Andy Lochhead

Former Player Remembers: Andy Lochhead

Centre-forward Andy Lochhead, after eight distinguished years at Burnley, played over 60 games for Leicester City between 1968 and 1970.
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One of these was the 1969 FA Cup final against Manchester City. In conversation with Club Historian John Hutchinson in 2014, Andy recalled his footballing career. The Scotland Under-23s international was an old school centre-forward who was a superb header of the ball.

Born in Dumbartonshire in 1941, he joined Burnley in 1958 as a 17 year-old, as he explained. 

“I left school and I went to work at John Brown shipyard in Clydebank,” Andy began. “That’s where I lived and I took an apprenticeship as a sheet metal worker. I did about six months there while I was playing for Renfrew Juniors.

“One day, a scout came and asked me if I fancied going down to Burnley for a trial. I went down for seven days. I played two matches and they offered me a 12-month contract, which I was happy to take. They were known as a family club and they did look after youngsters who had just signed up.

“My first wage at Burnley, in those days of the maximum wage, was £8 a week. It was a lot more than I was getting at the shipyard!”

Andy made 226 top flight appearances and scored a total of 128 league and cup goals for the Turf Moor club, twice netting five goals in a game.

In October 1968, he was signed, for a fee of £80,000, by Leicester City manager Matt Gillies. The Club was struggling in the First Division at the time and Gillies’ plan was to play Lochhead alongside striker Allan Clarke, who had moved to Filbert Street for a British record transfer fee of £150,000.

Explaining how his move to Filbert Street came about., Andy continued: “I knew Manchester City were after me, but I never ever heard a word about it. I knew nothing until (Burnley manager) Harry Potts called me in and said: ‘Matt Gillies is coming to the match today and he wanted to talk to you, do you want to talk to him?’ I said yeah!

“Anyway, he came and I played the match. Afterwards, Gillies said he said he wanted to sign me. I agreed. I was ready for a change actually.”

The following month, Gillies left Filbert Street after 10 years at the helm to be replaced as manager by Frank O’Farrell.

Going to Wembley for the FA Cup final was great. It was every players’ ambition in those days.

Andy Lochhead

Andy only missed one league game for the Foxes for the rest of the season and was an ever-present in the FA Cup run which took Leicester to the 1969 FA Cup final against Manchester City.

Thinking back to that campaign, Andy recalled: “Later that season, I scored the winner in a fifth round FA Cup replay at Anfield. It was at the Kop end. It was 0-0 and getting late on and I managed to head this one in. It was absolutely terrific!

“That season, I played alongside Rodney Fern and Allan Clarke. Lenny Glover, on the wing, became one of my best friends.

“Going to Wembley for the FA Cup final was great. It was every players’ ambition in those days. I know Neil Young scored the only goal to beat us 1-0. I think we had a couple half chances we didn’t stick away. It was disappointing to lose but I was happy to play in the final, with the fans there and family.

“It was absolutely superb.”

In the three weeks after losing to Man City at Wembley, Andy featured in all five of the games played by Leicester as they fought hard to avoid relegation after 10 years in the top flight. Unfortunately, defeat at Old Trafford in the last game of the season resulted in the Club dropping to the Second Division.

“We had to go to Old Trafford, against Man United, and win,” Andy continued. “We were working in training a few days before the game. O’Farrell got Clarke in and he said to him: ‘It’s Old Trafford that we’re going to. I want you to play a bit deeper than Andy.’

“Then Clarke, and I couldn’t believe it, turned around and said: ‘My job’s in the box, I’m playing up front!’ That’s the type of fella he was. We scored first but lost 3-2 and went down.”

Despite scoring six goals in the first seven league games at the start of the following season, together with a League Cup hat-trick against Bristol City in his ninth game of the season, O’Farrell let Andy transfer to Second Division strugglers Aston Villa in February 1970.

It was disappointing to lose but I was happy to play in the final, with the fans there and family.

Andy Lochhead

He explained: “Vic Crowe signed me for Villa. I’d been there for a couple of days training and he came up to me and he said: ‘Is there anyone else at Leicester then? Do you think there’s someone who can do a job for us?’ I said that midfielder Davie Gibson was a great player and that he should try to sign him.

“To cut a long story short, he went and approached Leicester and then Davie turned up at Villa.”

Although Villa were relegated at the end of the season, Andy was in the side which reached the 1971 League Cup final and was top scorer for the team when they won the Third Division title in 1972.

At the end of the following season, 1972/73, having lost his place to the future Leicester manager Brian Little, Andy moved to Oldham Athletic, where he was in the side which won the Third Division title in 1974. 

“The Oldham chairman, who I’d known for a few years, rang me up and I went to Oldham,” he said. “We won the Third Division at the end of my first season. In the summer of 1974, I went on loan to Denver Dynamos in the North American Soccer League. I scored the first-ever goal at their Mile High Stadium!

“I coached Oldham for about five years when I finished playing, then they had a change-round and I left. In those days, you had to find a job didn’t you? I went into the licensing trade and ran a pub on the outskirts of Burnley called the Bay Horse. It was a good pub and I was there for 10 years.”

Sadly Andy died, aged 81, in March 2022, but his brave and effective centre-forward play will long be remembered by those of us who saw him play.

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