Anderson, Des

Birth Date

11th September 1940


Downpatrick, County Down



Biographical Text

A player who appeared in every game in the 1963/64 promotion season, Des Anderson played for Exeter City between 1962 and 1966. Making over 150 league and cup appearances in total, he joined the club from Glenavon and later played for Chesterfield. He had been a laboratory technician in Belfast before coming to Exeter.

Des, who had won seven caps for the Northern Ireland amateur international team, played for Cliftonville prior to joining Glenavon. Travelling over to Exeter for a trial match he returned to Belfast but then agreed to sign a contract and, following regular centre-half Keith Harvey’s ankle fracture, went straight into City’s first team for the opening game of the season at home to Torquay United on 18 August 1962. He only missed two league matches that season and was an ever-present the following campaign as Exeter won promotion to the Third Division. Somewhat unusually, at the end of the season, the club employed Des as an decorator to supplement his summer wages. Subsequently he only missed three league games in 1964-65 and also scored what proved to be his only league goal for the club in a 4-1 home win over Grimsby Town in December 1964. 

When the substitute rule was introduced in season 1965/66,  allowing a team to replace a player if injury had occurred, the honour of being the Grecians first playing substitute went to Des as he replaced Bryce Fulton away at Brighton and Hove Albion.

As City struggled during 1965/66 prior to their eventual relegation, Des only featured in a handful of times after requesting a transfer in September 1965. Eventually he was released to join Chesterfield in July 1966 where he played just eight matches in two seasons ahead of moving to Matlock Town in the summer of 1968. He also had a short spell in South Africa as well as playing for Banbury United.

Living in North Wales in 2011, Des paid a return visit to St James’ Park in March of that year which was the first time he had been back since he played for the club.  


Exeter City league games only


Appearances as Substitute






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