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Hatters Heroes - (H) - Ricky Hill

Hatters Heroes - (H) - Ricky Hill
Born on 3rd March 1959, in Paddington, Ricky Hill was destined to be a Hatters Hero.

The powerful midfielder was the type of player the Kenilworth Road supporters loved, forever giving his all and having enough natural ability to make it to the top of his profession and play for his country.

Hill first came to the attention of Luton Town when he was spotted playing for John Kelly`s Technology College, in Neasden, by the then Luton Town reserve coach, David Pleat. In 1975 Hill joined Luton and was to remain at Kenilworth Road until 1989 making a staggering 436 league appearances and netting 59 league goals.

During his Luton career Hill helped the Hatters win promotion to the First Division in 1981-82 when Luton were promoted as Division Two champions and in those heady days of 1981-82 Hill was part of that memorable team that beat Arsenal in an enthralling League Cup Final.

Whist at Luton he won, b>3 England caps, making his debut in September 1982 as a substitute for Bryan Robson. The last of his 3 England caps came against Egypt in January 1986.

Hill left Luton, on a free transfer, to move to the French side, Le Havre, in 1989. However, with David Pleat now in the managerial chair at Leicester City, Hill was enticed back to the English game, in 1990, for a fee of 100,000.

Hill`s time at Leicester was brief with the midfielder moving to the USA to become player-coach with Tampa Bay Rowdies. During his time there he took Tampa Bay to two national championships whilst also collecting the honour of 1992 Coach of the Year.

Returning to England, Hill had brief spells as a player with the non-league clubs Chertsey Town and Hitchin. A further spell in America, two years to be precise, saw Hill play for Cocoa Express before returning, again, to England to try his luck at coaching.

The influence of David Pleat was maintained when Hill joined the former Luton boss at Sheffield Wednesday as the U19 Youth team coach, before trying his hand at the U17 coach at Tottenham Hotspur.

In July 2000, Hill returned to very familiar territory when he took over the vacant managerial role at Kenilworth Road. Unfortunately his stay as manager was far shorter than that of his playing career with Hill leaving in November of the same year having won only 2games.

Hill, as far as we know, is now back in America coaching where he led the Tampa Bay Rowdies to the league championship in 2012.

As for a favourite Ricky Hill moment, I`d have to go for that memorable moment at Villa Park, in the FA Cup semi-final against Everton where his goal had us all dreaming of an FA Cup Final appearance, sadly that dream was not to last as Everton mounted a comeback to win 2-1.

Writer:Mad Hatter
Date:Saturday May 10 2014
Time: 3:29PM

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