Iain Hesford

Iain Hesford
Personal information
Date of birth (1960-03-04)4 March 1960
Place of birth Ndola, Northern Rhodesia
Date of death 18 November 2014(2014-11-18) (aged 54)
Playing position Goalkeeper
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1977–1983 Blackpool 202 (0)
1983–1986 Sheffield Wednesday 0 (0)
1985Fulham (loan) 3 (0)
1985Notts County (loan) 10 (0)
1986–1988 Sunderland 97 (0)
1988–1991 Hull City 91 (0)
1991–1992 Maidstone United 42 (1)
1992–1996 Eastern
1996–1997 Sing Tao
1997–1998 South China
National team
1981–1982 England U21 7 (0)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Iain Hesford (4 March 1960 – 18 November 2014[1])[2] was an English professional footballer. He played as a goalkeeper for teams including Blackpool, Eastern, Sunderland and South China.

Early career

Hesford began his career at Blackpool, where he played more than 200 games and won seven caps for the England Under-21 team. When he made his debut, against Oldham Athletic on 20 August 1977, aged 17, he became the youngest goalkeeper ever to play for Blackpool in a League game.[3] As he ran out for the second half, he offended the Latics support by flashing them a "V" sign.[3] In 1983, he was signed by Sheffield Wednesday, but didn't play a single game for the Owls. In 1986, he moved to Sunderland, where he played for two and a half seasons, before he moved to Hull City in December 1988, in a deal that saw Tony Norman move in the opposite direction. He was part of the Hull side that were relegated from the old Division 2 in 1991. He left the club, whereupon he signed for Maidstone United, who were also struggling at the time. He scored the winner in a 3-2 home win for Maidstone against Hereford United on a windy day in 1991, with a massive drop-kick from his own penalty area.

Career in Hong Kong

Hesford's career in Hong Kong started in July 1992 when he joined Eastern. He played for the club for 4 years before he moved to Sing Tao in 1996-97 season and later South China in 1997-98. During his time at Eastern, the club captured 5 tropies including the Hong Kong Senior Shield, FA Cup and the league championship. He was elected as the best foreign player in the league in 1992. He was also in the HKFDL Team of the Year for three seasons (1992-93, 1993-94 and 1994-95). While at Eastern, he went 827 minutes (over ten games) without conceding a goal, setting a HKFDL record before Loh Wai Chi scored for South China in a second round match.

He played for Hong Kong XI ('Hong Kong Golden Select') against England in a friendly which the visitors won 1-0.

He left Hong Kong in 1998 and started his career as a coach in England. He ran a hotel in Littleborough, near Rochdale, Greater Manchester, England.


On 20 November 2014, the body of Hesford was discovered.[4] The local newspaper, the Blackpool Gazette, noted a "suspected heart attack."[5]


  1. http://announce.jpress.co.uk/39673441-obituary-hesford-iain
  2. "Iain Hesford: 1960-2014". Hullcitytigers.com. Retrieved 22 November 2014.
  3. 1 2 Gillatt, Peter (30 November 2009). Blackpool FC on This Day: History, Facts and Figures from Every Day of the Year. Pitch Publishing Ltd. ISBN 1-905411-50-2.
  4. "Sad News". Blackpoolfc.co.uk. Retrieved 22 November 2014.
  5. http://www.blackpoolgazette.co.uk/news/tributes-to-larger-than-life-pool-legend-1-6979125
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