David Hirst

So good, he topped Fergie's shopping list

Player Biography
Full name: David Eric Hirst
Date of birth: December 7, 1969
Clubs played for: Barnsley, Sheffield Wednesday, Southampton
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Club Career

It is said David Hirst was so talented that Sir Alex Ferguson once tried to sign him, but the striker turned him down and the United manager had to make do with Eric Cantona.

An all-round striker, he possessed pace, power and skill, with excellent dribbling skills and heading ability. He could score from long range, six yards or anywhere in between, netting more than 100 goals in 11 seasons at Hillsborough.

In 1993, he was a member of the Wednesday team that reached the FA and League Cup finals, meeting Arsenal on both occasions. He grabbed the equaliser that took the FA Cup final to a replay, but ended both finals with a runners-up medal.

He is still revered as a cult hero at Hillsborough, and can be seen in the stands supporting his beloved Owls to this day.

Club Stats

Years Clubs App Goals
1985-86 Barnsley 28 9
1986-97 Sheffield Wednesday 294 106
1997-99 Southampton 30 9

International Career

Hirst played for England three times, making his debut against Australia during the tour of Oceania in 1991. He scored in his next appearance, against New Zealand. His only home appearance came against France in February 1992, but he was substituted at half-time.

International Career Stats

Years Clubs App Goals
1991-92 England 3 1

Key Games

Sheffield Wednesday 1-0 Manchester United (League Cup final, April 21, 1991)

Hirst helped Second Division Wednesday stun Manchester United and lift their first piece of silverware in almost 60 years. John Sheridan scored the only goal in the 37th minute with a right-footed volley from just outside the box.

Australia 0-1 England (Friendly international, June 1, 1991)

The Sheffield Wednesday front man made his international debut Down Under as England faced the Socceroos on a summer tour of Oceania. Hirst partnered Gary Lineker in attack, but it was an own goal from Ian Gray five minutes before half-time that settled this friendly in Sydney.

Sheffield Wednesday 1-1 Arsenal (FA Cup final, May 15, 1993)

In the first FA Cup Final to feature squad numbers, David Hirst wore the No.5 shirt, but mounted a typical No.9's performance to rescue Wednesday's Cup ambitions. Ian Wright gave the Gunners a first half lead, but on 61 minutes Hirst turned in a low drive past David Seaman to make it 1-1. Neither team could find the net in extra-time, but it was Arsenal who were victorious in the replay.


Club Competition Year
Sheffield Wednesday League Cup 1991

Did You Know...?

Hirst once held the record for the fastest recorded shot in football, hitting the bar with a shot timed at 114mph against Arsenal at Highbury in 1996.

He scored a goal against Arsenal despite nursing a broken ankle in August 1992.

Hirst's celebrations after the 1991 League Cup final weren't seen in the Yorkshire TV region because they cut away to show War Of The Monster Trucks instead.

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From the back pages

Sheffield Wednesday 1-0 Manchester United Published: April 22nd 1991

League Cup final back page

Sheffield Wednesday 1-0 Manchester United Published: April 22nd 1991

League Cup final match report

Australia 0-1 England Published: June 3, 1991

Friendly international match report

Sheffield Wednesday 1-1 Arsenal Published: May 17, 1993

FA Cup final match report

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