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Hughie Ferguson (2 March 1898 – 9 January 1930) was a Scottishmarker football. He is only one of seven men in the entire history of the Football and Scottish Football Leagues to have scored 350 League goals, though he was never capped for Scotland and his winning goal for Cardiff City in the 1927 FA Cup Final is remembered more for the mistake by Arsenal goalkeeper Dan Lewis.

Playing career

Early career

Ferguson started his career with Parkhead Juniors in 1914. He appeared for the side in their victorious 1914–15 Scottish Junior Cup final.

Motherwell

Ferguson joined John Hunter's Motherwell for the start of the 1916–17 season (scoring both goals in the 2-2 draw with Raith Rovers on 19 August 1916). He soon established himself as a prolific goalscorer at Fir Parkmarker, becoming the top Scottish Football League goalscorer on three occasions (1917–18; 1919–20; 1920–21), scoring 111 goals in total. His 43 goals in 1921 is the second highest season total of League goals in England or Scotland before the change to the offside law in 1925.

With Motherwell, Ferguson reached the Scottish Cup quarter-finals in 1921 and 1922, the semi-finals in 1923 (losing 2-0 to Celtic) and achieved third place in the League in 1920.

Despite his performance, the dominance of RangersAndrew Cunningham and Dunfermline Athletic and, later, Middlesbrough's high scoring Andy Wilson meant they were picked for Scotland ahead of Ferguson.

Cardiff City

In 1925, halfway through the season and after scoring his 285th goal for Motherwell, Ferguson departed for South Wales, joining Cup Finalists Cardiff City, who sought to consolidate their high status within the English elite. In the previous few seasons, Cardiff had trawled far and wide for talented players and Ferguson was one of a list of notable Scots to pull on the blue jersey; Scottish internationals Jimmy Blair and Jimmy Nelson had both appeared for the club.

Ferguson's most successful moment in English football occurred when he appeared for Cardiff in the 1927 Cup Final against Arsenal. In the 74th minute, collecting a throw from the right, Ferguson hurried a tame shot toward the Arsenal goal. Dan Lewis, the Arsenal goalkeeper, appeared to collect the ball but, under pressure from the advancing Len Davies, clumsily allowed the ball to roll through his grasp; in a desperate attempt to retrieve the ball, Lewis only succeeded in knocking the ball with his elbow into his own net. Ernie Curtis, the 19 year old centre-wing said of the goal:

"I was in line with the edge of the penalty area on the right when Hughie Ferguson hit the shot which Arsenal's goalie ( had crouched down for a little early. The ball spun as it travelled towards him, having taken a slight deflection so he was now slightly out of line with it. Len Davies was following the shot in and I think Dan must have had one eye on him. The result was that he didn't take it cleanly and it squirmed under him and over the line. Len jumped over him and into the net, but never actually touched it."


Ferguson still features on the record books for Cardiff City, having scored five goals in the First Division fixture with Burnley on 1 September 1928 (his 32 goals in all competitions in 1926-27 stood until Robert Earnshaw overtook it in March 2003). He scored the first in the 2-1 victory over the Corinthians in the 1927-28 Charity Shield and his two goals won the Welsh Cup later that same season for Cardiff against Bangor; but despite a healthy return of 77 goals during his four seasons there his days at Ninian Parkmarker were numbered.

Dundee

Ferguson returned to Scotland with Dundee in the following season, but his days there were desperate; a despondent, demanding crowd seeking from the legendary goalscorer more than he could provide. He scored two goals for Dundee, before being dropped due to injury and a lack of form.

Death

Ferguson sunk into depression and on 9 January 1930 committed suicide, gassing himself to death. He was aged 31, and left behind a wife and two children.

Career statistics

Motherwell FC

  • 1916-17 - 24 League goals;
  • 1917-18 - 35
  • 1918-19 - 19
  • 1919-20 - 33
  • 1920-21 - 43
  • 1921-22 - 32
  • 1922-23 - 30
  • 1923-24 - 28
  • 1924-25 - 28
  • 1925-26 - 12
  • Total 284


Cardiff City FC

  • 1925-26 - 19
  • 1926-27 - 26
  • 1927-28 - 18
  • 1928-29 - 14
  • Total 77


Dundee

  • 1929-30 - 2; 17 appearances
  • Total 2


Career

  • 1916-17 - 1929-30 363 goals.


Honours

Cardiff City


References

External links




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