487 Dudley Price

Biography

Experienced inside right forward Dudley Price joined the Tigers in September 1960 for a reported £3,000 fee. He was introduced to the first team by manager Bob Brocklebank on a mid-September Monday night in faraway Bournemouth, a situation that didn’t faze Price as he scored twice in a 2-2 draw. Price and inside left Eric McMillan struck up a rapid partnership with teenage centre forward Chris Chilton and goals continued to flow – by the end of the calendar year Price had added a further 10 goals to his debut brace including two goals in another 2-2 draw, this time at Watford, and goals in four consecutive games in November 1960. Not until early March 1961 did Price drop out of the City first team, but after missing two fixtures he came back with another goal in a 4-2 home win over Halifax Town.

Despite the attacking threat of Chilton and Price City finished in mid-table with a level goal difference and in the summer of 1961 it was decided that manager Brocklebank would be replaced by the former Everton and Preston manager Cliff Britton. Britton started the first three games of his tenure with Price in the first team, but when he was replaced by new signing Jock McSeveney at the end of August 1961 Price quickly handed in a transfer request, continuing the habit he had formed over the preceding years in the professional game. There was evidently little interest in Price at the fee demanded by Hull City and Price was restored to the first eleven in December 1961 after a forwrad line reshuffle caused by an injury to Chilton. Price started every game for the rest of the season and scored 12 goals including a Boxing Day brace in a 2-4 defeat against Crystal Palace and an April 1962 hattrick in an impressive 4-0 win over Barnsley. Dudley was again absent from the City first team at the start of 1962/63 season with the youthful Chris Simpkin and the experience Len Sharpe initially given the nod at inside right. Price returned once more in mid-September 1962 but in 15 consecutuve starts he contributed only one goal, his last for the Tigers in a 3-0 League Cup win over Middlesbrough. After one final start over the festive period against Southend Dudley was consigned to City’s reserves and left the club in the 1963 close season.

Thomas Dudley Price was born in Swansea and played junior football for two youth clubs in the town (Swansea was not conferred City status until 1969). In 1950 he joined Swansea Town after representing the Welsh Army Cadet at football in January. However he didn’t make his first team debut for the Swans until February 1954, but four days later he scored his first senior goal in a 2-2 draw at Oldham. He was used sparingly for the remainder of the 1953/54 season and the whole of the 1954/55 season, though he did score twice when called upon in an April 1955 3-5 defeat at Stoke City. He stayed at Swansea for another two years, playing only occasionally and by October 1957 he was granted a transfer request. He had a run of first team starts after that request, scoring twice in eight Division Two matches, but on New Years Day 1958 he moved to Division Three South side Southend United.

At Southend Dudley finally found a regular first team start and in the remainder of the 1957/58 season he scored seven times in 21 starts. He continued that form into the 1958/59 season, scoring six goals in 29 starts despite missing most of the last two months of the season. In 1959/60 season he really hit his straps as he missed only one League game all season and netted 28 League goals plus another in the FA Cup. In December 1959 he was dropped for an FA Cup Second Round tie against Southampton, which led to his customary transfer request – which was granted. After this piece of expert bluff-calling by Southend manager and fellow Welshman Eddie Perry, Price stayed on – in the last five league games of the season Dudley scored nine goals, the kind of form that encouraged Hull City to sign him up.

Price joined Fourth Division side Bradford City in July 1963 and had a fine season in 1963/64, scoring 16 goals in 38 starts. Dudley missed three months of the following season due to injury but still contributed nine goals, then in the 1965 close season he returned to his South Wales roots and signed for Southern League side Merthyr Tydfil. After two seasons descending the Welsh non-league ladder, Price finally hung up his boots in 1967. His football league career between 1954 and 1965 yielded an impressive 106 goals in 289 appearances.

Details

Nationality: Wales
Date/Place of Birth: 17 November 1931, Swansea
Hull City First Game: 12 September 1960, Bournemouth A (Division Three), 28 years, 300 days old
Hull City Final Game: 29 December 1962, Southend United H (Division Three), 31 years, 42 days old

Clubs

Swansea Town (1950-1958), Southend United (1958-1960), Hull City (1960-1963), Bradford City (1963-1965), Merthyr Tydfil (1965-1967), Bridgend Town, Haverfordwest County

Hull City Record

Career: 90 apps, 30 goals

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1960/6135147320----
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