Edwin Colin Smith was playing in junior football while working as a military policeman when Hull City took a chance on the six foot two inch striker in December 1956. Signed initially on amateur terms, he immediately scored goals in the City’s Midland League reserve side and was handed a professional contract at the end of January 1957, making his first team debut a week later. Smith started two matches before manager Bob Brocklebank restored Bill Bradbury to the forward line, but Smith had made a good impression.
Smith returned to the City first team on Christmas Day 1957 against Gateshead, and in the return fixture at Redheugh Park on Boxing Day Colin scored his first senior City goal in a 1-3 defeat. Smith reappeared in March 1958, replacing Welshman Johnny Stephens after a forward line reshuffle, and impressed manager Brocklebank with seven goals in four starts including a brace against Carlisle and a hattrick in a 9-0 win over Oldham. A further brace against Bradford Park Avenue in April 1958 sealed Smith’s place in the first team and he started 1958/59 season as City’s first choice centre forward. Supported in the inside forward positions by Bill Bradbury and David Coates, and supplied by widemen Doug Clarke and Mike Bowering, City made a slow start before a mid-September 5-0 win over Notts County, in which Smith scored twice, kickstarted a superb run of form. An early November hattrick from Smith delivered a 5-3 win over Bournemouth and by the end of the calendar year Smith had scored 15 goals in 24 starts. That form continued into the New Year and Smith ended the season with 26 goals as City won promotion to Division Two, although Bradbury pipped him as top League goalscorer with 30 strikes.
Elevated to the Second Division, City started poorly and a goalless Smith lost his first team place quickly to Bradbury and then new signing Roy Shiner. He returned for three starts in February 1960 and scored twice in a 1-0 win over Rotherham and a 2-3 defeat at Cardiff, but as rapidly as he ascended to the first team in 1958, he descended into City’s reserves in late 1959. During the 1960 close season, after having a transfer request granted, Colin was sold to Rotherham United for a £1,500 fee.
Although still only 24, Smith was unable to make an impression at Millmoor and made only nine starts during the 1960/61 season. In the close season he joined Central Alliance League side Boston United where he rediscovered his goalscoring form in style in the 1961/62 season, rattling in 58 goals across all competitions. Over three seasons with the Lincolnshire side Smith scored 63 league goals in 65 starts. After United suffered financial woes in 1964 Smith moved to phoenix club Boston FC. By the late 1960s Colin had returned to East Yorkshire as manager of Hull Brunswick and was also a prominent figure in the Ex-Tigers Association.
Date/Place of Birth: 3 March 1936, Doncaster
Hull City First Game: 2 February 1957, Wrexham A (Division Three North), 20 years, 336 days old
Hull City Final Game: 27 February 1960, Lincoln City A (Division Two), 23 years, 361 days old
Hull City (1956-1960), Rotherham United (1960-1961), Boston United (1961-1964), Boston FC (1964-1966)
Hull City Record
Career: 66 apps, 39 goalsColin Smith