Left sided striker David Plews Coates was born in Washington to a father who was a grocer and a member of the District Council. He worked as a clerk at the National Coal Board offices in Washington and played football for Fatfield Juniors before being scouted by ex-City manager Jack Hill. He signed for the Tigers in October 1952 and contributed to the juniors side that won the Northern Itermediate League and Cup double in 1952/53 season. In May 1953 Coates was called up to perform his National Service and was unavailable to Hull City until July 1955. When he returned to Boothferry Park he spent a season in the reserves before being handed his League debut by manager Bob Brocklebank in September 1956. After three starts he returned to the reserves and waited over a year for his next first team opportunity in November 1957. In February 1958 Coates was selected in his favoured inside left position for the first time and he rewarded Brocklebank with his first goal in a 1-1 draw at Bury.
The Tigers narrowly missed out on promotion in 1957/58 season so hopes were high at the start of the 1958/59 season. After garnering only one point from the first three League games manager Brocklebank rang the changes and bought Coates into the team in the inside left position. Finally able to grasp an extended first team opportunity, David missed only two of the 44 reamining fixtures that season as City won promotion to the Second Division and Coates helped himself to nine goals, including goals in each of three consecutive wins in October. Elevated to the second tier, the Tigers immediately struggled at the start of 1959/60 season, losing five of the opening six league fixtures – one of which was a 3-5 defeat at Liverpool in which Coates scored twice. In mid-September Coates’ goal halted the run of defeats as Bristol City were defeated 1-0, but within three weeks City had purchased a new and experienced forward line in the shape of Jackie Sewell, Roy Shiner and Ralph Gubbins, and Coates was once again banished to the reserves.
Coates left Hull City in March 1960 and signed for Mansfield Town, who were managed by his boyhood hero and ex-Tigers player and manager Raich Carter. Coates was injured after only five starts for the Stags and was unable to prevent their relegation to the Fourth Division two months after his signing. He then spent four seasons at Field Mill where he was a first team regular thoroughout and contributed a handful of goals each season. When he left Mansfield Town for Notts County in July 1964 Coates had made 174 appearances for the Stags and scored 19 goals.
Coates spent three seasons playing for Notts County in a more withdrawn left half position, captaining the first team and scoring one goal in 71 appearances. During his time at Meadow Lane he also studied for business qualifications and served on the Professional Footballers’ Association Committee. He gave up playing football in the 1967 close season and worked as a youth coach for Notts County before being appointed to the coaching staff at Aston Villa in December 1967. In March 1969 he was appointed assistant coach at Leicester City, a role he performed for nine years. In 1978 he moved to Luton Town to work in manager David Pleat’s coaching team, a job he retained for seven years. After a long period scouting for various clubs, Coates was appointed to the coaching staff at Stoke City in 1994 under manager Lou Macari. After leaving Stoke in 1997, Coates was chief scout for Bolton Wanderers for two years, then between 1999 and 2004 he fulfilled scouting duties for Oxford United, Preston North End, Leeds United, Portsmouth, Middlesbrough and Newcastle United. In later life he lived on the outskirts of Leicester.
Date/Place of Birth: 11 April 1935, Washington
Hull City First Game: 22 September 1956, Wrexham H (Division Three North), 21 years, 164 days old
Hull City Final Game: 27 February 1960, Lincoln City A (Division Two), 24 years, 322 days old
Fatfield Juniors, Hull City (1952-1960), Mansfield Town (1960-1964), Notts County (1964-1967)
Hull City Record
Career: 63 apps, 13 goalsDavid Coates