool. pp. 70–73. ISBN   978-1-84547-182-8.
  7. "The Hall of Fame – 1970's". Blackpool Supporters Association. Archived from the original on 12 June 2010. Retrieved 29 November 2009.
  8. "Memories are made of this: former team manager Tony Tse cherishes magical days with Bulova in early 1980s – the golden years of Hong Kong football". 27 September 2019. Archived from the original on 27 November 2021. Retrieved 7 January 2022.
  9. "Coventry City | Club | History | History | Hall of Fame". 22 July 2012. Archived from the original on 22 July 2012. Retrieved 22 August 2015.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)

Further reading