herd

Player of the Day: George Herd

Published:
by Oscar Chamberlain

Club legend in the spotlight.

Glasgow-born outside right George Herd is 25th on the Black Cats’ all-time record appearances list after featuring 318 times for Sunderland between 1961 and 1969.

Famed for his ability to provide goals for his team-mates rather than scoring himself, Herd did manage a healthy return of 55 goals in his time on Wearside.

He began his career with Inverness Thistle before joining the popular Queen’s Park academy prior to a move to Clyde which saw him turn professional in May 1957.

Sunderland paid £42,500 for his services in April 1961 and he made his debut on the final day of the 1960-61 season as Alan Brown’s side drew 1-1 at Liverpool.

In George’s first full campaign, the Lads would miss out on promotion by just a single point to Leyton Orient.

Herd returned 13 goals in 39 games over the course of the season with his first goals for the club coming in the form of a brace in a 4-0 home win over Scunthorpe United.

The Scottish international’s form endeared him to the Roker faithful immediately with the timing of his goals impeccable as he struck in wins over both north-east rivals Middlesbrough and Newcastle United.

Herd was on the score-sheet against Boro again in the 1962-63 season – one of five goals he would score in his 47 appearances as the Black Cats narrowly missed out on promotion again, this time on goal difference to Chelsea.

George’s best return in his eight years with the club came during the 1963-64 season as he notched 16 goals in 46 games with Brown’s side finally achieving promotion to the top flight as runners-up to Leeds United.

He scored in a win over the eventual winners after he’d scored the winning goal in a 2-1 win over Newcastle at Roker Park in October 1963.

Life would be harder for Sunderland on their return to the top flight, though their impressive home form ensured they safely remained in the First Division.

A particular highlight for Herd was his match-winning double in a 3-2 away win at West Ham United as well as his strike in a 4-0 win over Everton at Roker Park in November 1964.

Ian McColl took charge of the Black Cats in 1965 and he managed to keep the Lads in the top flight as Herd scored a vital goal on the last day of the season to ensure a 2-0 home win over Everton that inevitably kept Sunderland in the First Division.

George also continued a fine goal-scoring run against Newcastle United as he notched in a 2-0 home win over the Magpies at the halfway point of the season.

Again, Sunderland’s home form would help the Black Cats in their quest to survive in the top flight as home wins over Nottingham Forest and Fulham in the final month of the season ensured a fourth season in the first tier.

Brown would return as manager during the 1967-68 season with Herd not featuring as regularly as he had in the previous five campaigns, making 33 appearances and scoring two goals.

George scored his final goal for the club in a 2-0 win over Burnley in November 1968 before leaving to join Hartlepool in March 1969.

One of the club’s all-time greats, Herd held coaching spells with Sunderland, Middlesbrough and Darlington, whilst he also managed Queen of the South in 1980.