Sunday, 17 October 2010

Big Mal

Subject: RE: Malcolm Allison 1927-2010

My first meeting with Malcolm was something of a confrontation . It was the evening of Saturday, 7th October,1967 and the scene was Leeds City ( as it then was ) station . The City team were returning from Roker Park ( arguably to be our hero's nemesis some six seasons on ) and were making the last part of the journey home by coach. Then a student at Leeds University I'd alighted the same train with other like-minded lippy City fans who had been enthralled by the quality of the play that day as time after time our team intricately passed and dribbled and danced a way through the Sunderland defence , failed to score and lost to a solitary breakaway, leaving us in our Championship season with just 11 points from 11 games. Emboldened by copious amounts of the local brew and being the lippiest of the lippy throng I ran along side the mountainous Malcolm , blurting : 'When are you going to buy someone who can shoot instead of walking the ball in ? '. The glare and the stare from the giant encouraged me not to wait around for the answer. I kept on running. He had the complete answer to the charge, of course. On the Monday ( the day the breathalyser was introduced ) Francis Lee was signed.

Thirteen years later and on 'the second coming' I was to become a friend and close neighbour , and privileged to be privy to some remarkable and unforgettable escapades.

Arriving as he did with Joe Mercer when morale was at such a low ebb Malcolm Allison was the positive , inspirational ,innovative influence we all yearned for.
In my 55 seasons no individual has had a greater impact upon the on-field fortunes of Manchester City Football Club .

Phil Bellamy

Subject: RE: Malcolm Allison 1927-2010
Not a memory (I'm too young to remember when Citeh last won anything) but favourite Malcomisms are:

Ahead of his time as usual:
"Four years ago it was all Man Utd, Man Utd, Man Utd. If I mentioned Man City they laughed at me. Who's laughing now?"

and

"We will terrify Europe"

Never shy
"Before we won the Championship, I told the lads exactly how many goals we would score and how many points. I was exactly right. I'm brilliant!"

"I used to shout that I was the greatest coach in the world"

Malcolm introduces himself to Franny Lee
"You're not a good player. In fact, you're a bad player. But I could make you into a fair player"

On new signing Tony Coleman
"Like the nightmare of a delirious Parole Officer"

Subject: RE: Malcolm Allison 1927-2010
Mal’s best result ever !

My choice Everton away in the cup at Everton April 1966 sixth round of the cup draw after extra time

City were going for promotion from the second Everton had won the league in 1963 and had a tremendous team and were going for the league and cup, two wingers to supply the ammo for Fred Pickering and a full house. City first half and most of the second backs to the wall but could have won it towards the end and in the second half of extra time. Everton went on to win the cup.

Over to you

Raymond Ashton

Subject: Malcolm Allison 1927-2010

Sad day fellow citizens, there is a note and some great images on www.mcfc.co.uk the club will be organising some from of official tribute.

Great days and a great hat.

RIP Malcolm.

Ajay Wiltshire

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