David McCulloch

David McCulloch (5 October 1912 – 21 June 1979) was a Scottish footballer who played for several Scottish and English clubs in the 1930s, most notably Heart of Midlothian, Brentford and Derby County. He also represented Scotland at full international level.

David McCulloch
Personal information
Full name David McCulloch[1][2]
Date of birth (1912-10-05)5 October 1912
Place of birth Hamilton, Scotland
Date of death 21 June 1979(1979-06-21) (aged 66)
Place of death East Kilbride, Scotland
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Position(s) Striker
Youth career
1930–1931 Hamilton Amateurs
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1931–1932 Shotts United
1932–1934 Third Lanark 34 (22)
1934–1935 Heart of Midlothian 57 (54)
1935–1938 Brentford 117 (85)
1938–1946 Derby County 31 (16)
1946–1947 Leicester City 4 (2)
1947–1949 Bath City
1949–1951 Waterford United 28 (24)
Total 209 (157)
National team
1934–1938 Scotland 7 (3)
1934[3] Scottish League XI 1 (1)
Teams managed
1951–1952 Alloa Athletic
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only


McCulloch, a striker, began his senior career with Third Lanark, whom he joined from junior side Shotts United in 1932.[4] After two years at Cathkin Park, he was signed by Hearts for £530, moving east at the same time as his Thirds teammate John MacKenzie.[5] His first season at Tynecastle was notable, as he scored 38 times (at an average of a goal per game) to top the First Division scoring charts. Such a goal-scoring ratio helped Hearts to both a third-place finish and increased attendances, although Double-winners Rangers proved too strong in the Scottish Cup semi-finals.[6] Costs incurred by work to improve Tynecastle's facilities and capacity were proving a financial millstone and in November 1935, the Hearts board indicated that certain players were available for transfer. McCulloch was by this stage one of five Scotland players on the club's books, having made his debut against Wales a year earlier, and an obvious transfer target. After numerous expressions of interest from English clubs, McCulloch and international teammate Alex Massie were sold to offset the debt,[5] McCulloch joining London side Brentford for a club record incoming fee of £6,000.[7]

McCulloch continued his prodigious scoring rate with the Bees and by the end of the 1938–39 season he had scored total of 178 goals from 234 league (English and Scottish) games.[8] He also remained a Scotland regular, earning a further 6 caps during which he scored 3 goals, including 2 against Czechoslovakia in December 1937.

McCulloch was transferred to Derby County for £9,500 in October 1938 but his time with his new club was disrupted by the Second World War, which began while he was at the peak of his abilities and curtailed his international career. During the conflict he "guested" for no less than six clubs, military demands ensuring footballers such as him were seldom resident in one location for an extended period of time. McCulloch's temporary sides were: Falkirk, Brentford, Aldershot, Chelsea, Bournemouth & Boscombe Athletic and Swansea Town.[8] At the war's conclusion he signed for Derby's rivals Leicester City before finishing his career with non-league Bath City and Irish side Waterford United.

While with Waterford McCulloch assisted with coaching and in 1951 he returned to Scotland as manager of Alloa Athletic, a position he held for one season.[8]



  1. "David McCulloch". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 17 April 2017.
  2. Joyce, Michael (2012). Football League Players' Records 1888 to 1939. Nottingham: Tony Brown. p. 184. ISBN 978-1905891610.
  3. "Dave McCulloch – Scotland Football League Record from 31 Oct 1934 to 31 Oct 1934 clubs – Heart Of Midlothian". londonhearts.com. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  4. "McCulloch Dave Image 1 Derby County 1939". Vintage Footballers. Retrieved 24 December 2018.
  5. Speed, David; Smith, Bill; Blackwood, Graham (1984). Heart of Midlothian Football Club: A Pictorial History 1874–1984. Heart of Midlothian F.C. plc. ISBN 0-9510124-1-X.
  6. Hearts average attendance rose by over 4,000 in 1934–35 and the following season they became the most popular club in Scotland in terms of paying spectators (Ross, David (2005). The Roar of the Crowd: Following Scottish football down the years. Argyll publishing. pp. 85–108. ISBN 978-1-902831-83-1.
  7. Brentford Football Club Official Matchday Magazine versus Hull City 07/05/05. 2005. p. 46.
  8. Lamming, Douglas (1987). A Scottish Soccer Internationalists Who's Who, 1872–1986. Hutton Press. ISBN 0-907033-47-4.
  9. Wickham, Chris. "Kevin O'Connor and Marcus Gayle join others in being added to Brentford FC Hall of Fame". brentfordfc.co.uk. Retrieved 18 October 2015.