Club News

Ernie Winchester

10th May 2013

Club saddened at passing of former striker who joined Hearts in April 1969.

It is with great regret that the club has to record the death of a former Hearts man, the strong and industrious attacker, Ernie Winchester.

Ernie came from Torry in Aberdeen and was born in the Granite City on 18 May 1944.

He became a Scottish Schoolboy International centre-half before signing for Aberdeen in June 1959 and then making his senior debut in April 1962. Now operating as a bustling centre-forward, Ernie became extremely popular with 91 goals in 169 competitive appearances, a great record during what was a lean spell for Aberdeen.

The 5'11" striker joined the North American Soccer League side, Chicago Spurs, in 1967 and he remained a prolific marksman with the club in 1968 when the franchise moved to become Kansas City Spurs.

Hearts thought he might be an ideal attacking partner for Donald Ford and Ernie was signed for £10,000 in April 1969. He made his debut on 14 April 1969 and scored in the 1-1 draw against Eintracht Frankfurt.

Ernie's first competitive game was on 19 April, when Hearts beat St Mirren by 2-1 at Tynecastle.

Unfortunately, over the next three seasons, Ernie was hit by spells of illness and injury, and scored only 11 goals in 61 competitive games for Hearts. This was also due to him being asked to regularly operate in an attacking midfield role.

Including all other matches, Ernie netted 14 goals in 75 appearances for Hearts and then in July 1972, he was signed by Arbroath. Ernie played only one season at Gayfield but importantly he helped his new club to remain in the old First Division. Ernie certainly gave Arbroath 100%, just as he always did in a Hearts shirt.

Our thoughts are with his family at this sad time.

On HeartsTV today, Gary Locke's pre-match press conference IN FULL from Riccarton as he looks ahead to his first derby as manager of Heart of Midlothian FC.