Gordon Duck isn't a name I've heard before and I can't find any mention of him playing in a competitive first team game.
Prompted an internet search which came up with an entry on the (Teesside) Evening Gazette site:
Mary Stobbs said:
Please could you give me any info on my brother-in-law Gordon Duck. He played for the Middlesbrough boys Football team in the years 194?/53 going on to be transfered to Torquay United later on. He married my sister Joyce Kirkby in 1954 aged 20 years I wonder if anybody could remember anything about him and his playing. Your picture in the Evening Gazettee on Thursday 12/11/09 prompted me to get in touch as the man on the left is very like Gordon.He is 76 years old and still walks all over.
November 16, 2009 11:22 AM
The Boro team in the 1940s photographed informally on the streets of Middlesbrough. Pictured, from left are: Trainer Tom Mason, Giles Gillett, Micky Fenton, unknown, Harold Dobie, Ronnie Dicks, unknown, unknown, Oliver Norris, George Aitkin, Stan Rickaby, Bob Anderson (goalkeeper); Martin Reagan; Cecil McCormack; Harry Bell; George Hardwick ; unknown; Bill Whittaker, Geoff Walker; Jimmy Gordon and Johnny Spuhler. The team were pictured during a break in training at the corner shop on Kensington Road and Ayresome Park Road.
Nothing conclusive, then, about Gordon Duck being in that picture but note the presence of Harold Dobbie, one of our goalscorers against Norwich in that 1955 game.
A great bit of detective work there Nick and the big question is what happened to Gordon Duck. Reading the programme notes he gave the impression he was going to become a good player for us, yet you say there is no record of him playing for our first team.
So did he stay with us for just the one season? Did he move onto another club? Or did he drop out of football altogether? I did a search myself on the web and came up with nothing at all.
Would be great to find out and he is still alive, do you think if contact is made with the newspaper, there is a chance contact could be made with him.
I can’t see any mention of Gordon Duck in any of Timbo’s 1955/56 programmes so we can only assume he was released at the end of the 1954/55 season. My reference source for players appearing in the Football League since WW2 – Barry Hugman’s players’ records book – does not list him making a league appearance for any club. My hunch is that he may have returned to Teesside and played for one of the local clubs in either the Northern League or the old North Eastern League.
Wonder if this is the same Gordon Duck? Taken from the Middlesbrough Evening Gazette last month:
TEESSIDE'S golden oldies will gather on FA Cup final day to stage an "appreciation match" in honour of Gordon Duck.
Duck, who founded the popular Middlesbrough Over-35s League 20 years ago, is suffering from Alzheimer's, and players past and present from the sociable set-up have been invited to come along and say "thanks" in a day long celebration at Marton Cricket Club's pitch next to the Rudds Arms.
Ron Gordon, chairman of Marton FC, said: "Gordon is well liked and has put a lot of hard work in over the years to keep the oldies playing and enjoying the game. We just want to show our appreciation. "We want all the old timers who have played in the league he set up to come along with their boots and a fiver. If we get enough we'll do a mini-tournament, if not we'll just have a kick-about, present the Gordon Duck Appreciation Trophy, have a bite to eat and watch the cup final. We just want to give him a good day out." Money raised will be split between Help For Heroes and Cancer Research. For details call Ron on 07796-391484.
I can’t see any mention of Gordon Duck in any of Timbo’s 1955/56 programmes so we can only assume he was released at the end of the 1954/55 season.
Duck WAS retained at the end of the 1954/55 season, but seems to have disappeared before the start of the 1955/56 season - I don't know why.
Duck spent one full season at TUFC - first appearing at Plainmoor at right half for the Reds in the first public practice match.
He made two first team friendly appearances - scoring twice from inside left in a 5-2 win at Holsworthy and playing centre forward (between Collins and Mills) in an end-of-season friendly with Stoke at Plainmoor - we lost 0-4 infront of a crowd of 2,042.
Duck didn't leave Plainmoor empty-handed - earning his South Western League Cup medal with a hat-trick in the 4-1 final win over Truro at St Austell.
What do all these clubs have in common?
Newport County, Aldershot, Chester, Halifax, Hereford, Darlington, Maidstone, Wimbledon
I've found a Torquay United programme in which Gordon Duck played, Helston at Home in the South-Western League on the 9th of October, 1954. I'll pop it into the Programmes Room but here it is below with a mention of Gordon Duck in the chatter.