Leeds United F.C. History
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1919-29 - The Twenties
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1939-46 - The War Years
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1949-57 - The Reign of King John
1957-63 - From Charles to Revie
1961-75 - The Revie Years
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1996-04 - The Rollercoaster Ride
2004-17 - Down Among The Deadmen
100 Greatest LUFC Players Ever
Greatest Leeds United Games
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O’Hare: John (Solly)

1974-1975 (Player Details)


Born: Renton, Nr Dumbarton, West Dunbartonshire: 29-09-1946

Debut: v Birmingham City (h): 24-08-1974

5’8 1/2” 11st 7lb (1974)

O’Hare attended St Martin's School in Renton, where his footballing ability already was showing and from there he progressed to St Patrick’s High School in Dumbarton. Nicknamed "Solly" he later played for local junior side Drumchapel Amateurs and was not quite sixteen when he signed amateur forms for Sunderland in 1962, as a promising centre-forward. He turned professional in October 1963 and was helped by Brian Clough, who was the Sunderland Youth coach and also an excellent former centre-forward. The association was to be repeated several times over the next couple of decades. He made his League debut for Sunderland in a 1-3 defeat at Chelsea on 29th August 1964 and showed his goalscoring ability by twice scoring a brace in the League Cup that season, in 4-1 home win over Blackpool on 26th October and a 2-4 defeat at Coventry City on 10th November 1964, but had to be content with just seven starts in that season, two in the League Cup and five in the League. He started to become a regular in the following season as he forged a productive partnership with Neil Martin under the managership of Ian McColl, who also hailed from the Vale of Leven. He scored six goals in seventeen League appearances in 1965-66 and he started to find the net even more regularly in the following season with eight in the League, which included goals against Manchester United and Newcastle United and three in the F.A. Cup and played a total of twenty-nine League games. In his three seasons at Roker Park he played fifty-one League games and scored fourteen goals with a further eight appearances in the Cups which produced seven goals. He was also part of the Sunderland team that played under the name of the Vancouver Royal Canadians in the 1967 United Soccer Association season in the United States from mMay to July 1967 he scored once in eleven games. On their return to England it came as little surprise when O’Hare was Clough’s first signing at Derby County for £22,000 in August 1967. O'Hare's ball control and ability to keep possession as a centre-forward were crucial. There was initial criticism of him as he was seen as a large but slow forward. However, Clough persisted with him and after he had scored twelve goals in forty-two League games together with another six in the League Cup, he followed this up with another ten in forty-one League games in the 1968-69 season as Derby won the Second Division as he justified his fee and started to establish a lethal partnership with Kevin Hector as O'Hare was elected Derby player of the year and they won the Watney Cup as O'Hare netted thirteen goals in the League, two in the F.A. Cup and one in the League Cup and played forty-one League games in 1969-70. In that season he had started to get International recognition when he was selected for the Scotland Under-twenty-three side, making his debut on 3rd December in a 4-0 win over France at Hampden Park and he scored the first two goals, before Peter Lorimer got the other two the first of which was from the penalty-spot and David Harvey kept a clean sheet. Soon after, on 14th January 1970 at Pittodrie he picked up his second cap in a 1-1 draw with Wales when he again was on the score sheet, while Dennis Hawkins got the Welsh goal and Peter Lorimer and David Stewart were his team mates and Hawkins and Terry Yorath were in the opposition. He received his third and final cap at Under-Twenty-Three level on 4th March 1970, when he was in the Scottish team that were trailing by 1-3 at Roker Park when the game was abandoned after sixty-two minutes. It was not long before he received his first full cap, and this came in the first of the Home Championship games as Scotland won 1-0 at Windsor Park, Belfast, against Northern Ireland on 18th April 1970 and he duly celebrated with a goal in the fifty-eighth minute. Three days later at Hampden Park he was again in at centre-forward for the 0-0 draw with Wales. His third came on 25th April, again at Hampden Park when another 0-0 draw was played out with England. The O'Hare/Hector partnership again bore fruit in the following season as he was ever-present in the League and scored another thirteen in the League and one more in each of the F.A. Cup and League Cup. They went on to lead Derby County to the title of First Division Champions in 1971-72, a season in which they also won the Texaco Cup and O'Hare once more scored thirteen League goals from forty appearances. In those two seasons O'Hare went on to add a further ten caps to his collection. Four came in the 1970-71 season with two games in the Group five European Championship Qualifiers, firstly when he got the only goal after fourteen minutes in a 1-0 win over Denmark at Hampden on 11th November 1970 and then in a 0-3 defeat by Belgium in Liege on 3rd February 1971, before taking part in two of the three Home Championships, in another 0-0 draw with Wales at Ninian Park Cardiff on 15th May 1971, in the company of Billy Bremner, Eddie Gray and Peter Lorimer, while Gary Sprake and Terry Yorath appeared for the home side and then three days later in a 0-1 defeat by Northen Ireland at Hampden Park, in the company of Eddie Gray and Peter Lorimer in which he was replaced by Andrew Jarvie of Airdrieonians at half-time. His third International goal came with the opening goal in the twenty-third minute of a 2-1 win over Portugal at Hampden Park in a European Championship Qualifying Group 5 game on 13th October 1971 in a team captained by Billy Bremner and including Derby teammate Archie Gemmell. This was followed on 10th November by his fourth goal in a 1-0 win over Belgium in the same competition at Pittodrie when the team featured Billy Bremner and Eddie Gray. He was a fifty-sixth minute substitute for Jimmy Johnstone in a 1-1 draw in a friendly with Netherlands in Amsterdam on 1st December when again in the company of Gemmill, Bremner and Gray. Another friendly, this time in a 2-1 win over Peru at Hampden, saw him get his fifth goal when he opened the scoring two minutes after half-time in his