Henry Hall was one of the finest players ever to play for Saints. He was a natural goalscorer and not only had he the ability to be in the right place at the right time but he seemed to have time to pass the ball into the net. He helped transform Willie Ormond’s team from a mid table team into a top side feared by the Old Firm and ultimately European opponents.
In November 1968 Manager Willie Ormond signed Henry from Stirling Albion paying a then record transfer fee of £15,000 to bring him to Perth.
He made his debut on 9th November 1968 at Muirton Park in a 3 – 2 defeat from St Mirren.
Saints team that day was : – Derek Robertson, George Miller, Willie Coburn, Alex Gordon, Benny Rooney, Ian McPhee, Kenny Aird, Buck McCarry, Alex MacDonald, Henry Hall, John Connolly. Sub: Gordon Whitlelaw.
Goalscorers were – Aird and McPhee from the penalty spot. Attendance 4,350.
Henry would go on to make a total of 256 ( 253 starts plus 3 sub ) appearances which places him in 18th position in the all time Appearances list.
With 114 goals he is the 3rd highest goalscorer in the history of St Johnstone behind John Brogan ( 140 goals ) and Ian Rodger ( 116 goals ).
Between 24 February and 1 April 1969 he scored in 8 consecutive matches.
He scored 5 Hat tricks: –
22 March 1969 v Raith Rovers 5 – 1.
16 August 1969 in the unforgettable 8 – 1 thrashing of Partick Thistle at Firhill.
3 October 1970 v Ayr United 4 – 1.
15 April 1972 v Kilmarnock 5 – 1.
24 March 1973 v Dundee 4 – 1.
He was of course a key player in the run that would take Saints to Hampden Park for the 1969 League Cup Final where the team were most unlucky to lose to Celtic 1 – 0.
During the 1971/72 UEFA Cup campaign he scored the opening goal in the 3 – 0 win over SV Hamburg at Muirton and played in 4 of the 6 European matches. Injury kept him out of the Vasas Budapest match at Muirton and the Zel Sarajevo match in Yugoslavia.
He was honoured in both 1969 and 1970 when he represented the Scottish League against the English League, firstly, at Hampden where he came on as a sub, and the following year, at Coventry where he started the match.
He was voted the Supporters Club Player of the Year in 1969 and again in 1971.
His last match for Saints was at Fir Park Motherwell where a crowd of 4646 saw the home team win 3 – 0.
Saints team was: – Derek Robertson, Gordon Smith, Sandy Smith, Alex Rennie, Ian MacDonald, Gordon Cramond, Henry Hall, Jim O’Rourke, John Muir, Billy Ritchie, Duncan Lambie. Subs: Fred Aitken, Gordon McGregor.
In 1975 Manager Jackie Stewart allowed him to leave Muirton on a free transfer. He would join Dundee United where his experience helped Jim McLean bring through a highly talented group of young players.
Henry Hall was inducted into the St Johnstone Hall of Fame on Saturday night, an award that he richly deserves.