181 William Cowan

Biography

Strapping six foot tall centre forward William Cowan joined the Tigers in September 1925 after scoring seven goals in three reserve matches during a trial period. He had to wait his turn behind Paddy Mills and George Whitworth in manager Bill McCracken’s thinking, but when called upon he lived up to his trial by scoring on his deut in a 4-1 win over Nottingham Forest. In October 1925 City were fined £75 when it transpired that Cowan’s player registration was already held by Darlington and his signing by City was a breach of FA rules – Cowan himself was also fined five guineas. Cowan’s next call-up came at the end of January 1926 when he got three starts – William scored in the first match, a 2-2 draw against Barnsley.

Retained for the 1926/27 season, Cowan was again behind the consistent Whitworth in the pecking order but when called upon in mid-November he again performed well. In a run of six starts ahead of the festive fixtures Cowan scored six times – singles in a 3-2 win over Manchester City, a 1-1 draw at Oldham and a 2-0 defeat of Fulham, plus a hattrick in a 3-0 win over Darlington. Cowan missed the festive period matches when striker George Guyan was signed from South Shields, but returned in early January to score a goal in a 2-1 FA Cup win over First Division side West Bromwich Albion. Despite these impressive scoring feats Cowan was unable to maintain his first team place and left City in the 1927 close season amid some tussling in the pages of the Hull Daily Mail between sports contributor “Vedette” and the Hull City chairman Mr Pullan – which boiled down to manager Bill McCracken thinking that Cowan didn’t do enough defending. In typical fashion Cowan struck a hattrick in his last appearances of the season for City’s Reserves, ending the season with 26 Reserve team goals for the season.

William Cowan born in Gateshead and was plucked from local football by Hull City in the Gateshead area in his mid-20s. On leaving the Tigers he spent seasons at Blackpool, Chesterfield and York City, where he again failed to break into the first team any regularity – lending weight to Bill McCracken’s view of the player while he was at City. By 1939 Cowan had returned to Hull, where he married, and was working in an iron foundry. He died in Hull in February 1979.

Details

Nationality: England
Date/Place of Birth: 28 November 1900, Gateshead
Hull City First Game: 12 October 1925, Nottingham Forest H (Division Two), 24 years, 318 days old
Hull City Final Game: 15 January 1927, Wolverhampton Wanderers A (Division Two), 26 years, 48 days old

Clubs

Gateshead High Fell, Hull City (1925-1927), Blackpool (1927-1928), Chesterfield (1928-1929), York City (1929-1930)

Hull City Record

Career: 12 apps, 9 goals

William Cowan
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