Hetherington Syd Image 1 Halifax Town 1922

Hetherington Syd Image 1 Halifax Town 1922


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Carlisle, Cumberland born inside forward Syd Hetherington had been on the books of Carlisle United, but learnt his footballing craft whilst serving with The Royal Garrison Artillery as a Bombardier during the First World War and playing for the Army.

A Scottish schoolboy international, Hetherington moved to Devon and in January 1920 was given a trial with Exeter City, signing professional forms in August 1920 after The Grecians had been elected founder members of the Third Division (South). Hetherington would spend most of his time with the club playing for the reserves but was called up for his Football League debut for the match with Newport County on 25th September 1920, appearing at inside left in the side’s 1-0 defeat. He wouldn’t appear in the first team again until the following January, being unfortunate enough to be part of the side humbled 7-1 at Merthyr Town. Hetherington went on to make eight League appearances during 1920-21, mainly at inside left, scoring his only goal for the club in the 2-1 defeat at Portsmouth on 25th March 1921.

By the beginning of the following season he had signed for Halifax Town, who themselves had just been elected as founder members of the Third Division (North) and was a member of the side defeated 2-0 by Darlington in their inaugural League match on 27th August 1921. However, when the two sides met at The Shay a week later in what was the first match played on the new ground, Hetherington retained his place in the side and scored the fourth goal, a header, in their historic 5-1 victory.

The Shaymen found that first season of League football heavy going but Hetherington had netted eleven goals when he suffered a fractured shin bone in the match at Durham City on 4th March 1922, an injury which forced his premature retirement from the game. Indeed, Hetherington never kicked a ball in anger again and at the end of the following season he became the first Town player to be afforded a benefit when a Halifax Town side defeated a Football League XI 3-0 on 3rd May 1923, Hetherington having scored 11 goals in 27 appearances for The Shaymen, was only one off the season’s leading goalscorer Jack Woods.

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