Arthur Lochhead

The Managers: Arthur Lochhead, 1934-1936

When Peter Hodge died in Perth in July 1934, the Leicester City Directors looked to their playing staff to find his successor.
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Inside-forward Arthur Lochhead, who had served in the First World War and who had also trained as a teacher, joined Leicester City as an inside-left in October 1925. Peter Hodge, in his first spell as manager at Filbert Street, signed him for a club record £3,300 from the Manchester United side which had been promoted to the top flight as runners-up to champions Leicester City at the end of the previous season. Lochhead had been United’s top scorer that season.

For the next nine seasons he was a key member of the Leicester City side which finished third and then second in the old First Division in 1928 and 1929. By the time Hodge returned for his second spell as manager in 1932, the side was ageing. By the time of his death, the Club had slipped to 17th position, by which time Arthur had made over 300 appearances for Leicester City and scored over 100 goals.  

Leicester City started the 1934/35 season, which was the Club’s Jubilee Year, with the manager’s position still vacant. The side was in decline despite the presence of their rising star Sep Smith, who regarded Lochhead as one of the best footballers he had ever played with.

In October 1934 the Board appointed Arthur to the manager’s position. Halting the decline of an ageing side proved to be a difficult task and at the end of his first season as manager, the Club was relegated. The following season he guided Leicester City to a respectable sixth position in the Second Division. This side contained the likes of Sep Smith (who was capped for England that season), Sandy McLaren, Fred Sharman, Eugene O’Callaghan, Arthur Maw and Danny Liddle, all of whom were targets for First Division clubs.

However, the Club, with some financial problems, was not in good shape. This was not helped during the 1936 close season by turbulent board room political in-fighting and a fractious AGM. One of the issues was whether or not the manager had too much autonomy.

Two matches into the new season Lochhead resigned despite winning his last game in charge 5-0. One option on quitting could have been for Lochhead to devote time to his music, radio and record shop in Loseby Lane in the City centre. He had started this business in 1932 with his brother, taking over the premises of an old pram shop. An advert for the shop appeared in the Club’s 1934/35 Jubilee Souvenir booklet, a copy of which is in the Club’s archives.

However, he returned to Scotland and like many ex-footballers he became a publican. He took over the Border Hotel at Kirk Yeltholme, near Kelso, a Border Town on the River Tweed. He later became a publican in Musselburgh. He died in Edinburgh shortly after his 69th birthday in December 1966.

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