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Former Reds and Chelsea 'headmaster' Hateley dies


Former Liverpool and Chelsea striker Tony Hateley has died at the age of 72

Former Liverpool and Chelsea striker Tony Hateley has died at the age of 72


Former Liverpool and Chelsea striker Tony Hateley has died at the age of 72

TONY HATELEY, who has died aged 72, was the archetypal 'big lad up front' of English football, making his mark at Chelsea and Liverpool among many other clubs.

He was highly effective in the air, notably for Notts County, for whom he became the first player to score 100 goals. Such was his prowess off the ground that both Chelsea and Liverpool broke their transfer records to sign him; at ground level, however, Hateley was considerably less effective.

At Liverpool he was cited as the subject of two of Bill Shankly's (possibly apocryphal) one-liners. The first came after Hateley suffered a head injury and the physio reported that "he doesn't know who he is" – to which Shankly responded: "Tell him he's Pele."

The second came after the Chelsea manager Tommy Docherty (who had sold Hateley to Liverpool) defended the player's performances with the line: "You have to admit, Bill, he was good in the air".

Shankly supposedly replied: "Aye, so was Douglas Bader, and he had a wooden leg."

If Shankly did make these remarks, they were unkind. For after joining Liverpool in June 1967, Hateley scored 27 goals in his first season, including two hat-tricks.


But his physical size encouraged teams to play an unattractive long-ball game. Though this could be effective against limited opposition, Shankly hated it, and Hateley was soon sold to Coventry.

Tony Hateley was born in Derby on June 13, 1941 and educated at Normanton Junior School, where he stood head and shoulders above classmates and soon found himself playing in central defence for the football team.

He joined lower league Notts County as a 17-year-old apprentice in 1958, and his ability to head the ball quickly saw him promoted to striker. He scored five in a reserve match, adding another in his first-team debut, away to Stockport.

Hateley, known as 'Big Tone' and later 'The Headmaster', went on to score 77 goals in 131 appearances for Notts County, but by 1963 was keen to move on and, in a foretaste of the antics of modern footballers, refused to sign a new contract.

"If I am going to make anything of myself in this game I don't think I can stay where I am any longer," he protested, making front-page news. "This is not like any other job. I only have 12 years to make a living in the game. I must make the most of it."

First division Aston Villa signed Hateley for £20,000. He maintained his excellent scoring record, notching up a goal every two games before moving on, in 1966, to Chelsea.

They paid a record fee for Hateley, but sold him on after a one season to Liverpool.

Hateley's son, Mark, played for AC Milan and Rangers and was capped 32 times for England.

Irish Independent