Right back Ernie Phillips joined the Tigers in November 1951 from First Division Manchester City, a makeweight in the transfer of Don Revie to Manchester City with Phillips valued at £12,000. He went straight into Raich Carter’s City first team in place of Mancunian Wilf Hassall but Phillips was not fully recovered from an injury sustained at his previous club and dropped out of the side after three starts. Returning in April 1952 at left back, Phillips made four more starts to cap off a slow start to his City career.
In the 1952/53 season it took until mid November for new manager Bob Jackson to turn to Phillips, he then kept his place for the rest of the season and started also the first five games of the 1953/54 season. In mid-September 1953 Phillips was replaced at right back by fellow Geordie Frank Harrison and Ernie managed only a handful of further appearances during his final season with the Tigers. These included two games on the right wing during February 1954, one of which was an FA Cup Fifth Round replay at Tottenham in front of nearly 53,000 fans. Phillips was allowed to leave the Tigers in the 1954 close season.
Ernest “Ernie” Phillips was born in North Shields on the banks of the River Tyne and as a young man played local football for Northumberland Square Presbyterians before joining North Eastern League side South Shields in January 1946. He worked his way through the reserves and into the South Shields first team, showing form that was impressive enough by May 1947 for First Division side Manchester City to pay £1,500 for his signature. It took nearly two years for Ernie to break into the Manchester City first team, making his debut in April 1949 against Sunderland. Drafted into first team action again in October 1949, Phillips kept his place for the rest of the season and remained a first choice full back for the top flight side during the 1950/51 season. Ernie started the first ten fixtures of the 1951/52 season but injury had kept him out of the team for a month prior to his move to Hull City – in total Phillips made 82 senior appearances for the Citizens.
In June 1954 Ernie signed for York City, a team in Division Three North that had aspirations to climb the Football League. In his first season at Bootham Crescent Phillips was an ever-present in League and Cup as the Minstermen narrowly missed out on promotion and embarked on a remarkable FA Cup run that took them to the Semi-Finals via victories over First Division sides Blackpool and Tottenham. The first Semi-Final against Newcastle United at Hillsborough ended in a draw but York lost the replay at Sunderland’s Roker Park four days later – Phillips played in all eight Cup ties, as did ex-Tiger Norman Wilkinson.
Phillips spent three more seasons at York City, captaining the first team, and by the time he left in the 1958 close season he had made 183 senior appearances and scored two goals, a penalty in April 1955 against Bradford Park Avenue and a rather meaningless goal in a February 1958 2-9 thrashing at the hands of Chester. Ernie moved to North Eastern League side Ashington for the 1958/59 season before hanging up his boots. He returned to live in York, where he died in January 2004.
Date/Place of Birth: 29 November 1923, North Shields
Hull City First Game: 10 November 1951, Birmingham City H (Division Two), 27 years, 346 days old
Hull City Final Game: 13 March 1954, Swansea Town H (Division Two), 30 years, 104 days old
Souith Shields (1946-1947), Manchester City (1947-1951), Hull City (1951-1954), York City (1954-1958), Ashington (1958-1959)
Hull City Record
Career: 45 apps, 0 goalsErnie Phillips