Boston United 2-0 Macclesfield Town

Northern Premier League

23rd September 1978

One of the most famous players to ever pull on a Boston United shirt is Derby County and England striker Kevin Hector. He had been snapped up by Second Division Derby for £40,000 in 1966 after scoring 113 League goals in 176 games for Bradford Park Avenue. He then went on to make 426 League appearances for the Rams, scoring 146 goals, being an integral part of the teams that won the Second Division title in 1968/9 and First Division titles in 1971/2 & 1974/5. He was capped twice for England. In January 1978 Derby's manager Tommy Docherty sold Hector to Canadian side Vancouver Whitecaps who played in the North American Soccer League. The North American and English football seasons only overlapped for a few months, so by the end of September Hector was looking for an English club to play for during the North American close season. Northern Premier League champions Boston United audaciously signed him up.
Kevin Hector

Hector made his debut for the Pilgrims in their Northern Premier League match against Macclesfield Town on 23rd September 1978. His appearance boosted the gate to 2100, the biggest crowd of the season to date. He created the goal that set Boston on their way to their first home League win of the season and was unlucky not to score himself in the second half. Boston made a far from impressive start. They had a tendency to give the ball away, and if Macclesfield had been better at finishing they would have scored with one of the two clear cut chances that fell their way in the first forty minutes. Against the run of play Boston took the lead in the 41st minute. Hector had begun to probe the Macclesfield defence. He eventually broke down the right, got behind the defence and pulled the ball back from the bye-line, low on to the right foot of Dave POPLAR who picked his spot for a well taken goal from just inside the penalty area. A minute later Boston increased their lead when Jim KABIA made the most of a defensive error to force the ball home past the advancing keeper. Team captain Albert Phelan was playing well. He had just been put in charge of team affairs for a month as Boston sought to find a new manager. He would later take up the manager's post on a permanent basis. Dave Poplar also put in a superb performance and was close to getting a hat-trick, only being denied by some never-say-die defending by Macclesfield in the second half. Boston went on to finish the season in sixth place in the Northern Premier League; Macclesfield finished rock bottom.

At the end of the season Hector returned to Canada to resume his contract with Vancouver. The following autumn he returned to England again, this time to play for Burton Albion. Amazingly, in October 1980, he was re-signed by Derby County who were now being managed by Colin Addison. He went on to break the appearances record for Derby and to become the club's second highest scorer with 201 goals. He later played for Shepshed Charterhouse, Burton Albion, Gresley Rovers, Belper Town (where he was a member of the team that won the Northern Counties East League Title in 1984/5), Eastwood Town and Heanor Town. He was still playing football in his 50s for Shardlow St. James in the Central Midlands League.

United team: 1. Gerry Stewart, 2. Albert Phelan, 3. Gordon Simmonite, 4. Dave Poplar, 5. Dave Adamson, 6. Steve Thompson, 7. John Moyes, 8. Kevin Hector, 9. Bobby Brown, 10. Jim Kabia, 11. Neil Callery. Sub: Ronnie Welch.

Macclesfield team: 1. Simpson, 2. Crompton, 3. Shearer, 4. Mobley, 5. Blore, 6. Booth, 7. McBeth, 8. Carrick, 9. Wheeler, 10. Jones, 11. Owen.

Attendance: 2100

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