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HAROLD HILTON

HAROLD HILTON
Year(s) 192-1924
Honours

None

Harold Hilton was born 13th of November 1889 in Bebington. He succeeded Bob Thompson as player manager for the 1923-1924 season, but the title was fairly meaningless by modern standards- he was more of a coach than leader on the field of play.  Indeed, the directors still selected the team while Bert Cooke did just about everything else.

Hilton and his two brothers Arthur and Walter played for Rovers before the World War 1. Harold first played for Rovers in 1909 when hewas only 17. After only 20 games Bolton Wanderers signed him on the 9th march 1910 offering him the princely wages of £2 10s per week- a fortune in those days. Rovers wrote to Bolton secretary to complain officially but he replied that Hilton was a free agent because at the time he

was only on armateur forms at prenton park.

During the day he was employed at levers Port sunlight works but resigned upon joining Bolton. At wanderers, he played 62 games and scored an impressive 23 goals.

During world war 1 he returned to guest for Rovers, once scoring 4 against Liverpool Reserves in the Lancashire Junior Cup and but for an unfortunate knee injury reports suggest he would undoubtedly have gone onto win international honours for England.
Returning to prenton park, he was appointed Player – manager in July 1923, though the role did not carry the same responsibility as today. As manager, he was once sent off in a reserves game - an almost unheard-of-situation – at Aston on the 19th January 1924 but managed to be let off with just a caution on his record. It was said Hilton had a wide experience and particular knowledge of association football which made him an ideal choice as player – manager, however he lasted but 1 season in the Job.

His son , also heard called Harold, joined Bolton wanderers from port Sunlight fc in November 1931 but did not make the first XI. Having experimented with the role of player-manager, Rovers dropped the position thereafter, Jimmy Moreton taking on the coaching, training and motivational responsibility for the first team while secretary-manager Bert Cooke continued to wield the real power buying and selling players until his demise in 1935.

Death
He died December 9th 1971

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MOTTO: UBI FIDES IBI LUX ET ROBUR which means "Where there is faith, there is light and strength."

Designed by Ned O'Toole, Paul Harmon and Oisín Ronan.
Special thanks to Tranmere Rovers Football club for the information. Also to Keith Taberer, Des Ferguson, Joanne Duggan for supplying some of the photos.