David Hockaday was an experienced full back who joined the Tigers in September 1990, the evening after he had played against Hull City for Swindon Town. The £50,000 fee paid was substantial for a player approaching his 33rd birthday but his pedigree was unquestionable and he proved to an effective signing – not a claim that could be made for all of Stan Ternent’s transfer work. Hockaday immediately slotted into the right back role and gave four months of service as Ternent’s listless Tigers tumbled down the Division Two table. Hockaday scored his first goal in October 1990, the consolation in a 1-7 thrashing at West Ham United that saw four full backs (Hockaday plus Steve Potts, George Parris and Julian Dicks) score in the same match. When Ternent was dismissed at the start of January 1991 Hockaday was rested for a handful of games and when new manager Terry Dolan took the reins David was given a more advanced role on the right side of midfield. By the last few weeks of the season Hockaday was back in the right back shirt.
David was absent through injury for the first half of the 1991/92 season as City adjusted to life back in the Third Division. He came back into the first team in early February 1992 before again missing the final month of the season. Hockaday started the 1992/93 season as first choice right back and was a first team regular until early February 1993 when the Tigers lost 0-3 at Stoke City. Hockaday joined the Potters on loan after that match, in the same way he had joined the Tigers from Swindon three years earlier, and spent the rest of the season at Stoke as they lifted the League Division 2 title. Hockaday left City in June 1993 on expiry of his contract.
David Hockaday was born in Sedgefield, a County Durham market town near Darlington. He joined Billingham Synthonia as a teenager, a club that in the mid-1970s was amongst the better North East non-league sides thanks to its support from the local chemical manufacturer ICI. He quickly came to the attention of Foorball League sides as a talented right winger and in June 1975 he joined Blackpool, where he spent a season in the reserves before making his Tangerines debut in an August 1976 Anglo Scottish Cup tie against Blackburn Rovers. During the next four seasons he made only 49 appearances but in the 1980/81 season, with Blackpool now in the Third Division, Hockaday finally won a regular first team place. He made 46 appearances that season and scored 7 goals as the Tangerines were relegated to Division Four. David was a first team regular for two seasons in the fourth tier and by the end of the 1982/83 season Hockaday had made 192 senior appearances in all competitions for Blackpool and scored 27 goals.
In August 1983 he transferred to Fourth Division rivals Swindon Town and after two seasons of consolidation the arrival of former Scottish international forward Lou Macari as manager kickstarted a fine season in 1985/86 that ended in Swindon winning the Fourth Division title. A second promotion the following season via the play-offs meant that Hockaday was now competing in and thriving in the Second Division as a defender having moved into a full back role during his time at the County Ground. In 1990 financial irregularities denied Swindon promotion to First Division via the play-offs and instead saw them demoted two divisions, meaning that at the start of the 1990/91 season Hockaday was stranded in the third tier instead of competing in the top flight as had been expected. He was therefore grateful of the chance to return to Second Division football with Hull City when offered, and left the Robins after eight years of service, 308 senior appearances and 11 goals.
After Hockaday left Hull City he joined Shrewsbury Town in August 1993, the interest from Stoke City having waned when Lou Macari left the club in the summer. David spent two years at Gay Meadow and made 61 senior appearances, when he dropped down non-league side to Cirencester Town for the 1995/96 – his last as a player – he had made 651 senior appearances and scored 41 goals in an eighteen season career.
Hockaday began his coaching career in 1996 when he set up a soccer coaching school in Cirencester. This facility proved to be a big success and in 2000 David was persuaded to join the coaching staff at Watford, initially as under-18s coach then from 2005 as first team coach as the Hornets won promotion to the Premier League. In January 2007 Hockaday left Watford at the same time as sacked first team manager Aidy Boothroyd and for the next few months he undertook short term coaching assignments, working with manager Martin Allen at Milton Keynes Dons and Leicester City. In June 2007 he was appointed youth team coach at Southampton, a post he held for two years.
In September 2009 Hockaday was appointed first team manager at Forest Green Rovers and in his first season the Gloucestershire side struggled at the foot of the Conference Premier despite reaching the Third Round of the FA Cup. Reprieved from relegation due to Salisbury City’s demotion for financial snafus, Hockaday managed Forest Green for three further seasons as they consolidated themselves as a mid-table Conference side. He left the club in October 2013 after a poor start to the season and spent eight months out of the game.
It was therefore a matter of some surprise in June 2014 when Hockaday, paired with assistant manager and ex-Tiger Junior Lewis, was appointed first team manager at Championship side Leeds United. After a chaotic pre-season during which several small amateur clubs were thumped for little apparent benfit, Hockaday was dismissed at the end of August after only six senior games in charge. Over the next six months David had short spells at Swindon Supermarine and Coventry City – and was caretaker manager at Coventry for two matches in February 2015 – before taking over as first team coach at Kidderminster Harriers in October 2015. He lasted only three months in that role before his dismissal, having won only two of 13 matches in charge. He then returned to running his own football academy, this time in Wiltshire, and also managed the football team at South Gloucestershire and Stroud College near Bristol.
Date/Place of Birth: 9 November 1957, Sedgefield
Hull City First Game: 15 September 1990, Bristol Rovers A (Division Two), 32 years, 310 days old
Hull City Final Game: 6 February 1993, Stoke City A (Division Two), 35 years, 89 days old
Billingham Synthonia (1974-1975), Blackpool (1975-1983), Swindon Town (1983-1990), Hull City (1990-1993), Stoke City (1993, loan), Shrewsbury Town (1993-1995), Cirencester Town (1995-1996)
Hull City Record
Career: 83 apps, 3 goalsDavid Hockaday
|1990/91||35 (0)||1||-||-||2 (0)||0||-||-||-||-|
|1991/92||12 (0)||0||0 (1)||0||-||-||-||-||2 (0)||0|
|1992/93||25 (0)||1||2 (0)||0||2 (0)||1||-||-||2 (0)||0|