Inside right Simeon Raleigh joined the Tigers in July 1930 as the club reeled from the previous season that saw City play in the FA Cup semi-final then weeks later get relegated to Division Three North. Raleigh came into the City first team in October 1930, his career senior debut, but it wasn’t until a run of eight starts in December 1930 and January 1931 that he hit his straps in front of goal. After scoring a Christmas Day equaliser in a 1-1 draw against Halifax Town the Boxing Day return fixture against the Shaymen saw Raleigh net five times in a 10-0 drubbing. He was at it again in mid-January, scoring a hattrick in a 8-2 thrashing of Doncaster Rovers. Despite this freescoring introduction to City’s first eleven, Raleigh was chosen intermittently for the rest of the season but continued to contribute goals when called upon.
Having struck 15 times in fifteen starts for the Tigers, Sim could perhaps dare to dream that he would hold down a first team place for the 1931/32 season. He started 11 of the first twelve senior fixtures, contributing five goals inclusing a brace against Darlington (plus a sixth in a match against Wigan Borough that was expunged from the record when the Lancastrians later went bust), however Scottish prospect Andy Duncan was preferred at inside right from November 1931 onwards and Raleigh’s appearances were sporadic as he filled in for absent colleagues. Simeon’s final goal for City came in a February 1932 2-0 win over Barrow when he deputised for absent centre forward Paddy Mills – he left the Tigers in the 1932 close season.
Simeon Raleigh, often called “Sim”, was born in Brinsworth to the south of Rotherham on a street overlooking the Rotherham Mains Colleries – his father Richard was a coal miner who hailed from Staffordshire. As a youngster the family moved to Laughton en le Morthen, an historic countryside village located between Rotherham and Worksop where Simeon was schooled. When he left school he worked at Silverwood Colliery to the east of Rotherham and played for the colliery works football team. In the 1929 close season he switched to Yorkshire League team Methley Perseverance and by October 1929 he was playing as a triallist in the same division for Huddersfield Town’s A team. His move to Huddersfield was confirmed in January 1930 but he left the Terriers in the 1930 close season having failed to break into the first team.
Raleigh joined Division Three South side Gillingham in July 1932, despite playing in Kent he maintained links with people in Hull through his marriage. He scored ten times in his first season in the Gills’ first team and in the 1933/34 season he kicked on, missing only three League games and scoring eighteen League goals including an April 1934 hattrick against Northampton Town. Raleigh began the 1934/35 season with an opening day hattrick against Torquay United and by December 1934 he had taken his tally for the Gills to 34 goals in 89 starts.
On the 1st December 1934 tragedy struck and claimed Raleigh’s life at the age of just 25 – a first half clash of heads with Brighton & Hove Albion centre half Paul Mooney injured both players and meant that Simeon had to be withdrawn in the closing stages of the match. Within hours he collapsed and drifted into unconciousness, he was taken to a nearby hospital in Rochester for emergency surgery but died of a brain haemorrhage that evening. Tragically, two other amateur players in Gloucestershire and Surrey died the same day while playing football, a date dubbed Black Saturday. Raleigh left a wife and child, events held by Gillingham and his two former clubs raised over £250 for his surviving family. He was interred in the Chanterlands Avenue cemetery in West Hull, his coffin carried by six of his former Hull City teammates including club legends Cliff Woodhead and Jimmy Lodge.
Date/Place of Birth: 24 March 1909, Brinsworth
Hull City First Game: 4 October 1930, Hartlepools United A (Division Three North), 21 years, 194 days old
Hull City Final Game: 28 March 1932, Chester H (Division Three North), 23 years, 4 days old
Silverwood Colliery (1928-1929), Methley Perseverance (1929), Huddersfield Town (1929-1930), Hull City (1930-1932), Gillingham (1932-1934)
Hull City Record
Career: 33 apps, 21 goalsSimeon Raleigh