Left back Mike Hollifield joined Hull City in August 1983 to augment the squad that Colin Appleton piloted to promotion from the Fourth Division the previous season. Hollifield was slotted straight into the first team and was a regular starter for the first six months of the season as City challenged for a second successive promotion. Mike scored his only City goal in November 1983, the middle goal in in a 3-2 away win in faraway Bournemouth. Hollifield was absent during a busy March period when City remained unbeaten, and returned in April with the Tigers poised in sixth place. Four successive wins achieved on Mike’s return lifted the Tigers to third and the side battled to the end with Sheffield United for the final promotion spot behind Oxford and Wimbledon. But the Tigers eventually fell just short by one goal in the final match of the season at Burnley.
That failure precipitated Appleton’s immediate departure to Swansea and for 1984/85 season Brian Horton took over as City’s player-manager. Horton signed another Teesside left back in the shape of Lawrie Pearson and Mike’s game time was severely restricted in a season that saw City clinch promotion in Horton’s first attempt. Hollifield did get a run of thirteen starts in March and April 1985 that featured seven wins and three draws, however when Pearson was fit again in early April he was put back in the frst XI and Hollifield never played for City again, leaving the club in the 1985 close season.
Michael Hollifield was born and raised on the Roseworth Estate in Stockton-on-Tees and was scouted by Wolverhampton Wanderers as a teenager, signing apprentice terms for Wolves just before his seventeenth birthday. A left footed midfielder and defender, Hollifield progressed rapidly at Wolves and scored a 40 yard screamer for the Reserves at Anfield’s Kop End in 1980. He made his first team debut in a November 1980 First Division match at Tottenham Hotspur and had a run of seventeen starts before regular left back Derek Parkin was restored. He played only five times for Wolves in the 1981/82 season and was absent for the whole of the 1982/83 season prior to joining the Tigers, leaving Wolves having made 25 senior starts in four seasons.
Hollifield joined Tranmere Rovers in July 1985 but player-manager Frank Worthington used the left back only once throughout the 1985/86 season. In the 1986/87 season Hollifield returned to the North East and had short spells with Billingham Synthonia and Crook Town.
In March 1987 he was invited to join New South Wales First Division side Woolongong City in Eastern Australia. Moving down under, Hollifleld spent two seasons at Woolongong, winning a NSW First Division champions medal in the first season and competing the Australian National Soccer League in his second season. After a brief return to the UK in 1989 when Mike played for Teesside side South Bank, he returned to Australia for a further two seasons in the ANSL at Woolongong before being appointed player-coach at Illawarra Premier League side Lysaghts FC in 1991. He spent 1992/93 season at Russell Vale before seeing out his career back at Lysaghts, twice winning the Illawarra Premier League title. His playing days ended abruptly in 1999 when he was struck by a motor vehicle while walking home from a night out and suffered serious damage to both legs. He remained settled in the Lake Illawarra area with his family, managing a cleaning company.
Date/Place of Birth: 2 May 1961, Stockton-on-Tees
Hull City First Game: 30 August 1983, Lincoln City H (League Cup First Round First Leg), 22 years, 120 days old
Hull City Final Game: 2 April 1985, Bolton Wanderers H (Division Three), 23 years, 335 days old
Wolverhampton Wanderers (1979-1983), Hull City (1983-1985), Tranmere Rovers (1985-1986), Billingham Sythonia (1986-1987), Crook Town (1987), Woolongong City (1987-1989), South Bank (1989), Woolongong City (1989-1991), Lysaghts FC (1991-1992), Russell Vale (1992-1993), Lysaghts FC (1993-1999)
Hull City Record
Career: 53 apps, 1 goalsMike Hollifield
|1983/84||33 (0)||1||2 (0)||0||2 (0)||0||-||-||3 (0)||0|
|1984/85||12 (0)||0||-||-||-||-||-||-||1 (0)||0|