Vallance Hugh Image 1 Brighton & Hove Albion 1930

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Description

Wolverhampton, Staffordshire born centre forward Hugh Vallance began his football career with Kidderminster Harriers in the mid 1920’s after serving in the Army as a guardsman. He moved to Aston Villa in 1927, spending 1927-28 on their books without making their first eleven, but left to join Third Division (South) club Queen’s Park Rangers in 1928, where he made his Football League debut at Watford in February 1929, his only appearance for Rangers before moving to Brighton & Hove Albion in the spring of 1929, where he was given his chance by Brighton manager Charlie Webb and soon established himself in the Brighton attack alongside Dan Kirkwood, scoring on his Seagulls debut in a win over Swindon Town in September 1929.

Described as “a master in the art of positioning himself, Vallance has a deceptive swerve which often beats the defence”, Vallance lit the blue touch paper scoring four hat-tricks before the end of the year in wins over Merthyr Town, Northampton Town, Luton Town and Fulham. By the end of the 1929-30 season, Vallance finished as the club’s leading goalscorer having scored 32 goals in 43 matches, while his strike partner Kirkwood had netted 31 in 46 as The Seagulls finished fifth in the division. The following season, Vallance scored twice in the first seven games before his Brighton contract was terminated for a “serious misdemeanour” at the same time as that of Ireland international Jack Curran in September 1930.

He joined Birmingham & District League club Worcester City and within six months went to Evesham Town and then to Tunbridge Wells Rangers before returning to the league with Gillingham in December 1931. Despite 7 goals in 13 appearances including a hat-trick in a win over Southend United in January 1932, he was released and rejoined Kidderminster Harriers that summer. His next move was to the French League as was the trend for many British professionals in the early-mid 1930’s, joining Nîmes Olympique in 1933, from where he moved to Switzerland to play for FC Basel later the same year. From Switzerland he returned to the Midland to play for Brierley Hill Alliance before returning to Football League action with Gillingham once again. After 3 goals in 5 further matches for The Gills between January and March 1935, Vallance moved to Racing Club de Paris and subsequently played in the Irish League for Cork City in 1936 before ending his career with Evesham Town, whom he joined in 1937.

After leaving professional football Vallance served in the Royal Air Force during the Second World War.

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