Striker Stuart “Pancho” Pearson was born in Cottingham and came through the ranks at Hull City, signing his first contract in July 1968 after three years on amateur terms while he trained as a telephone engineer. It was nearly two years after signing his contract when he made his first team debut and a further year before he became a first team regular, replacing the departed Chris Chilton at the spearhead of the Tigers’ attack. When manager Terry Neill gave Pearson a regular start he rewarded the club with double figures goal hauls for three successive seasons as he led the line in a City team that was not blessed with excellence in all positions. As the early 1970s progressed Pearson became one of the most sought after assets in the Second Division and in May 1974 he was transferred to Manchester United for £200,000, a club record fee that stood for eleven years.
Pearson’s career flourished at Old Trafford under Tommy Docherty, who had known Stuart during his spell as City’s assistant manager a few years earlier. He quickly established himself as first choice striker in a United side recently relegated to the Second Division but heading towards immediate promotion, scoring 17 goals in his first season including a hattrick against Oxford in November 1974. His form continued in the First Division and he reached fifty league goals for the Red Devils by the end of 1977. Pearson played in two FA Cup Finals for Manchester United, a 0-1 defeat to Southampton in 1976 and a 2-1 win over Liverpool in 1977, with Stuart scoring the opening goal. Pearson missed a large chunk of 1978-79 with a knee injury and when he recovered in August 1979 he was sold to West Ham United for £220,000. At West Ham Pearson struggled to make his mark as continued problems with his knee, which required three further surgeries, continued to take their toll. But he did make a third FA Cup Final appearance in 1980, claiming a second winners’ medal as the Hammers defeated Arsenal 1-0. He also played in the side that won promotion to Division One in 1980/81 and received a runners-up medal for playing in the 1981 League Cup Final. However his injuries led to the end of his playing career in 1982. After a two year pause Stuart returned to the professional game as a coach, working at Stockport County, Northwich Victoria and West Bromwich Albion in the late 1980s. He had a short spell as caretaker manager at West Brom in 1991, and was assistant manager at Bradford City between 1992 and 1994. As the 1990s progressed Pancho moved to La Manga in Spain to enjoy the fruits of his footballing labour, while working as a matchday host in the hospitality rooms at Old Trafford home games.
Pearson was a decorated England international at all levels. He made his debut for England under-23s in March 1972 while still at City, and played 15 times for the England senior team between 1976 and 1978 while at Manchester United, scoring five goals.
Date/Place of Birth: 21 June 1949, Hull
Hull City First Game: 15 April 1970, Portsmouth H (Division Two), 20 years, 298 days old
Hull City Final Game: 27 April 1974, Fulham H (Division Two), 24 years, 310 days old
Hull City (1968-1974), Manchester United (1974-1979), West Ham United (1979-1982)
Hull City Record
Career: 150 apps, 45 goalsStuart Pearson
|1970/71||9 (3)||1||-||-||-||-||-||-||0 (1)||0|
|1971/72||38 (0)||15||2 (0)||0||1 (0)||0||-||-||-||-|
|1972/73||37 (0)||17||4 (0)||0||1 (0)||0||-||-||3 (0)||0|
|1973/74||41 (0)||11||1 (0)||0||5 (0)||1||-||-||3 (0)||0|