David Pratt (footballer)


David Pratt (5 March 1896 – 28 July 1967) was a Scottish football player and manager. His career encompassed time spent in both England and Scotland, as well as a spell in Wales.

David Pratt
Personal information
Full name David Pratt
Date of birth (1896-03-05)5 March 1896
Place of birth Lochore, Fife, Scotland
Date of death 28 July 1967(1967-07-28) (aged 71)
Place of death Edinburgh, Scotland
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)[1]
Youth career
Lochore Welfare
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
Lochgelly United
Hearts of Beath
1919–1921 Celtic 21 (0)
1921–1923 Bradford City 50 (5)
1923–1927 Liverpool 76 (1)
1927–1929 Bury 51 (0)
Yeovil Town
Total 198+ (6+)
Teams managed
1929–1933 Yeovil Town
1933–1934 Clapton Orient
1935 Notts County
1935–1937 Heart of Midlothian
1937 Bangor City
1944–1945 Port Vale
*Club domestic league appearances and goals

As a player, he was used both as a defender and as a midfielder on the outside left. He started his career at Celtic in 1919, before moving to England two years later to play for Bradford City. In 1923 he moved on to Liverpool, where he would remain for the next four years. He then ended his playing career after spells with Bury and Yeovil Town.

He got his break in management with Yeovil Town in 1929, before he was installed as Clapton Orient manager in 1933. His reign was to only last one year, and he spent a spell in 1935 as Notts County manager, before he returned to Scotland later in the year to manage Heart of Midlothian. He left Hearts in 1937 and was appointed manager at Bangor City, though he lost his position before the end of the year. His final role was as Port Vale between 1944 and 1945, though he never actually took a charge of a game for the "Valiants".

Playing careerEdit

Pratt began his playing career during the last years of World War I with a series of local Fife sides, namely Lochore Welfare, Lochgelly United and Hearts of Beath. He joined Celtic from the latter in June 1919[2] and made his debut several months later, in a home game with Falkirk. His versatility counted against him though and he never developed into a first team regular at Celtic Park. Indeed, although later primarily considered a defender, the position he appeared in most frequently for Celtic was outside left.

In 1921 Pratt moved south, joining Bradford City, where his consistent performances earned him a move to Liverpool two years later. He spent four seasons on Merseyside but as with his time at Celtic, he was unable to attain a regular first team berth. His most consistent run in the first team occurred in 1924–25, while his only goal for the club was recorded during a 6–3 defeat of Newcastle United the following season.[3] He joined Bury in 1927 before moving further south to Yeovil Town.

Managerial careerEdit

Pratt eventually became manager of Yeovil, before assuming control of Yeovil & Petters United in 1929. This was to be his longest period in charge of one club, the rest of his coaching career characterised by short tenures in managerial positions. Between May and December 1933 he managed Clapton Orient, then he had two months in charge of Notts County in spring 1935. He then returned to Scotland where he replaced Willie McCartney as Heart of Midlothian manager. He lasted two seasons in Edinburgh before moving to Wales with Bangor City, where he stayed until the outbreak of World War II. He served in the RAF during the conflict before taking his final managerial role, with Port Vale, in December 1944, a position he vacated six months later. He failed to gain a release from the Air Force and so never managed to be a manager to the Vale other than in name only.[4]


Playing statisticsEdit


Club Season Division League FA Cup Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Bradford City 1921–22 First Division 27 1 5 0 32 1
1922–23 Second Division 23 4 0 0 23 4
Total 50 5 5 0 55 5
Liverpool 1922–23 First Division 7 0 0 0 7 0
1923–24 First Division 15 0 0 0 15 0
1924–25 First Division 26 0 4 0 30 0
1925–26 First Division 15 1 0 0 15 1
1926–27 First Division 14 0 4 0 18 0
Total 77 1 8 0 85 1
Bury 1927–28 First Division 26 0 3 0 29 0
1928–29 First Division 25 0 3 0 28 0
Total 51 0 6 0 57 0
Career total 178 6 19 0 197 6

Managerial statisticsEdit

Managerial record by team and tenure
Team From To Record
P W D L Win %
Clapton Orient 31 May 1933 30 December 1934 72 27 16 29 037.5
Notts County 29 April 1935 28 June 1935 1 0 0 1 000.0
Total[5] 73 27 16 30 037.0


  1. ^ Junius (20 August 1923). "Prospects of the clubs in the First Division of the League. Liverpool". Athletic News. Manchester. p. 5.
  2. ^ John Litster (October 2012). "A Record of pre-war Scottish League Players". Scottish Football Historian magazine. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  3. ^ "David Pratt". lfchistory.net. Retrieved 19 May 2009.
  4. ^ Kent, Jeff (1996). Port Vale Personalities. Witan Books. p. 239. ISBN 0-9529152-0-0.
  5. ^ a b David Pratt at the English National Football Archive (subscription required)