I Remember when he played alongside Ball and they ran rings around our glamorous midfield in the 60s. A good player and a good manager and at one time almost a household name but often overlooked in those memories moments. Sad news, condolences.
"I feel close to the rebelliousness and vigour of the youth here. Perhaps time will separate us, but nobody can deny that here, behind the windows of Manchester, there is an insane love of football, of celebration and of music."
I’ve written to two sports ‘celebrities’ in my life. The first was to Richie Benaud after he’d announced his retirement. I wrote to him to thank him for being the calm rational voice of my cricket summers and with good grace he responded. The second letter I wrote was to Howard Kendall when I was a 23-year-old. That wasn’t such a nice letter.
I first watched Howard Kendall when him, Harvey and Ball formed the classiest Everton midfield I was to ever experience (and probably ever will). I was 11 in 1970, when Everton won the league and in those days troops of 11-year-olds (and younger!) would still go the game in numbers and unsupervised without it becoming a child neglect issue. (In fact, the only dilemma I’d ever face on match days was whether to spend my bus fare home on a bag of chips and a walk back to Huyton or risk a clip around the head by the conductor for bunking on the bus.) I still remember the brilliance of that midfield, though through the haze of 50 years.
In 1981 Kendall rejoined Everton as manager and at first the signs were not promising. By 1982-83, tempers were frayed and the ‘Kendall Out!’ chants became a small but significant presence at home games. After one particularly disappointing game I reached for the Basildon Bond and fountain pen (blue ink not green) and poured out all of my frustrations to the manager.
I can’t remember the wording of the letter, but the gist was that I wasn’t happy with his management, he wasn’t motivating the players, they were lazy and I was particularly scathing of our young Welsh left-back, who was the most useless defender I ever had the misfortune to watch. I ended the letter that, if I was ever given the chance to play for Everton, you’d need the trainer to carry me off the field as I’d have used every last drop of energy during the game.
He responded. He offered me a trial.
I took the opportunity and as a not very good alehouse player was so far out of my depth it was embarrassing. After it, he treated me to lunch, a tour of the facilities and the chance to meet the players - he offered me tickets for the next Everton home game, which I declined as I was a season ticket holder already, so he arranged for me to have two tickets sent to my address for Everton’s next away game (Arsenal). He never mentioned the letter I’d written once except to say as we parted – ‘You see (Sid), we are trying our best.’
The manager I roundly castigated went on not only to win my respect but to become the most successful manager in Everton’s history. The Welsh left-back I was scathing about was Kevin Ratcliffe, playing out of position, who became Everton’s most successful captain and certainly the quickest central defender I ever watched.
So thanks Howard wherever you are for the best 10 footballing years of my life both watching you as a player and your first spell as a manager. Most of all from a very personal note - thanks for teaching me the value of humility.
"Cohle Island knows no King but the King in the North, whose name is Cantona."
Deleted: 'indonesian wizard'
May 10, 2018 18:27:15 GMT
WhatsTheMata: Glad you think it's funny. When we get fucked around by the spells you just deleted you will take me seriously
May 19, 2018 11:57:48 GMT
No.7: Can this thread be unlocked or is it too early? not that i want Jose out now but i think were coming close to that time and want to hear peoples opinions on the subject.
Sept 20, 2018 10:15:25 GMT
cjjagzmoni: Pogba is a good lad minus the showboating..I think at Juventus he had Older players like Pirlo,Chiellini,Marchisio,Bonucci who shout and screams at him so he was more serious at Juve ,We dont have those type of leaders at United to caution him.
Nov 1, 2018 3:36:38 GMT
geo: Cardiff City - Huddersfield Town - Bournemouth - Newcastle United = 12 points. Back in the hunt. Come on.
Dec 19, 2018 17:55:18 GMT
geo: Job done as above - next step, stay unbeaten until we get to the PSG game.
Jan 3, 2019 23:17:42 GMT
theedge: Just discovered this forum. I live in Canada so don't get to many games, but I get to watch all the games live. Last 2 games attended in person: Europa League Final in Stockholm 2017, FA Cup Final 2016. Won the last 11 I've been to. I need to go more often
Apr 1, 2019 23:25:01 GMT
simes: Kazakhstan....well blow me down...been there many a time, not so bad a journey. FC Astana are not a bad outfit, gave Celtic a good run, and the National side beat Scotland. What do you reckon a walk over? BTW its easy to get to, I always use Air Astana.
Aug 30, 2019 14:11:59 GMT
snan1218: Hi,I'm very new member,the Red Devil from Malaysia.
Oct 10, 2019 9:16:40 GMT
shah: Hi i am shah been united fan from birec
Jan 24, 2020 8:33:02 GMT