Versatile defender and midfielder Pat Heard was born in Hull but his two (and a bit) seasons at City came when he was well established in the upper echelons of the professional game. He signed in March 1986 and played the last eight games of the 1985/86 season as Brian Horton’s newly promoted Tigers gained a strong foothold in the Second Division and sought to build a new midfield – Heard signed at the same time as flair-filled midfielder Garry Parker. Heard started 1986/87 season as first choice at the base of the midfield, his tackling and distribution making him ideal for the task. He missed only six senior games all season, including the 0-3 defeat at Wigan in the FA Cup Fifth Round that denied the resurgent Tigers a pop at Yorkshire rivals Leeds United in the Quarter Final. He scored his first City goal in a May 1987 3-0 home win over Shrewsbury. Heard was again a regular for Horton’s side in 1987/88 as City compiled a long unbeaten run in the Autumn that left the Tigers in the top two when they drew with table-topping Bradford City in early November. However after a 0-5 chasing at high-flying Aston Villa – in which Heard missed an early penalty – and a fine 3-1 win over Leeds United, City went a 16 match winless run that culminated in Horton’s dismissal in April 1988. Heard missed only three of those games – including the 0-3 defeat at home to Swindon that precipitated Horton’s demise – and when new management came to the club in the 1988 close season, Pat decided to seek pastures new.
Timothy Patrick Heard was a product of Malet Lambert School in the 1970s and was scouted as a teenager by noted City reserve, electrician and famous footballing father Jeff Barmby. Barmby drew the attention of his former City team-mate Ray Henderson to Heard’s talent, which led to Pat joining the apprentices at Everton in 1976 (Henderson was the Toffees’ reserve team manager). He spent three years at Goodison Park, making his First Division debut in February 1979 at Wolves and playing at left back in a March 1979 Merseyside derby that ended 1-1. After starting the first game of Everton’s 1979/80 season in the left midfield berth, Heard was transferred to Aston Villa in October 1979 for a hefty £150,000 fee, though it wasn’t until March 1980 that Pat made his Villa Park debut. He was a peripheral figure in the first team for the next two seasons as Ron Saunders’ side won the First Division title in 1981 then Tony Barton took over and progressed to the European Cup Final against Bayern Munich in May 1982. As Peter Withe scored the only goal of the final in Rotterdam, Pat was an unused substitute and got a winners’ medal.
Heard played a handful of matches at the start of 1982/83 season, including a European tie against Besiktas played behind closed doors due to crowd misdemeanours in Brussels during the previous season’s semi-final against Anderlecht. In January 1983 he joined Sheffield Wednesday who were inhabiting the upper reaches of the Second Division and building a squad ready to push for promotion. Heard’s First Division pedigree fitted well with this aim and he was instrumental in a run to the FA Cup Semi Final that the Owls lost 2-1 to Brighton in front of a 54,000 Highbury crowd. When promotion came in 1983/84 Pat had played only a handful of games during the season, and when Wednesday boss Jack Charlton moved to Newcastle United in August 1984 he made Heard his first signing. Newcastle had just been promoted to the top flight alongside Sheffield Wednesday, and Pat was a first team regular during his first season. A year later Heard was on the move again joining Second Division Middlesbrough, however the Boro were simultaneously hurtling towards financial collapse and the Third Division, so when Hull City inquired in March 1986 Pat jumped at the chance to join his hometown club.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s Heard spent time at Rotherham, where he won the Fourth Division title, and Cardiff, playing regular first team football when injuries didn’t intervene. By July 1992 the injuries were taking their toll and Heard left Cardiff City to join the more prosaic environs of Hall Road Rangers. Within a month Terry Dolan signed Heard on a short term deal for his second spell at Boothferry Park, but after a fortnight (and three City wins) at left back Heard decided enough was enough and he returned to Hall Road Rangers to see out the season. He spent a year playing for Brunei in the Malaysian League, but a fractured skull ended his playing career for good.
Heard’s versatility as a footballer was matched by his polymath career after football. He was landlord at the Three Tuns on Boothferry Road for several years, then returned to the West Midlands to launch a dual career as driving instructor by day and stage hypnotist by night. He also did punditry work for BMRB radio station, commenting expertly on the Villa’s matchday machinations after having taught the younger players how to drive their Mercedes and Maseratis earlier in the day. His son Jamie was a junior at Hull City in the 2000s and made a solitary first team start in 2002.
Date/Place of Birth: 17 March 1960, Hull
Hull City First Game: 29 March 1986, Barnsley H (Division Two), 26 years, 12 days old
Hull City Final Game: 15 September 1992, Preston North End H (Division Two), 32 years, 182 days old
Everton (1976-1979), Aston Villa (1979-1983), Sheffield Wednesday (1983-1984), Newcastle United (1984-1985), Middlesbrough (1985-1986), Hull City (1986-1988), Rotherham United (1988-1990), Cardiff City (1990-1992), Hall Road Rangers (1992), Hull City (1992), Hall Road Rangers (1992-1993), Brunei (1993)
Hull City Record
Career: 97 apps, 5 goalsPat Heard
|1986/87||37 (0)||1||2 (0)||0||3 (0)||0||-||-||2 (0)||0|
|1987/88||35 (0)||4||3 (0)||0||2 (0)||0||-||-||1 (0)||0|