Utility forward and half back Henry “Harry” Simmon joined the Tigers in July 1905 ahead of the club’s first season in the Football League. Simmon was born and raied in several County Durham mining villages, his father was a railway signalman and then later a weighman at the local colliery. Harry also worked as a weighman and lived in the settlement now known as New Brancepeth on the fringes of Durham City. He joined his local football club Bearpark in 1896 and had served then for eight years prior to joining successful Northern Alliance side Leadgate Park in 1904. In the 1904/05 season Leadgate Park won the Durham Senior Cup and Simmon contributed regular goals, so his pedigree as a goalscorer in his mid-20s fitted the needs of Hull City well.
Harry made his City debut at the end of September 1905 and by early November he had made seven starts in the outside right position without scoring. His place in the side was handed to Lincolnshire born winger Jack Manning and Simmon made just three more appearances during the rest of the season, showing his versatility by starting in three different positions. This versatility defined the rest of his time at City and explains why he was unable to hold down a regular first team start. For the next two seasons Harry had three starts at outside right in April 1907, then five starts at right half in October and November 1907. Though Simmon remained with the Tigers for a further ten years, he didn’t make any further senior appearances. Living in a neat terrace house off Hessle Road, Harry was a stalwart in the City reserves for many years then coached the City Juniors and managed the club’s A team. The Tigers awarded Harry a benefit match in October 1912. During World War One Simmon made eleven appearances in wartime games between January 1916 and March 1917, scoring two goals against Sheffield United and Lincoln City. His association with the club ended in 1917, though he was registered to play for local side Hull Old Boys in the 1919/20 season.
Simmon began working as a foreman for a firm of Hull canal carriers in 1916 and by the early 1920s he had acquired four lighters, the low hand-propelled barges used to transport goods from moored sea-going vessels to various parts of the Hull docklands. In June 1926 he was declared bankrupt when it became apparent that he was over £2,000 in debt thanks to his failed lighter business and a lavish lifestyle lived well beyond his means. In 1938 he was settled in the Newland Avenue area of Hull and working as a clerk for the Hull cargo superintendents when his first wife died – he married again within six months. He retired in 1949 and died in Hull in February 1951.
Date/Place of Birth: 23 March 1879, Bearpark
Hull City First Game: 23 September 1905, Leeds City A (Division Two), 26 years, 184 days old
Hull City Final Game: 9 November 1907, Glossop A (Division Two), 28 years, 231 days old
Bearpark (1896-1904), Leadgate Park (1904-1905), Hull City (1905-1917), Hull Old Boys (1919-1920)
Hull City Record
Career: 18 apps, 0 goalsHarry Simmon