Centre half Stanley William Montgomery was born at Silvertown in the heart of the Royal Docks in East London, growing up amidst dockland activity in a street that is now a few yards from the terminal of London City Airport. By 1939 he was playing local amateur football and working in a sweet factory. During the war he played for several higher ranking clubs in wartime leagues – Leyton Orient in 1941, Southend United subsequently and, between September and November 1944, Hull City where he made 10 appearances at centre half and centre forward and scored four goals. Towards the end of the war he played for Romford, but when the Football League resumed in August 1946 he returned to play professionally for the Tigers. After missing the first ever League fixture at Boothferry Park, Stan played in five consecutive matches during September before family circumstances prompted a swift return to the East London area.
Montgomery signed for Southend United in September 1946 and within a year the Shrimpers were rebuffing transfer interest from Arsenal. Eventually in December 1948, after he had made 100 starts for Southend, a £6,000 fee was accepted for Stan and he moved to Cardiff City, at the time a mid-table Second Division side. The move came on the recommendation of his father in law Jimmy Nelson, who had been a professional footballer before WW2 and had played for Cardiff City in the 1927 FA Cup Final. Montgomery became a bulwark of the Cardiff defence for the next six years, scoring on his debut in January 1949 and assembling over 250 appearances for the Bluebirds. After being a pivotal figure when Cardiff won promotion to the First Division in 1952, Stan held his own at the higher level and was appointed team captain in 1953 while also getting selected for a Welsh Leagues Select XI. Stan’s time at Cardiff came to a close in the 1955 close season as he approached his mid-30s, but he was quickly snapped up by Southern League side Worcester City. After only five starts for Worcester his contract was cancelled in October 1955 but by December he returned to Football League action when he joined Newport County. Stan was a support player at Somerton Park and played in the 1956 Welsh League Cup final before being released that summer and seeing out his career in the Welsh non-league scene at Llanelli and Ton Pentre. In March 1956 Stan was in the frame to become player-manager at Wisbech Town but the Cambridgeshire side ended up looking elsewhere to replace another ex-Tiger, Joe Robinson, in the manager’s role.
In 1957 Montgomery became a coach at Ton Pentre and by August 1959 he was appointed to the coaching staff at Norwich City. Stan survived two changes in manager at Carrow Road and by 1962 he was working under ex-Arsenal boss George Swindin. When Swindin become Cardiff City manager in November 1962 he took Montgomery with him, reuniting Stan with the club where he made his name as a player in the 1950s. Stan was elevated to Chief Coach at Cardiff in January 1964 but was relieved of his duties the following August. Montgomery went on to enjoy a varied workload during the remainder of the 1960s and 1970s – he was sports adviser to the Boys Clubs of Wales, a scout for Bristol Rovers and Cardiff City and a sports coach at Cardiff University and several local fee-paying schools.
A sporting polymath, Montgomery also played cricket to a professional standard. He played first class cricket for Glamorganshire 24 times between 1949 and 1953, striking a maiden first-class century (117) in July 1949 during a 264-run partnership with Maurice Robinson that remains the county’s record fifth wicket stand. He spent the summer of 1955 playing cricket professionally for Torquay CC and taught cricket as well as football after he stopped playing both sports professionally.
After a long – and quite likely exhausting – life Stan died in Cardiff in October 2000.
Date/Place of Birth: 7 July 1920, West Ham
Hull City First Game: 2 September 1946, Crewe Alexandra H (Division Three North), 26 years, 57 days old
Hull City Final Game: 16 September 1946, Gateshead H (Division Three North), 26 years, 71 days old
Romford, Hull City (1946), Southend United (1946-1948), Cardiff City (1948-1955), Worcester City (1955), Newport County (1955-1956), Llanelli (1956-1957), Ton Pentre (1957)
Hull City Record
Career: 5 apps, 0 goalsStan Montgomery