Ernest ‘Ernie’ Hine is still Barnsley Football Club’s leading goalscorer and with the 'possible' exception of the great Tommy Taylor, arguably the greatest Reds forward of all time.
A local boy born in Smithy Cross, he joined the Reds in 1921 from Staincross Rangers after starring in a local cup semi final. He would begin life at Oakwell in the reserve team but was called up for the first team in an FA Cup replay at Norwich City which was a dream debut for Ernie, not only scoring the equaliser but setting up Brough Fletcher for the late winning goal. He became an instant hero and would score a further 12 goals in just 22 games that season.
Naturally two-footed, his shot was known as one of the most venomous in football and he could score from any angle, playing in a variety of forward positions with ease.
In the subsequent 1922/23 season he scored 25 goals in 45 appearances as he struck up a formidable strike partnership with the equally impressive Russell Wainscoat, as the Reds' forward line terrorised Second Division defences.
Scoring another 46 goals over the next three seasons, he was snapped up by Leicester City for a fee of £3,000 and would enjoy six years with the Foxes, earning heeo status in the East Midlands too, scoring 149 times over 247 matches and going on to make appearances for England, scoring four goals for the Three Lions.
Brief spells with Huddersfield Town and Manchester United were less prolific periods for Hine and at 33-years-old he returned to Barnsley and scored another 9 goals in 24 appearances. The following campaign he was back in the goals once more, 19 in 46 games were scored which included a memorable hat-trick against former club Leicester. He netted five of his goals in the FA Cup, including the winner in the 5th Round victory over Stoke City at Oakwell, roared on by 40,255 people, still the record attendance at the stadium.
He scored another 19 goals in his final two seasons with the Reds and after retiring in 1938, he’d scored 131 times in 310 games, a record that looks likely to stand the test of time.
He spent a short time coaching at Oakwell before retiring to Huddersfield where he passed away in April of 1974 at the age of 74.
APPEARANCES: 310 | GOALS: 131 | RECORD GOALSCORER
Ernie Hine was digitally inducted into the Oakwell Hall Of Fame in 2021