Experienced left winger John “Jock” McSeveney joined the Tigers in July 1961 as the Tigers began to assemble a squad capable of challenging for promotion to the Second Division. With a teenage Chris Chilton already a first team regular and a frequent goalscorer, McSeveney’s signing was important in bringing know-how, versatility and attacking prowess to the flanks of City’s attack. Jock was a regular goalscorer in his first season, scoring twice in a 4-0 win over Torquay and bagging eight goals before Christmas. He ended the season with another brace in a 2-0 win over Brentford in May 1962, thus doubling his pre-Christmas haul.
The 1962/63 season was Jock’s most productive in black and amber, he missed only seven of the 54 senior fixtures played and scored 27 goals in all competitions – highlights included an opening day double against Bristol Rovers, eight goals in five games between late October and the end of November and further braces in the New Year against Colchester United and Peterborough United. He started 1963/64 in similar fashion, scoring twice in the first league game against Watford but he scored only two further goals by the end of the year and spent November and December in and out of the first XI. He won back his first team place in February 1964, and between the last day of February 1964 and the end of April 1965 McSeveney missed just one of 65 senior matches, scoring 21 goals along the way. 1964/65 was another successful season for Jock, who scored five goals in the first 8 fixtures and maintained a regular strike rate throughout. However this impressive run of consecutive fixtures was to be McSeveney’s last act in a City shirt, he retired from playing in the 1965 close season and joined Cliff Britton’s coaching and scouting staff.
Born in Shotts, a Lanarkshire coal mining town between Glasgow and Edinburgh, McSeveney started his career as a teenager in the late 1940s at Scottish Second Division side Hamilton Academical. In three seasons Jock scored 20 goals in 71 league starts and attracted the attention of English First Divison giants Sunderland, who paid The Accies £5,500 for the 20 year old McSeveney in October 1951. Jock combined his footballing education at Roker Park with part-time work as a mechanic at Wearmouth Colliery – the site of which is now occupied by the Black Cats’ Stadium of Light. Jock made his debut for Sunderland against Manchester United three days after his move from Hamilton, but in four seasons he was unable to carve out a regular first team place and made only 35 league starts.
In May 1955 he moved to First Division rivals Cardiff City, and in two seasons he was a first team regular and scored 18 league goals, two of which came in his debut against his former club Sunderland. He also undertook his National Service while at Cardiff, working in Nantgarw Colliery. When Cardiff were relegated to the Second Division in 1957 Jock moved on and signed for Third Division neighbours Newport County. McSeveney missed only 12 of the 184 league games Newport played in his four years at Somerton Park, scoring 51 goals. He was therefore a prominent and experienced Third Division player when Hull City offered a chance to head to the East Coast in 1961.
McSeveney was on the Hull City coaching and scouting staff for several years before being appointed manager at Barnsley in July 1971. He led the Tyles for only one season but settled in the town and lived there for 50 years. After a spell managing Home Farm in Ireland, McSeveney was appointed assistant manager to ex-Scottish international Allan Brown at Nottingham Forest in 1974, but was let go early in 1975 when Brian Clough took over the manager’s hotseat. McSeveney then went on to manage Waterford in Ireland and the international teams of Guyana and Oman, before becoming assistant manager at Sheffield United in the late 1970s. For nearly 30 years after his managerial career ended, McSeveney was a scout for numerous clubs including Manchester United. In his later years he regularly attended supporters’ functions dedicated to his former clubs. He died in December 2020.
Date/Place of Birth: 8 February 1931, Shotts
Hull City First Game: 31 August 1961, Port Vale H (Division Three), 30 years, 204 days old
Hull City Final Game: 24 April 1965, Brentford H (Division Three), 34 years, 75 days old
Carluke Rovers, Hamilton Academical (1948-1951), Sunderland (1951-1955), Cardiff City (1955-1957), Newport County (1957-1961), Hull City (1961-1965)
Hull City Record
Career: 183 apps, 70 goalsJohn McSeveney