eleventh international, when Archie Gemmell gained his fourth cap. His final two caps were in the Home Internationals, firstly in a 2-0 win over Northern Ireland at Hampden on 20th May 1972, when he once more had Bremner and Gemmell in the starting eleven and Peter Lorimer replaced Jimmy Johnstone on the hour to clinch the game with a goal in the final minutes. His final game came four days later when in the company of Bremner, Lorimer and Gemmill he started in a 1-0 win over Wales at Hampden, with Gary Sprake and Terry Yorath in the opposition and Peter Lorimer getting the winner in the seventy-second minute, after O'Hare went off in the fifty-sixth minute as he was replaced by Lou Macari who made his Scottish debut and played in the final game of the series against England at Hampden at the expense of O'Hare, who was never selected again for Scotland. He went on to score four times in thirty-four League games in 1972-73 for Derby but the following season managed only seven starts and one game from the bench as Brian Clough left the Rams. When Brian Clough took on the job as Leeds United manager vacated by Don Revie on his appointment as England's manager in 1974, one of the first things he did was buy John O'Hare from Derby for £25,000, in a move that also saw John McGovern make the switch in August 1974. While at Derby he scored eighty-one goals in three hundred and eight games in all matches of which sixty-five of the goals came in two hundred and forty-eight League appearances, of which only one was as a substitute. Clough's short reign at Leeds ended in great acrimony after just forty-four days, supposedly caused by a player revolt against the new manager. It could not have been a pleasant time for the former Ram, because no doubt the Leeds players would have seen him, and John McGovern, as Clough's men. This feeling would have spread to the Leeds fans and resulted in himself an McGovern never being accepted by them. His role at Elland Road was little more than that of a spectator to that whole sorry Leeds and Clough saga. He only played six League games and one in the League Cup in six months at Leeds, before Clough signed him once again, for the third and last time, for Nottingham Forest on 1st February 1975 for a fee of £25,000 and a further £35,000 took John McGovern on the same path. His fee was only half of what Leeds had paid for him just six months previously as his sojourn at Leeds mercifully came to an end with just one goal to his credit. In O'Hare's case, Clough knew exactly what he was getting; a vastly experienced professional who was masterly at holding the ball up and seldom wasted it. In truth by the time he came to Forest he was well past his best and had lost any speed he had. The Forest supporters in the Trent End used to call him "Chesty" signified that he was no longer a slim and lithe youth! None the less, he did an excellent job of stabilising Forest's attack on his arrival shortly after Clough in 1975, and weighed in with his fair share of goals the following year. By the time success arrived in the form of the Championship, O'Hare was very much a back-up player who often filled in in midfield, but he took part in both European Cup campaigns and never let Forest down. His finest hour was in the League Cup replay of 1978, in which he played a full part because Archie Gemmill was cup-tied, when it was "Chesty", ploughing through the middle of a muddy Old Trafford pitch at what passed for full pace, who was scythed down by Phil Thompson on the edge of the area. Robertson scored the winning goal from the spot, and Forest had our first big trophy for almost twenty years. However, just like when he had joined Clough at Derby, Forest were in the lower reaches of the old Second Division, and it took them two seasons to be promoted. After signing from Leeds he scored twice in ten starts in the League in the 1974-75 season as Forest finished sixteenth in the Second Division, followed by nine goals in thirty-nine starts and one game from the bench in the League in 1975-76 as Forest improved to eighth. In Forest's promotion year, in which they also won the Anglo-Scottish Cup, he scored three times in nineteen starts and three more from the bench and also netted once in the F.A. Cup. In their first season in the First Division, 1977-78, Forest won the League Championship, with O'Hare starting ten games but not finding the net in the League, but scoring one in the League Cup, which Forest also won that season. In the following year, 1978-79, they won the Charity Shield, were runners-up in the First Division and won the European Cup and retained it in 1979-80 and also won the European Super-Cup and retained the League Cup, but O'Hare again did not score in the League in making nine starts and three games as a substitute. In the 1980 final, O'Hare came on as a substitute, joining the small band of Scotsmen who have been victorious in a European Cup Final, the only person from the Vale of Leven to have been so. His League appearances number just seven, but he scored twice in the League Cup that year as Forest finished 5th in the First Division. For a player with such an illustrious career, it was surprising that he received little recognition for his services to football and in particular the two Midlands clubs. Whatever peoples' views on him, he was synonymous with one of the games’ great Managers, during his most successful spell. He was loaned to Dallas Tornado in the NASL in 1977 where he scored ten goals in twenty-one appearances that season and again in their 1978 season when he scored four times in nineteen appearances. He left Nottingham Forest and the professional game in the summer of 1981. He had scored fourteen goals and made one hundred and one League appearances, including seven as a substitute in League games for Forest and twenty goals in one hundred and tirty-three games in all matches. He was later with Belper Town, Derby Carriage & Wagon FC and managed Ockbrook FC. He became Manager of Central Midlands League side, Stanton, in March 1988. After leaving full-time football he ran a pub near Derby for ten months but left as he found it the wrong environment in which to bring up children, then worked for International Combustion in the city and then as a stock controller at Toyota’s European plant on the outskirts of Derby. He also sold Insurance and worked at a snooker club and was also a part-time scout for Leicester City and Celtic for Martin O’Neill and continued doing the same for Gordon Strachan and then filled a similar capacity with Aston Villa when Martin O'Neill was with the club. He also became a part time chauffeur for Toyota and a host of the executive/VIP guest suite at Nottingham Forest's home games.

League 61
League Cup 10