Ernie Hine

Leicester City In 100 Players: Ernie Hine

In a new series on, Club Historian John Hutchinson reviews the careers of 100 of the most outstanding players to represent Leicester Fosse and Leicester City.
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Ernie Hine was born in Meltham near Huddersfield in 1901. 

During his seven seasons at Filbert Street, between 1926 and 1932, he scored 156 goals in 259 games. This made him the third highest scorer in the Club’s history, behind Arthur Chandler and Arthur Rowley. Jamie Vardy, however, is fast closing in on this total having scored 148 goals to date.

Before he became a professional footballer for Barnsley, Ernie was a ‘trammer’, working down a Yorkshire coal mine moving the tubs of coal. 

He started and ended his professional football career at Second Division Barnsley and is the Tykes’ record goalscorer with 126 goals. He also played for Huddersfield Town and Manchester United, scoring over 300 goals in a career which lasted for 17 years. 

In January 1926, he left Barnsley for a fee of £3,000 to sign for Peter Hodge’s recently promoted Leicester City. He scored twice against Burnley on his debut and, for the next six-and-a-half seasons, formed a fearsome goalscoring partnership with Arthur Chandler, with the pair scoring 332 First Division goals between them. 

Ernie’s goals helped City to third place in the First Division in 1928 and second place in 1929, when the Club missed the title by one point.

That season, he scored 32 league goals in 35 matches. This total included a hat-trick in a 10-0 victory over Portsmouth in the week that he was selected for his first England cap for a match against Northern Ireland. 

This was the first of his six games for England between 1928 and 1931, sometimes playing alongside Hugh Adcock, his Leicester City team-mate. His total of four goals for England as a Leicester player was a Club record until it was broken by Vardy in November 2016. 

Ernie was also selected five times for the Football League. He additionally went on the 1931 FA Tour to Canada, together with Leicester City’s Len Barry, who was also an England international. 

In his last season at Filbert Street (1931/32), Ernie was the Club’s top scorer with 22 league goals in 36 games. He then moved to Huddersfield Town in May 1932, Manchester United in February 1933 and back to Barnsley in December 1934. 

Whilst still playing, Ernie ran a pub called the Butcher’s Arms near Barnsley. He later worked in a brickworks close to his birthplace in Meltham. 

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