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Hendon Green & Gold 38 - David Shacklock

Greensnet Editor
Thu 30 Jul 2015, 18:53

David Shacklock is not a name that will resonate with modern-day Hendon supporters. Indeed he was not a stand-out player during his seven seasons with the Greens - and he was a first-choice regular in only two of those campaigns. He joined Hendon soon after playing for Cheshunt against the Greens when the Ambers produced a shock 3-2 win in the London Senior Cup in November 1964. He made his debut in in a 2-0 pre-Christmas victory at home to Hitchin Town, playing at right-back where he had been so effective as an opponent. But David's best position was centre-half, and Hendon had Geoff Riddy in that role in the season Hendon completed the double of Isthmian League Champions and Amateur Cup winners. Of course, these were days before substitutes, so David didn't appear at Wembley, or the League Play-off against Enfield at Dulwich Hamlet - or, indeed in the Middlesex Senior Cup final victory over Finchley - and he made just four appearances, all in the league, during the campaign. However, he did collect three winner's medals as Hendon Reserves swept the Isthmian League Reserve Division (the Greens lost once in the league all season), London Intermediate Cup and Middlesex Intermediate Cup.

The following season, David broke into the first team and finished with 15 appearances, including in the Amateur Cup final at Wembley, where despite Hendon taking the lead through Riddy, Wealdstone won the trophy 3-1 (the previously-featured player in this series, Bobby Childs, scored twice for the Stones). The Greens also finished runners-up in the Isthmian League, two points behind champions Leytonstone (when there were still two for a win).

For the 1966-67 season, the Isthmian League allowed substitutes to be named and David was the first Hendon player ever to wear the No.12 shirt - though he was not used (that honour went to Jimmy Quail). The Greens were in a state of transition and finished the season 10 points behind the champions Sutton United, and in fifth place. But this was also the season that David cemented his place in the team, as a centre-half - his best position. Riddy had moved on and he was the natural successor.

The late 1960s was an era when most defenders stuck to their goal-stopping role and David's defensive reliability was further highlighted by the fact that he failed to score a single goal in more than 200 appearances. In 1966-67, David finished joint-top of the appearance-makers with 54, the same as David Hogwood, out of a possible 57. He played in all three matches in the epic and ultimately unsuccessful Amateur Cup semi-final against Skelmersdale, but won a first-team winner's medal for the first time as Hendon beat Enfield 3–2 on aggregate in the Middlesex Senior Cup. In both matches, he played as defensive midfielder, just in front of John Ashworth and Ray Poole.

The following two seasons saw David play a little more than half of Hendon's first-team matches. In the 1967-68 seasons, he was restricted to just 22 games and it was 31 the following campaign. He played in exactly half of the Isthmian League games in 1968-69, but was a regular in cup ties, missing only three of 15. David played in every round of the London Senior Cup as Hendon won the competition for only the second time, beating Dagenham 1-0 in the final, thanks to a Rod Haider goal at Barnet FC's Underhill ground.

His best season followed in 1969-70 when David again finished joint-top of the appearance-makers, this time with 57, the same as John Swannell. There was no silverware at the end of the season, and the Greens finished fifth in the Isthmian League, a dozen points behind champions Enfield, but Hendon did take Millwall to a London Challenge Cup replay and reached the second round proper of the FA Cup. David's contribution did not go unnoticed, by Hendon fans at least, because he was named the Supporters Association Player of the Year in 1970. That summer John Evans arrived as manager and started to rebuild the team. One of those whose chances became more limited was David Shacklock, who played in only 32 matches, including three as a substitute. In the summer of 1971, Alan Phillips was signed to be the centre-half and that was the signal for David to move on, joining Kingstonian.

While David didn't win international honours at Hendon, his daughter Kerry competed at the Barcelona 1992 Olympic Games, finishing sixth in the duet class of the Synchronised Swimming competition. She was also, briefly, the girlfriend of world record javelin thrower Steve Backley.

Joined Hendon: December 1964. Left Hendon: Summer 1971'
Appearances: 215 (211 starts, 4 as a substitute). Goals: 0
Supporters Association Player of the Year: 1969-70
Winners Medals: London Senior Cup 1968-69; Middlesex Senior Cup 1966-67