3 Joe Leiper

Biography

Left back Joseph “Joe” Leiper joined City at the very beginnings of the club in 1904 and stayed only three months, which was long enough to play in the club’s first two FA Cup ties in 1904. Leiper was a seasoned professional footballer with top flight experience in England and Scotland under his belt, making him a well known figurehead signed by newly formed Hull City as a device to attract local interest. His short lived spell at Hull City was perhaps explained by the fact that for the club’s first practice match in August 1904 Leiper turned up towards the end of the game and had to be hastily replaced.

Leiper was born in Partick, then a well-to-do town to the west of Glasgow that eventually became subsumed and rendered a suburb by industrialisation and urban sprawl. Leiper spent his childhood across the Clyde in Govan, living with his unmarried father and two aunts. He began playing for Partick Thistle in 1891 but within a year he had moved south and signed for Derby County, after very nearly joining Sunderland. He made nearly 180 appearances for the Rams over eight seasons as they inhabited the upper reaches of the First Division, finishing runners-up in 1896 and third the following season. Leiper also played in two FA Cup semi finals for Derby, in 1896 and 1897, before playing in the 1898 FA Cup final as his Derby side were beaten 3-1 at Crystal Palace by local rivals Nottingham Forest – Joe crossed the ball for Steve Bloomer to score Derby’s only goal. All this came after a severe bout of influenza in 1893 that Leiper had to recuperate from in Matlock. In February 1900 he was transferred to Grimsby Town and 18 months later he joined Chesterfield Town, shortly after being fined for drunkedness by a Grimsby magistrate. After a short spell back at Partick Thistle Leiper signed for Motherwell in September 1903, where he spent the season captaining the side while living in Rothesay and also playing cricket.

Leiper joined Aberdare Athletic in October 1904 and ended the season with a Welsh Cup runners-up medal. He then finished his career at Belper Town, just up the road from the city of Derby where he made his reputation a decade earlier, but was suspended by the Belper commitee in November 1905 after not turning up for a fixture and leaving them shorthanded. He had returned to Hull by 1907, playing local football for Jackson’s and living as a “gentleman” with his Sheffield born wife Martha and five children, spending his time managing his property portfolio. In 1927 he returned to Glasgow to work in the shipbuilding industry and died in the city in February 1937.

Leiper won a Scottish junior international cap in February 1892.

Details

Nationality: Scotland
Date/Place of Birth: 15 March 1873, Partick
Hull City First Game: 17 September 1904, Stockton A (FA Cup Preliminary Round), 31 years, 186 days old
Hull City Final Game: 22 September 1904, Stockton A (FA Cup Preliminary Round Replay), 31 years, 191 days old

Clubs

Gilmorehill Juveniles, Possilpark, Minerva (Glasgow), Third Lanark, Minerva (Glasgow), Partick Thistle (1891-1892), Derby County (1892-1900), Grimsby Town (1900-1902), Chesterfield Town (1902-1903), Partick Thistle (1903), Motherwell (1903-1904), Hull City (1904), Aberdare Athletic (1904-1905), Belper Town (1905-1906)

Hull City Record

Career: 2 apps, 0 goals

Joe Leiper
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1904/05--20------

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