Inside forward Terry Heath joined the Tigers in May 1964 for a £8,000 fee after a flurry of interest from several clubs was initiated when his first club Leicester City stating his availability for transfer. Heath was signed as part of manager Cliff Britton’s campaign to assemble a squad capable of achieving promotion to the Second Division and at face value Heath’s signing looked to fit the bill – young and quick, top flight experience and plenty to prove. It was therefore a disappointment when Heath, who could definitely perform in the big matches, was rarely used week in week out as City improved massively in the four years he played for the club. A case of other even better players being signed, primarily.
Heath made his debut on the opening day of the 1964/65 season but by mid September he had been replaced at outside left by more experienced Geordie Ray Henderson. Heath managed a further four starts in November 1964 and scored his first goal for the Tigers in a 4-1 win in the FA Cup over non-League side Kidderminster Harriers, but was out of the first team for the whole second half of the season as City narrowly missed out on promotion. At the start of the 1965/66 season Heath was repurposed as a winger and started the first seven games of the season. But again Henderson was preferred as the autumn months approached and Heath was left a peripheral figure until a February 1966 FA Cup Fourth Round tie against Nottingham Forest, when Heath filled in for the absent Ken Houghton at inside left and scored two fine goals to knock out the Division One side. He managed a handful of further appearances in the closing weeks of City’s Division Three promotion season but was unable to dislodge City’s superb frontline – Chilton at centre forward, Wagstaff and Houghton as inside forwards, Henderson and Butler as wingers. Elevated to the Second Division, Heath remained a useful reserve for absent first team forwards for much of the next two years, scoring a November 1966 goal against Charlton that proved to be his last strike in black and amber. He left the club in March 1968.
Richard Terence “Terry” Heath was born in Leicester and by 1959 had joined the Leicester City youth team setup, playing alongside future two-time Hull City manager Colin Appleton. He signed professional terms for the Foxes in November 1961 and made his first team debut in November 1962 against First Division rivals West Ham United. Four first team starts followed in the closing weeks of the season yielding two goals, the opener in an April 1963 4-3 win over Manchester United and a consolation in a May 1963 2-3 defeat at Birmingham City. Leicester City lost the 1963 FA Cup Final to Manchester United but Heath was absent due to knock he sustained a week earlier in the Birmingham City match that saw him score his second Foxes goal.
Heath was rarely used in the 1963/64 season but did feature in the first leg of the 1964 League Cup Final, which Leicester won 4-3 on aggregate over Stoke City. By March 1964 Heath’s name was circulated by Leicester City for availability and several teams expressed an interest, but it was the Tigers that claimed his signature in early May 1964.
In March 1968 Heath transferred to Scunthorpe United for a £6,000 fee and went straight into The Iron’s first team at outside left. His impact was significant and immediate, scoring on his debut against Colchester United and netting five times in his first 9 starts for the Old Show Ground side. He was a first team regular for the next three seasons, scoring 15 times in both the 1968/69 and 1969/70 seasons and adding a further 10 goals the season after. Heath started the 1970/71 season in the first team but dropped out of the side at Christmas as the Iron won promotion to Division Three. He returned to the first team for the 1971/72 season but struggled for goals as Scunthorpe toiled at the lower end of the Division Three table. In late February 1973 Terry was loaned to Lincoln City, the first signing of a new young manager called Graham Taylor, who went on to manage England in the 1990s. Heath made 9 appearances for Lincoln and scored once during his three month loan, and left Scunthorpe in the 1973 close season having scored 52 goals in 204 appearances for The Iron across six seasons.
Terry returned for Lincoln City in the summer of 1973, a £2,000 fee being paid, but injuries meant he managed only eight appearances for the Imps. He retired from football in the 1974 close season due to his injuries and had a testamonial game two years later in March 1976. Heath worked in a Lincoln warehouse and a Scunthorpe steelworks before moving to Newquay in Cornwall in the 1980s to commence a second career as an artist specialising in oil paintings. Later in life he moved to Rojales, a village near Alicante in Southern Spain, where he continued his work as an artist focusing on nature scenes. He died in Rojales in January 2011.
Date/Place of Birth: 17 November 1943, Leicester
Hull City First Game: 22 August 1964, Watford A (Division Three), 20 years, 279 days old
Hull City Final Game: 25 November 1967, Derby County H (Division Two), 24 years, 8 days old
Leicester City (1959-1964), Hull City (1964-1968), Scunthorpe United (1968-1973), Lincoln City (1973, loan), Lincoln City (1973-1974)
Hull City Record
Career: 37 apps, 4 goalsTerry Heath
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