Leeds United F.C. History
Leeds United F.C. History : Foreword
1919-29 - The Twenties
1930-39 - The Thirties
1939-46 - The War Years
1947-49 - Post War Depression
1949-57 - The Reign of King John
1957-63 - From Charles to Revie
1961-75 - The Revie Years
1975-82 - The Downward Spiral
1982-88 - The Dark Years
1988-96 - The Wilko Years
1996-04 - The Rollercoaster Ride
2004-17 - Down Among The Deadmen
100 Greatest LUFC Players Ever
Greatest Leeds United Games
Players' Profiles
Managers' Profiles
Leeds City F.C. History
Leeds City F.C. Player and Manager Profiles
Leeds United/City Statistics
Leeds United/City Captains
Leeds United/City Friendlies and Other Games
Leeds United/City Reserves and Other Teams

Searson: Harold Vincent (Harry/Polly)

1949-1952 (Player Details)


Born: Mansfield: 03-06-1924

Debut v Coventry City (a): 15-01-1949

6’1” 12st 7lb (1949)

Searson was educated at High Oakham School and played for Mansfield and Nottinghamshire Schools and North Notts League side, Bilsthorpe Colliery, who he joined in 1941, before serving with the Fleet Air Arm in India. In 1942 he joined Sheffield Wednesday as an amateur, turning professional in August 1946 on return from his service in India. As the Owls had six goalkeepers on their books at the time, he did not feature in the Owls senior team and he returned to his native town and joined Mansfield Town in June 1947. He signed as a part-time professional and resumed his former trade of electrician. He played forty-two times for them before he was transferred to Leeds for £2,000 on 13th January 1949. Thanks to David McAdam and Thirkers the events of the day he made his Leeds United debut are recorded on this site. It shows the Team boarding the Coach at Elland Road for the trip to Coventry City on 15th January 1949 and the team without Searson but with Tom Peters on their journey southward. Tom Peters had signed for Mansfield Town and the club gave him a lift there, with Searson joining the party as Peters reached his destination. Now the Leeds team complete with their goalkeeper continued the journey to Highfield Road and this is the team that played that day in a 1-4 defeat. ‘Polly’ Searson earned a reputation for long kicking and an ability to onfidently gather high centres during his days with Leeds. United had found it hard to stop conceding goals in the years after football resumed after the Second World War as Jim Twomey was well into his thirties and Harry Fearnley did not seem to be the answer. Major Frank Buckley saw Searson as the man to stem the flow of goals conceded and so it proved. After a settling in period he became an ever-present, playing almost eighty games consecutively from January 1949 to October 1950 and was the rock on which the uncompromising Leeds defence was built on during their epic performances in the Cup and League in the second half of the 1949-50 season. He famously had a good luck charm in the form of a mascot doll named ‘Lulu’ which he carried onto the pitch with him each game and placed it in the net throughout the game. It was a feature of United’s 1949-50 run of victories but it had more to do with John Charles and the Leeds defence than any good luck charm. He saw the emergence of the Welsh Giant and but could see his potential even then as he expressed his delight at the end of his first season with the club, just before the start of the 1949-50 season. "Now I would not be with any other club. They have treated me very well. I like it here." He said he hoped soon to resume his trade. Like all goalkeepers Searson sees a lot of his centre-half. "John Charles is a grand lad and when he has the experience of Tom Holley he will be outstanding. Tom is just about the ideal centre-half to play behind. You know with him that if the ball comes through the centre forward will not come with it. If the centre forward comes through the ball will stay behind. I like it either way, but not both." His foresight was apt as Leeds, after looking like relegation candidates in the first two months of the campaign, recovered and went on a brilliant run in the League and reach the quarter-finals before succumbing 0-1 to Arsenal at Highbury. In the League they finished sixth and humbled run away Champions of the Second Division, Tottenham Hotspur 3-0 at Elland Road, with a display that few supporters ever saw bettered. An ever-present that season, he was one of the main reasons for the club's successful season. There was a rivalry with Jack Scott which started in the 1950-51 season and carried on through the 1951-52 season which saw first one and then the other in the last line of defence, before Scott finally wrested the spot in the last two months of the 1951-52 season. During his time with Leeds Searson was football coach to the Hunslet Boys’ Club and a noted club cricketer. When Scott had established himself, Searson accepted the inevitable and joined York City in November 1952. The Minstermen signed Searson as a replacement for Des Thompson. He proved a capable replacement. He stayed at York until 1954 and made sixty-two appearances, before he joined Corby Town in June of that year. He was also one of the few post-war players to play on his wedding day and after retirement continued to live in Corby, Northamptonshire. It was there that he died on 5th January 2013, after a battle with cancer

League 1040
F.A. Cup 120