Wednesday, April 19, 2006

John Lyall 1940-2006

Happy Hammer

I have only been blogging for a few months, but this is the third tribute I have had to do. John Lyall, the former West Ham United and Ipswich Town manager has passed away suddenly at the age of 66.
Lyall was born in Ilford (a great town) and joined West Ham in 1955 staying their as player, coach and player until 1989. Lyall was in charge when West Ham won 2 F.A Cups (1975 and 1980) nad achieved their highest league finish (3rd in 1986 with Cottee and McAvennie up front).
Basically, he was a manager for years when I was growing up and soaking in football statistics like an young, enthusiastic pup who grew up with (figuratively, I didn't actually live with them) such greats as Alan Devonshire, Phil Parkes, Geoff Pike, George Parris, Alvin Martin, Billy Bonds, Tony Cottee, Frank McAvennie, Mark Ward (now in jail for coacine offenses), Alan Dickens and Ray Stewart.
Cheers for the memories, John.

Not only a great manager and top all round bloke - he had that rare commidity in football - a fine mind. His autobiography "Just Like My Dreams - My Life with West Ham" is a very readable affair and unlike most biogs was actually written by him and not ghost written. Go rent it out from your library now or put a bid in on ebay!
A shock indeed. I missed that in the papers, so you are the one who broke the news to me.
Sorry to be the bearer of sad news. I also do bar mitzvahs.
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