David Menzies took over the managerial helm in July 1916 when Fred Stringer stood down to join the War effort, Menzies was elevated from his previous role as first team trainer. He oversaw three seasons of wartime regional league fixtures before constructing a squad that was ready to resume Football League action in September 1919. The goals of Sammy Stevens and David Mercer saw Menzies’ side ascend to 4th in the Division Two table by early December 1919 but seven defeats in nine league games during December and January saw the Tigers fall away and they ended the season in 11th place. Starting well with four wins in the first seven games, the 1920/21 season followed a similar path as the Tigers finished in 13th spot, though the season was brightened by an FA Cup run that saw Division One leaders Burnley, who were undefeated in 26 League and Cup games, travel to Anlaby Road and lose 3-0 with goals from Tom Brandon (2) and Harry Wilson. City held Preston North End, another Division One side, to a 0-0 draw in the Fourth Round only the lose the replay 0-1. At the end of the season Menzies was approached to return to his former club Bradford City, an offer he accepted in July 1921.
David Lister Menzies was born in Kirkcaldy on the Fife coast of Eastern Scotland, as a young man he worked as a baker in Kirkcaldy while also playing for local Scottish League side Raith Rovers, where his father was club chairman. At the turn of the 20th century he moved to the West Yorkshire city of Bradford to work as a baker, after an association with Bradford Park Avenue he helped form the Bradford City club, serving the English Division Two side as a player during the club’s inaugural 1903/04 season without making a first team start. Menzies was quickly appointed as first team assistant trainer at Valley Parade, a role he retained until he left to join Hull City as trainer in June 1914.
In July 1921 Menzies was appointed first team manager at Bradford City, who were now in Division One. The Bantams were relegated in Menzies’ first season and he consolidated the club in Division Two without ever pushing for another promotion. He left Bradford City in July 1926 having managed the club for 222 matches over five seasons.
In June 1927 Menzies returned to football management when he took the helm at Division Three North side Doncaster Rovers, having undertaken scouting work for Derby County during the 1926/27 season. In his first two seasons at the Belle Vue Ground David’s Doncaster side fell narrowly short of the promotion places. His side reverted to mid-table finishes during the early 1930s until the 1934/35 season when Rovers won the Division Three North title and consolidated in the middle of the Division Two table. By February 1936 Menzies’ had led Doncaster Rovers for 389 matches.
At the end of February 1936 it was announced that Menzies would return to Hull City as first team manager following the resignation of Jack Hill six weeks earlier. David took up the post in early March but with the club already rock-bottom of the Division Two table he could have little influence and the club plunged into Division Three North with Menzies yet to taste victory in his second spell at Anlaby Road. The Tigers started the 1936/37 season well, they were unbeaten in the League and poised in third position when in October 1936 tragedy struck. On the Sunday after a victory over Gateshead, Menzies died of a heart attack in his Anlaby Road home, his funeral was conducted at the Anlaby Road Presbyterian Church and he was buried at a cemetery in Shipley, West Yorkshire. The undertaker who dealt with Menzies’ funeral arrangements was Alderman Arthur Shepherd, who was also Hull City’s chairman.
Many thanks to David Bond for additional information included in this biography.
Date/Place of Birth: 23 June 1873, Kirkcaldy, Scotland
Date/Place of Death: 11 October 1936, Hull, England; 63 years, 110 days old
Appointed by Hull City (1): 14 July 1916; 43 years, 21 days old
Left Hull City (1): 23 July 1921; 48 years, 30 days old
Tenure (1): 1,835 days
Appointed by Hull City (2): 9 March 1936; 62 years, 248 days old
Left Hull City (2): 11 October 1936; 63 years, 110 days old
Tenure (2): 216 days
Hull City (1916-1921), Bradford City (1921-1926), Doncaster Rovers (1927-1936), Hull City (1936)
Hull City Record
Playing Record: Played 110, Won 36, Drawn 35, Lost 39, Goals For 156, Goals Against 165
Achievements: 11th in Division Two, 1919/20 season; FA Cup Fourth Round, 1920/21 season