- Johnny Hancocks
Football manager infobox
playername = Johnny Hancocks
30 April 1919
dateofdeath = death date and age|1994|2|19|1919|4|30|df=y
height = height|ft=5|in=4
position = Right wing
youthclubs = Wrekin Schools
years = 1938–1939
clubs = Walsall
caps(goals) = 030 00(9)
0 - 00 0(-)
0 - 00 0(-)
nationalyears = 1948–1950
nationalteam = England
nationalcaps(goals) = 003 00(2)
manageryears = 1957–1959
managerclubs = Wellington Town (player/manager)
A diminutive figure, standing just 5' 4" with size 3 boots, Hancocks played in the Wrekin Schools team before making his debut for hometown club Oakengates Town in the Birmingham League, aged just 15. In October 1938, he turned professional with Walsall of the Third Division South and played a full season of league football there.
The outbreak of
World War IIhalted his football career as he joined the army in 1940 and became a physical training instructor. However, he did manage to make several appearances for the army in representative games and also guested for Wrexham and Shrewsbury Town.
With the resumption of league football, Hancocks was signed by First Division side Wolverhampton Wanderers on
11 May 1946for £4,000, making his debut on August 31, 1946 in a 6-1 thrashing of Arsenal. He claimed his first goal for the club in another 6-1 victory on 12 October, against Huddersfield Town, and added 9 more in his debut season. The following season he was even more prolific, finishing as joint top scorer (alongside Jesse Pye) with 16.
Such form won him a call-up to the England team. He made his international debut on
2 December 1948in a 6-0 hammering of Switzerland at Highbury, during which Hancocks scored twice. Despite his goalscoring debut, the likes of Stanley Matthewsand Tom Finneysaw him overlooked until October 1949 for his next cap (vs Wales), and he subsequently managed only one more cap (vs Yugoslavia in November 1950).
Although international acclaim eluded him, Hancocks enjoyed success at club level as his goals helped fire Wolves to their first league title in 1953/54. He also collected a
FA Cupwinners medal in 1949, playing in the 3-1 final win over Leicester City, and later scored in the subsequent Charity Shield draw with Portsmouth.
He finished as top goalscorer for the club in the 1954/55 and 1955/56 seasons. In total, Hancocks scored 168 goals for Wolves in 378 appearances, making him the fourth highest goalscorer in the club's history. His tally of 158 top-flight goals is still a club record.
Despite his goals, he fell out of favour with manager
Stan Cullis, and after the signing of Harry Hooper in 1956, he was relegated to the reserves. After a season out in the cold, he left the Molineux club to become player/manager of non-league Wellington Town in 1957.
He took up the managerial reins in September 1959, and left the club later that year. He finished the 1959/60 season with Cambridge United. The following season he spent spells at Oswestry Town then GKN Sankeys, before retiring in 1961, aged 42.
After his playing career ended, he worked at the Ironfounders Maddock & Sons in his native
Oakengates, until taking retirement on his 60th birthday in 1979. He died on February 19, 1994 aged 74.
* [http://www.wolves.premiumtv.co.uk/page/GoldenOldies/0,,10307~65157,00.html Official Wolves site profile]
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