Smithies Cross, Barnsley born inside right Ernie Hine played over 600 games and scoring more than 300 goals in a highly successful football career between the Wars. He began his career in junior football with New Mills in 1919 and Staincross Station in 1920 before joining Second Division Barnsley in 1921, scoring on his debut in an FA Cup replay against Norwich City in January 1922. He missed only one match in the three seasons between 1922-23 and 1924-25 and he was a consistent scorer for Barnsley over those seasons, finishing as the club’s leading goalscorer in four successive seasons and netting three hat-tricks for them. In January 1926 First Division Leicester City paid £3,000 for him after 84 goals in 180 games for The Tykes.
He scored twice on his Leicester debut against Burnley in January 1928 forming a lethal partnership with the prolific Arthur Chandler that saw Leicester go to their highest ever positions in the League in their history until 2016, finishing third in 1928 and runners up in 1929, a season in which Hine bagged 32 goals. During his time at Leicester he became club captain, and scored six other hat-tricks for the club in addition to scoring four goals in a 6-0 win over Blackpool in February 1931 and five goals in an FA Cup tie against Crook Town in a 7-0 win in January 1932. He was the club’s leading goalscorer in 1930-31 with 31 goals and in 1931-32 with 28 goals.
Hine played for England on six occasions, making his debut against Ireland at Goodison Park on 22nd October 1928. He scored four times for England, his first coming on his next cap against Wales at Swansea on 17th November 1928, his final goal coming against Wales at Anfield in his final international on 18th November 1931. On the FA Tour of Canada in 1931 he scored 20 goals in 11 representative games. He also made five appearances for The Football League.
He moved to Huddersfield Town in May 1932 after 160 goals in 257 games at Filbert Street but signed for Manchester United for £5,000 in February 1933 after just 4 goals in 25 games for The Terriers. In December 1934 he returned to Barnsley after 12 goals in 53 games for United and he scored a hat-trick in a 3-3 draw with former club Leicester in December 1935, in a season in which he once again finished their top goalscorer with 19 goals. He played for The Tykes for another four seasons retiring after their relegation from Division Two in 1938, his second spell at Oakwell yielding 47 goals in 133 games.
After retiring at the end of the 1937-38 season, Barnsley appointed him as a coach in May 1938. He is Barnsley’s all time leading goalscorer and is third in the all time list for Leicester City.
NB in the photograph Hine (centre) is flanked by Barnsley team mates George Donkin (left and Percy Beaumonth (right).