Experienced full back Dennis Booth joined Hull City in May 1980 as part of Welsh manager Mike Smith’s squad rebuilding process. As the club overstretched financially and slipped into the Fourth Division, Booth remained a first team regular and a beacon of hope with his consistency and clenched fist attitude. In 1981/82 he scored his only goals for City, in home wins against Sheffield United in September and Port Vale in March. When Colin Appleton took over the reins in Summer 1982 Booth remained a mainstay of the first XI, missing only four of 45 matches in all competitions until an early April injury saw Dennis replaced by Garry Swann at left back. After a hasty comeback on the first day of the 1983/84, Booth was fully restored by Appleton in November 1983 but again slid out of the team in February 1984 as the Tigers agonisingly missed out on promotion by a single goal at Burnley. With Appleton gone and Brian Horton made player-manager for 1984/85 season Booth’s matchtime was limited to two early season appearances before taking over a coaching role with the club.
Born at Stanley Common in Derbyshire, a small agricultural village North East of Derby that provided a 20th century workforce for local collieries, Booth was scouted by Charlton Athletic as a teenager and signed professional terms for the Addicks around his seventeenth birthday. He stayed at The Valley for five years, playing alongside future Hull City manager Colin Appleton in his first season and making a total of 77 league appearances. In July 1971 Blackpool signed Dennis for £7,000 – the Tangerines were managed by Bob Stokoe, who had handed Booth his first professional contract at Charlton five years earlier. However Booth was out of the first eleven at Bloomfield Road by mid-November and in March 1972 he moved on to Southend United. Managed by Football League goalscoring record holder Arthur Rowley, Booth quickly found his feet at Roots Hall and missed only eight league games between his debut in March 1972 and his last game in January 1974.
In February 1974 Booth was loaned to an upwardly mobile Lincoln City side led by upstart young manager Graham Taylor. Booth signed permanently for Lincoln in the 1974 close season and missed just 5 games over three seasons as the Red Imps topped the Fourth Division table in 1975/76 and established themselves in Division Three. In 1977/78 Taylor was lured to manage Watford by chairman Elton John and within two months of the season start Taylor had bought Booth with him to Vicarage Road. Dennis was a first team regular throughout his time at Watford. The Hornets won promotion to Division Three in May 1978, Taylor and Booth repeating the feat achieved at Lincoln two years previously, and won a second promotion in 1978/79. In 1979/80 Watford found their feet in the Second Division, finishing 18th (in a clear parallel to the ascent of Peter Taylor’s Tigers 25 years later). With Graham Taylor now building a squad ready to take on the First Division, Booth was released that summer to join Hull City.
Booth was elevated to assistant manager at Hull City in 1985, in preference to club legend Chris Chilton, and ably assisted manager Brian Horton for three years. When Horton was sacked by impetuous chairman Don Robinson in April 1988 Booth was appointed caretaker manager jointly with Tom Wilson. Booth reverted back to assistant manager under Eddie Gray in 1988/89 but was jettisoned by his former Charlton team-mate Colin Appleton at the start of his disastrous second spell at the club in June 1989.
During the 1990s and early 2000s Booth had spells at Stafford Rangers (manager, 1992-93), Bristol Rovers (assistant manager, 1993-95), Huddersfield Town (assistant manager once again to Brian Horton, 1995-97), Port Vale (chief scout, 1999), Nottingham Forest (chief scout, 1999-2001) and Nuneaton Borough (assistant manager, 2001-02). In July 2002 he took up a scouting role for the England under-21 sides, before reverting to club football in October 2003 when he was appointed assistant manager at Carlisle United under Paul Simpson. He remained at Carlisle until 2006, had a season at Preston then returned to Carlisle to assist ex-Tiger and two-time Carlisle manager Greg Abbott. He remained with the Cumbrians for several seasons, being appointed Director of Football Affairs in 2009. He left Carlisle in 2013 and retired to Burton on Trent.
Date/Place of Birth: 9 April 1949, Stanley Common
Hull City First Game: 28 July 1980, Grimsby Town H (Anglo Scottish Cup Group Stage), 31 years, 110 days old
Hull City Final Game: 1 September 1984, Bournemouth H (Division Three), 35 years, 145 days old
Charlton Athletic (1966-1971), Blackpool (1971-72), Southend United (1972-1974), Lincoln City (1974, loan), Lincoln City (1974-1977), Watford (1977-1980), Hull City (1980-1984)
Hull City Record
Career: 151 apps, 2 goalsDennis Booth
|1980/81||36 (1)||0||2 (0)||0||2 (0)||0||-||-||1 (0)||0|
|1981/82||37 (0)||2||6 (0)||0||2 (0)||0||-||-||3 (0)||0|
|1982/83||34 (0)||0||2 (0)||0||2 (0)||0||-||-||3 (0)||0|
|1983/84||14 (0)||0||2 (0)||0||-||-||-||-||2 (0)||0|
|1984/85||0 (1)||0||-||-||1 (0)||0||-||-||-||-|