Boy From Brazil Bradford City Hall of Fame

Inductee January 2001

Don Hutchins

Back when Train was not a synonym for being later or never turning up City had Don Hutchin on the wing. Direct, fast and unstoppable, in the 1970's he was "The Train".

To my generation, those who's City careers start with Stuart McCall, Hutchins is best known for the part he played in City's 1976 FA Cup run which was ended by Southampton in the sixth round. Hutchin's City were a fourth division team, Southampton were one of the better sides in the top flight. To put the team's achievements into perspective, over 25 years and a trip to the Premiership later no City team have matched that achievement in the World's most famous cup competition.

The FA Cup run of 1976 saw Hutchins enter the Bradford City record books when he was selected in the PFA team of the season for the division, the first City player to get such an honour.

Don played in the First Division (When it was the top flight kids) for Leicester City making his debut in 1968. He joined Plymouth Argyle a year later scoring a stack of goals before returning North to Blackburn Rovers and then City where he stayed for seven and a half years. Like Cec Podd Hutchins seemed to have found a home for his talent and the unfancied third and fourth division Bradford City. He turned down a £35,000 move to Portsmouth during his time at Valley Parade.

Your memories of "The Train".
From Jonathan Jackson

Forget the elusive Peter Beagrie, who for all his wonderful silky skills did have an annoying habit of wanting to beat the same man three times.

Forget John Hendrie who oozed class but ultimately was more effective as inside forward.

Forget Mark Ellis, who was driven on only by fear of a "quiet word in his ear" by Big Bob.

Forget Robbie Blake, who didn't like playing there and couldn't cross a ball for sixpence.

Forget PC Showler, Tommy Wright, Tim Steele, Garry Haire, Jamie Lawrence, Andy Kiwomya or any other winger you can think of in what ever shade of Claret & Amber you recall.

The best, yes the very best, winger that played for BCFC in the last 30 years was Don Hutchins.

The man was a marvel. Most wingers drop a shoulder, beat a man (or in Beagles case 4) get 10 yards out and cross. Result, Mr Keeper comes off his line and collects or punches easily. Easy because the ball is moving directly towards him.

Don was the master of the out swinger from the bye line. He dropped his whole head, set off like an The Mallard (a fast steam train for you youngsters) and didn't stop. Didn't stop that is until he hit the goal line, when he stopped dead and swung across some of the best out swinging crosses you will ever see.

Believe me when I say Stanley Matthews was his number one fan!

Don was absolute class, and his only problem was the quality of Centre Forward he played with. (No disrespect to Joe Cooke, but he was better centre half than striker, whose strongest game going forward was his strength with the ball at his feet or on his chest)

Bobby Campbell would have creamed himself at the chance to play with The Don on the wing, and Sean McCarthy would have become a legend in the space of his own lunchtime.

Don was the best, and "the train" sums him up well.

Next time you take the kids to Haworth and see the steam trains flying in from Oxenhope, stop and think "Don Hutchins, what a guy he must have been".

From John Broadley

Don Hutchins' main qualities were his ability to dribble past opposing full backs and then deliver high quality crosses from the left for the likes of Gerry Ingram and Joe Cooke. He was small and nippy but possessed a powerful shot. Those of us who were privileged to witness the 5th Round cup win at Norwich in 1976 will never forget his opener - a long range shot into the top corner which the goalie never saw.

My personal abiding memory of him was in a one-nil win at Hartlepool. It was a windy day and the ball spent most of the time in the air. With around ten minutes to go, Hutchins burst down the right hand side into the penalty area. A defender came across him and he collapsed in a heap. A lone voice in the crowd (mine) shouted "Penalty!". The ref gave it, Hutchins got up, dusted himself down and winked at me. It was the only time I ever won a match for City.

From Nigel Wright, Show Low, Arizona.

Don Hutchins, what a player!

I watched Don in the mid seventies as a teenager and I was in awe of his talent. His ability to dribble around centerhalfs and full backs was a sight to see. One time I remember he went the full length of the field blowing by six players or more before firing a fierce shot into the bottom corner of the net.

Don, like most geniuses had his off days like Carbone, but for me when his game was on he was unstoppable, and a true ace in the hole game winner.

I cant help laughing remembering the fur coat ala Huggy Bear he used to wear ,and the long frizzy perm Marc Bolan hair as he would arrive at Valley Parade during those cold dismal division four days. He was sunshine on a damp, foggy day. Thanks for the memories Don!!

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