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When Allan Clarke made a little lads day

PostPosted: 26 Jul 2013, 12:21
by isrodger
Over 31 years ago, when I was 14 yrs of age, I rang up Elland road and asked to speak to the manager, amazingly I was put through, and the then manager 'Sniffer Clarke' not only took my call, but genuinely engaged me in conversation for what felt like half an hour. Allan who had just lost his right hand man Martin Wilkinson explained that promises he had been made had not been followed through; he had all but signed Joe Jordan prior to AC Milan coming in for him, he had then gone for Gary Thompson, until there was a change of manager there (dave sexton I think who knew him from the U21s, and there was a reason why the Andy Gray deal hadn't happened; possibly because he didn't want to lose Arthur Graham. There was also a Peruvian lad I think we had been interested in. But that was the past, what was really enlightening was his plans for our first season in division 2. He accepted, he would probably have to sell John Lukic, however he assured me we had a great talent coming through in the shape of a lad called David Seaman. I feel sure he also mentioned John Scales. He then went onto reveal he had plans in place to sign midfield general from Bolton (his wages were an issue) and a talented left footed midfielder out of Liverpools reserves. The players Peter Reid & Kevin Sheedy, were of course to go on to be an integral part of a great Everton midfield. I think I urged him to have a look at Paul Rideout of Swindon, who I think had just scored a hatrick for England schoolboys on the TV. He then went on to tell me there was a lot of politics in the England set up; I don't think he played for the schoolboys and I suspect Allan would carry a grudge! 
What might have been had Allan been allowed one more season, 4 up and coming internationals to add to the Gray brothers, Paul Hart,Kenny Burns, Jasper, Arthur Graham and Frank Worthington. 
Allan was soon to be relaced by Eddie, players were sold to reduce costs and we headed off to cleethorpes (another story altogether) more in hope than expectation.The rest is as they say history. I know there are a few contributors on hear that have been in and around the managers & players of yesteryear .... Has anyone got any insight into non publicised deals that got away? 

Re: When Allan Clarke made a little lads day

PostPosted: 26 Jul 2013, 12:27
by Selby White
Allan Clarke also made my day when I was 14 years old, mind you that was in 1972 and i was stood in the tunnel end at wembley. :D

Re: When Allan Clarke made a little lads day

PostPosted: 26 Jul 2013, 12:42
by Deleted User 130
Garry Thompson's scuppered deal is what cost us our Div One status, I've always said that and yes it's absolutely true. Peter Reid had been on Leeds' radar for some time, late 70s in fact, but I didn't know anything about Sheedy. The Peruvian could have been Cubillas y'know, but most of us will have put it down to paper talk anyway. Clarkey was pretty much let down by the board but in turn, to spend nearly a million on a winger but not have a target man in place for him to cross to, is what cost us. Jordan was at AC Milan at the time but no doubt it will have been money that meant we missed out. There was also the 'imminent' signing of Terry Yorath but it was reported in the press and so Clarke ended the deal - Terry was absolutely ready to sign and to this day I believe he doesn't know why Clarke did that. We were lacking TWO things in that line-up - a target man and a never-say-die midfield battler - but if we'd got TY in then I really do/did believe we'd have stayed up.

Horrible times and to cap it all I got arrested on the way back from West Brom in 82. For non violent crime I should add.

Re: When Allan Clarke made a little lads day

PostPosted: 26 Jul 2013, 14:31
by isrodger
I remember the yorath deal breaking one Sunday afternoon was he at spurs? Must have been early days of the live Sunday game ... or maybe it was motd. The Peruvian wasn't cubilas it was some geezer who had been voted 3rd best player in the world ! Imagine him alongside maradona!!! Oh bill (fotherby) I miss you! Evidently reid was was on £1,000 a week @ Bolton .... To put it into perspective wasn't keegan on something like £600 a week in 1977 @ Liverpool and he was a mega star. Mind you we paid Peter Barnes £1,000 a week the year earlier. (claim to fame I was presented some type of cert by barnes & jasper just after barnes had signed at a open trial @ Carnegie.... there was also a little(and I mean small) sulky t..t there with blonde hair 2 yrs younger than me who played for pudsey who had just signed forms... A certain david batty)

Re: When Allan Clarke made a little lads day

PostPosted: 26 Jul 2013, 18:44
by Malcolm Stark
Allan Clarke was just a class act. I wish he'd never become Leeds manager, really. Football was so ugly in the 80s. It really didn't suit his stature. Most of the best players from our childhoods couldn't do it. It was for unglamorous full backs and lower league obscurities like Graham Taylor, David Pleat, Bobby Robson and Ron Atkinson to flourish in the manager's office then.

Allan Clarke was a class act. He might not have had the total class of, say, a Martin Chivers, but his commitment to every team he ever played for, lifted them to standards above their base weight. I'm not suggesting, of course, that Chivers wasn't committed, or didn't care, but he did less so than Sniffer.

Look at Barcelona's goal at Elland road in 75... Paul Reaney came back and dispossessed the attacker with such class and effortless ease, the ref awarded a free-kick to Barca, from which they scored. Reaney could NOT believe the decision, but said absolutely nothing. It was Sniffer who'd come back and argued, and got booked in the process. Big Chiv would NEVER have done that.

Allan Clarke may not have had the epic goal-scoring seasons of Francis Lee, Supermac, Pop Robson or Jeff Astle, but he was much, much better. He was, frankly, the best centre-forward of that entire decade. He was just a class act.