Hardwick signed for Middlesbrough (for a �5 fee) in April 1937,
scoring an own goal on his debut. The outbreak of war saw him join the
RAF; while training as an air gunner, he was nearly killed during a
Luftwaffe attack on his base in Bedfordshire. He then became a
sergeant in RAF Bomber Command.
During the war he turned out for Chelsea, appearing in two wartime
Wembley cup finals; he also played 17 wartime internationals for
England, games which did not earn a full cap and were intended as
Once, playing for Chelsea against Fulham, the sirens were sounded
in the middle of the match; all the players threw themselves flat on
the ground: "The Germans bombed the other side of the river, and the
referee blew his whistle to carry on."
After the war, Chelsea wanted to sign Hardwick from Middlesbrough;
the Chelsea chairman travelled to Teesside, placed a blank cheque in
front of his opposite number and invited him to fill it in.
At Hampden Park in 1947, Hardwick captained Great Britain against a
FIFA side, Great Britain winning 6-1. In all he went on to make 166
appearances for Middlesbrough, scoring five goals. In November 1950 he
was transferred to Oldham Athletic, for whom, as player-manager, he
made 190 appearances and scored 14 times.
After retiring as a player, Hardwick coached the United States 7th
Army in Germany; he then coached PSV Eindhoven (1957-59) and the Dutch
national side (1959-61), before rejoining Middlesbrough as youth team
In November 1964 Hardwick was appointed manager of Sunderland.
Despite guiding the Wearside club to what was then their highest
post-war position, he was sacked after only 169 days. During this
period he started Brian Clough on his managerial career, by appointing
him coach to the youth team.
Hardwick never, of course, knew the lifestyle enjoyed by today's
successful footballers. But he was a handsome man, and was friendly
with actresses such as Kay Kendall, Shirley Eaton, Margaret Lockwood
and Ava Gardner.
He was guest of honour at Wembley when England lost 2-0 to France
in February 1999, and was not impressed by what he saw: "By God, they
played without an atom of pride. I've never seen 11 players with less
guts... My players would have walked home if they'd played like that."
He added: "For the players, it's all too quick and easy now. For us
it was about pride. I wanted to be somebody, so I worked for it."
He is survived by his second wife Jennifer (nee Totterdell); they
were together for 36 years and married in 1983. From his previous
marriage he had two sons, who survive him. - The Telegraph