Bolton, Lancashire born goalkeeper Bob Hesford began his football career as an amateur on the books at Blackpool in 1931-32, however he didn’t make their first eleven and played for local club South Shore in 1932. From there he signed as a professional with First Division club Huddersfield Town in September 1933, where he was initially understudy to Hugh Turner, making his Football League debut at Everton in September 1934.
At the start of their 1936-37 campaign, Hesford took over as The Terriers’ principal glovesman from Turner, and from thereon he was a near ever present until the outbreak of the Second World War forced the abandonment of peacetime football in September 1939. In that time he missed a single match in each of his first two seasons as incumbent, and was ever present in 1938-39. In 1938 he played all 7 Cup ties as Huddersfield Town advanced to the FA Cup Final at Wembley, where they were narrowly beaten by Preston North End, and the following season he kept goal as The Terriers lost the 1939 FA Cup semi final to eventual winners Portsmouth at Highbury.
After the War, Hesford returned to Huddersfield’s goal for the first season of peacetime football, missing only two matches as Town narrowly avoided relegation, finishing 20th in the League, and in February 1948 Hesford was displaced by Harry Mills, indeed he remained in the reserves until September 1949, when he was recalled for 6 matches in the autumn in Mills’ absence. After 220 appearances over 17 years at Huddersfield both sides of the War, Hesford was released and joined Cheshire County League club Stalybridge Celtic in the summer of 1950, his final club before his eventual retirement.
His son Ian Hesford played for Blackpool, Fulham, Notts County, Sunderland, Hull City and Maidstone United from the late 1970’s to the early 1990’s.