Versatile midfielder Malcolm Lord was the epitomy of a locally sourced one club man, the kind of player that Hull City didn’t have in the pre-WW2 era at all and subsequently only had in the shape of a few men – Bulless, Feasey, Collinson, Chilton, Lord and Roberts – that formed the club’s bedrock between the 1950s and 1980s. His playing style was not flashy or spectacular but it was effective, a fact that was highly appreciated by his team-mates and managers but less noted by supporters whose apparent need to have a local player to abuse on a Saturday afternoon reached its zenith with Lord. At times his announcement in the first team drew boos from the hard-of-thinking on the Hull City terraces, though he eventually turned that around and was awarded the Supporters’ Player of the Year trophy in 1974.
Born and raised in Driffield, “Mally” joined the Tigers in July 1964, initially on amateur terms then turning professional a year later. He spent the glorious 1965/66 Division Three title winning season in the reserves and was handed his debut by manager Cliff Britton towards the end of the 1966/67 season, starting the last eight matches in four of the five forward positions. For the next three seasons Britton used Lord primarily as auxiliary midfielder though he did enjoy an extended run in the first XI in the last two months of the 1968/69 season. Mally had scored his first goal for City in late April 1968 against Derby County and netted a second time against Portsmouth the following November. During his run of starts in the spring of 1969 he added goals against Blackpool and Fulham.
Lord continued to be in and out of the first team during the 1969/70 season and became the club’s first impact substitute. Only when Terry Neill took over the reins at City at the start of the 1970/71 season was Lord’s talents fully recognised and he had a three month run of consecutive starts on the right side of midfield. After injury kept him out of the side for a month – a theme that came to haunt the later years of Lord’s career – he returned and remained a first choice until the last few weeks of the season. This consistency continued for the next four seasons, though injuries meant Mally was absent for a large chunk of the 1972/73 season, and as his game progressed in the mid-1970s he was able to contribute more goals – a September 1973 brace in a win at Cardiff then five goals in 8 consecutive starts during October and November 1974 in the early weeks of John Kaye’s tenure as City manager.
In November 1975 injury sidelined Lord for over a year and when he returned his value to the squad was still prized but his ability to perform week-in week-out was severely diminished. In March 1977 Lord celebrated his second start following his return from injury with his only career hattrick against Burnley. He continued to serve the Tigers for two more years and spent the summer of 1978 playing in the North American Soccer League for Anaheim-based California Surf, making 22 appearances and scoring three goals alongside former Arsenal star George Graham. Returning from the United States, Mally started 22 of 24 matches at the start of the 1978/79 season under the management of his former team-mate Ken Houghton, but by February 1979 the knee troubles had finally caught up with him and Mally retired from the professional game. A testamonial match was arranged for Lord in September 1979 when an ex-Tigers XI duelled with a TV All-Stars XI pulled together by Hull-born actor and children’s TV presenter Roy North.
Mally made a brief return to non-league football with Scarborough during the 1979/80 season before focussing his attention on his second career as a successful local businessman.
Date/Place of Birth: 25 October 1946, Driffield
Hull City First Game: 27 March 1967, Birmingham City A (Division Two), 20 years, 153 days old
Hull City Final Game: 27 March 1979, Carlisle United City A (Division Three), 32 years, 153 days old
Hull City (1964-1979), Scarborough (1979-1980)
Hull City Record
Career: 333 apps, 26 goalsMalcolm Lord
|1970/71||31 (1)||0||4 (0)||0||1 (0)||0||-||-||2 (0)||0|
|1971/72||36 (3)||2||3 (0)||0||1 (0)||0||-||-||-||-|
|1972/73||24 (1)||0||-||-||1 (0)||0||-||-||1 (2)||0|
|1973/74||40 (0)||5||2 (0)||0||4 (0)||0||-||-||3 (0)||1|
|1974/75||36 (1)||6||3 (0)||0||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|1975/76||10 (0)||1||-||-||1 (0)||1||-||-||3 (0)||0|
|1977/78||17 (1)||0||1 (0)||0||-||-||-||-||2 (0)||0|
|1978/79||23 (1)||3||1 (0)||0||-||-||-||-||-||-|