Ernie Hannigan (far left) in an all-Scots Coventry City forward line in February 1968. Second left is Ian Gibson, then Neil
Martin, Gerry Baker and Willie Carr.
He immediately commanded a first team place at Palmerston, and helped the club gain promotion
at the end of his first full season, and in no small part helped keep them up the following season. Queens also reached the
quarter finals of both the Scottish Cup and League Cup. They were relegated in 1963/64, and in his three full seasons
with Queens, Hannigan missed only 7 League matches. He scored just 5 League goals, but made dozens for another bright young
forward, Neil Martin.
The prospect of Second Division football did not appeal, and he joined Preston North End in June 1964.
He spent much of his first season as understudy to Dave Wilson, but appeared on a more regular basis in 1965-66 and scored vital goals
in both League and Cup matches, as recalled by Dean Hayes in "The Who's Who of Preston North End."
"Having netted twice
in a 3-2 win at Charlton Athletic in an FA Cup third-round tie, he then had an outstanding game against Bolton before netting in the
Fifth Round defeat of mighty Spurs. Unfortunately, despite causing untold problems for Manchester United defenders, Hannigan
and his North End team-mates lost 3-1 after taking the Red Devils to a replay.
"Hannigan, along with Godfrey, hit a hat-trick
on the final day of the season as North End crushed Cardiff City 9-0 to ensure they would remain playing Second Division football
the following season. Hannigan was ever-present in 1966/67 and was the club's second-top scorer with 11 League goals but, early
the following season, he left Deepdale to play in Coventry City's first season in the top flight."
He found his scoring boots
at Preston, with 32 goals in 108 League and Cup matches, but scored just six times in 47 League appearances over three seasons for
Coventry City. He more than held his own in English First Division, but latterly lost his place and in December
1969 he played twice on loan at Torquay United.
Freed in the summer of 1970, he joined Morton and was a fixture in their midfield
as they finished in the top half of the First Division, and played in four Texaco Cup ties. In the summer of 1971 he joined
New York Cosmos for a brief spell, then played for New Jersey Brewers and the New York team Elizabeth FC. In February
1972 he returned to Queen of the South and played 11 matches in the Second Division to the end of the season. After three
games at the start of 1972/73, he was released, and played for a month (scoring twice in five matches) for his former Queen's player-manager
George Farm, at Raith Rovers. He then left for a spell in Hong Kong.
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