Harry Pinkerton was a versatile forward and half back who signed for City on amateur terms in February 1934 at the age of 17 and signed a professional contract three months later when he turned 18. After finding his feet in the reserves for a year Pinkerton was given his first team debut at centre forward in March 1935 and scored a winner against Port Vale a week later. When fellow Scotsman Dave Wright returned to fitness he took back his first team place from Pinkerton, and the youngster left the Tigers two months later.
Henry “Harry” Pinkerton was born in Kilsyth, a colliery town between Glasgow and Falkirk. He had a trial match at Falkirk in September 1933 while playing for Banknock juveniles team, having previously played for Kilsyth Hub juveniles. In November 1933 he joined Dunipace Juniors, an adult team based in the town of Denny 10 miles east of Kilsyth, and immediately made an impression on visiting scouts, one of whom was from Hull City.
Pinkerton joined Port Vale in May 1935, the team that he had scored a winner against a few weeks earlier. He started the first game of the season and two further games during the rest of the 1935/36 season. In May 1936, following Port Vale’s relegation to the Third Division North, Harry transferred to Second Division rivals Burnley. He spent two seasons at Turf Moor but again struggled to break into the first team, making only three starts in those two years.
In August 1938 Pinkerton returned north to his Kilsyth home town and signed for Falkirk, the club that had courted him five years earlier as a teenager. He made six starts in his first season at Brockville Park but then the Second World War bought senior football to a halt. Harry continued to play wartime fixtures for Falkirk and in December 1939 he was selected to play in a wartime international for Scotland against England at St James’s Park, Newcastle Upon Tyne, where he played against future Hull City manager Raich Carter. After assisting Dundee United in 1940 and continuing to play occasionally fo Falkik when his military duties allowed it, Harry was demobilised in 1946 and was released by Falkirk. Rather than accept an offer from another professional club, he chose to return to the junior football ranks in Scotland and spent the 1946/47 season at Kilsyth Rangers. In July 1947 he joined Bo’ness United and was part of the team that lifted the Edinburgh & District League and Scottish Junior Cup double in 1948. He spent a further season at Bo’ness before joining another junior side Arthurlie in July 1949.
Harry hung up his boots in the summer of 1950 and in the following October he was appointed trainer and coach at Kirkintilloch Rob Roy. In June 1951 he was appointed trainer at Stenhousemuir, a post he held for a year. He continued to live in the Kilsyth area until August 1959 when he emigrated to Canada to pursue a continued career in football coaching. He died in Toronto, Canada in 1986.
Date/Place of Birth: 7 May 1916, Kilsyth
Hull City First Game: 30 March 1935, Manchester United A (Division Two), 18 years, 327 days old
Hull City Final Game: 6 April 1935, Port Vale H (Division Two), 18 years, 334 days old
Dunipace Juniors (1933-1934), Hull City (1934-1935), Port Vale (1935-1936), Burnley (1936-1938), Falkirk (1938-1946), Kilsyth Rangers (1946-1947), Bo’ness United (1947-1949), Arthurlie (1949-1950)
Hull City Record
Career: 2 apps, 1 goalsHarry Pinkerton