Monday, December 23, 2013

In loving memory of: George Heslop's wig

He was part of the backbone on the great Mercer/Allison side, making 203 first team appearances at centre half between 1965 and 1971 and picking up a Championship, League Cup and Cup Winners' Cup medals on the way.

But for me, George Heslop is best remembered as the first footballer to have a pineapple on his head. You see, George was not happy with his balding plate...

...So opted for drastic measures. But hey, who's gonna notice?


March 1970: Heslop playing in the 2-1 win over West Brom in the League Cup Final 

Heslop's name is rarely mentioned in eulogies of Mercer's great side. But I suppose talented defenders have become used to others getting the glory. In the 1980s he chose to guard an important part of City's heritage after becoming the landlord of the City Gates on Hyde Road. The pub was originally called the Hyde Road Hotel and was the headquarters of City's forerunner, Ardwick AFC, from 1887 to 1894.

Sadly, after the City Gates closed the building lay empty for more than a decade, and was demolished in 2001. George died six years later, aged 66.

The Hyde Road Hotel in the early 1900s. The passageway on the left led to Ardwick's ground

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