Centre back Stan McEwan joined the Tigers in March 1984, lending impetus to manager Colin Appleton’s attempt to win a second successive promotion and lift City from the Fourth Division to the Second Division. Stan slotted straight into the City first team and scored on his second appearance, the winner in an Associate Members’ Cup tie against Bury. He added a second goal in a 4-1 win at Wimbledon but by the end of May 1984 City had fallen short of promotion by a single goal, winning 2-0 at Burnley in the last fixture when a three goal swing was required, and Appleton had left for Swansea.
When new manager Brian Horton took over the Tigers he saw a fine defensive partnership in Scotsman McEwan and local lad Peter Skipper. As well as his defensive qualities, Stan possessed a powerful and accurate free kick and had a superb record from the penalty spot. He therefore contributed significantly to the goals scored column, as well as repelling opposition forwards. McEwan was an ever-present for Horton’s Tigers for the first six months of the 1984/85 season as City moved into the upper reaches of the Division Three table with 10 wins and 4 draws in 14 League and Cup games during November and December. By New Years Day Stan had contributed six goals, but his season was interrupted at Reading in early February 1985 when he was injured in a 2-4 defeat. He returned in late March and struck four more goals in wins against Cambridge, Millwall, Orient and Preston as the Tigers secured promotion to the Second Division.
McEwan made the transition to the higher division with ease, drawing on his experience with Blackpool ten years earlier. He started all 53 League and Cup ties in the 1985/86 season, scoring 13 goals as City inhabited the top half of the table and briefly flirted with the prospect of a first ever promotion to the top flight before falling away during a poor run of form in April 1986. Between late October 1985 and early March 1986 McEwan scored ten goals in 25 starts, an excellent return for a defender that included a brace in a 5-0 defeat of Fulham. Stan started the 1986/87 season in the City first team but missed a month of football during September 1986, a period that saw young defender Richard Jobson start to come to the fore. McEwan was restored to fitness in October 1986 and remained a first team choice until the New Year, when Horton decided to put his faith in the silky defensive qualities of Jobson. McEwan made only one further start for the Tigers, the first game of the 1987/88 season, before departing in December 1987.
Stanley McEwan was born in Cambuskenneth, a village on the edge of Stirling next to the River Forth, but was raised and schooled near Wishaw in the South East Glasgow coal mining belt. Despite his Scottish upbringing his break in professional football came at Blackpool, coming through the juniors at Bloomfield Road and making his senior debut at 17 in a December 1974 Second Division match at West Bromwich. He established himself in the Blackpool first team during the latter half of the 1975/76 season, though he missed much of the 1976/77 season when the Tangerines narrowly missed out on promotion to the top flight. McEwan was restored to the first team for the 1977/78 season and scored his first senior goal in late April 1978 against Crystal Palace, though this was not enough to avoid relegation to the Third Division at the end of the season.
McEwan stayed with Blackpool for four more seasons and began to take penalties in the 1978/79 season – he scored 14 times in the 1979/80 season and finished joint top goalscorer in the League as the Tangerines continued to slide down the Football League ladder. A second relegation in 1980/81 season saw Blackpool land in the fourth tier and in July 1982 Stan was lured away to join Third Division Exeter City, having made 259 appearances for the Bloomfield Road side and scored 34 goals. Exeter were struggling at the foot of the Third Division table during Stan’s two seasons at St James Park and were bottom of the table and heading for relegation when Colin Appleton took him to Hull City in March 1984, having scored 16 times in 75 appearances for the Grecians.
Stan left Hull City in December 1987 and joined Division Three side Wigan Athletic. He was a first team regular in the second half of the 1987/88 season but was barely used the following season, leaving Springfield Park in the summer of 1989 after 32 appearances and 4 goals. Stan spent the 1989/90 season at Hartlepool but lost his place in the first team during November 1989 and left the club after 17 appearances and 3 goals, all penalties. McEwan moved to Conference side Boston United in November 1989 and spent the remainder of the season at York Street before hanging up his boots in the 1990 close season.
After football McEwan remained in the Hull area and worked in media sales as well as performing a corporate ambassador role on Hull City matchdays. He was always on hand to attend events dedicated to Hull City and was warmly regarded by the generation of City fans that enjoyed the club’s successes of the 1980s and cried out the chant “Stan-leee” whenever the Tigers had a free kick in the opposition’s half.
Date/Place of Birth: 8 June 1957, Cambuskenneth
Hull City First Game: 10 March 1984, Newport County A (Division Three), 26 years, 276 days old
Hull City Final Game: 15 August 1987, Blackburn Rovers H (Division Two), 30 years, 68 days old
Blackpool (1974-1982), Exeter City (1982-1984), Hull City (1984-1987), Wigan Athletic (1987-1989), Hartlepool United (1989), Boston United (1989-1990)
Hull City Record
Career: 140 apps, 31 goalsStan McEwan
|1983/84||16 (0)||1||-||-||-||-||-||-||4 (0)||1|
|1984/85||37 (0)||11||3 (0)||0||4 (0)||1||-||-||1 (0)||0|
|1985/86||42 (0)||10||3 (0)||1||4 (0)||0||-||-||4 (0)||2|
|1986/87||17 (0)||3||-||-||2 (0)||1||-||-||2 (0)||0|