The he­roes of Swin­don’s 1985-86 Fourth Divi­sion ti­tle suc­cess

The Football League Paper - - NEWS - By Neil Fissler

CHAR­LIE Henry be­lieves that Swin­don Town owe a huge debt of grat­i­tude to Lou Macari for lay­ing the foun­da­tions of the club play­ing in the Pre­mier League.

But you would have been hard pressed to find even the most ar­dent Robins fan mak­ing bold pre­dic­tions like that at the start of the 1985-86 sea­son.

Just eight games into the sea­son, the Robins were lan­guish­ing in 21st place af­ter los­ing five games in the open­ing two months of the cam­paign.

Any pre­dic­tions about pro­mo­tion couldn’t have been any fur­ther from the mind but then fol­lowed an amaz­ing se­quence of re­sults.

Swin­don won 14 of their next 17 games and it was enough to take them clear at the top of the ta­ble.

And go­ing un­beaten from Jan­uary 12 un­til the fi­nal day of the sea­son saw Swin­don romp to the ti­tle with a record 102 points.

Henry, a lo­cal lad who spent six years on the Town End ter­race as a young­ster, was their lead­ing scorer with 18 goals af­ter con­vert­ing from defence to mid­field.

He cred­its former Manch­ester United and Scot­land mid­fielder Macari with start­ing the ball rolling and the club reach­ing the Pre­mier League seven years later.

“I think af­ter those first few games it was the fear fac­tor with the man­ager be­cause he was re­ally strict,” he said.

“He had a lot of young play­ers who were mainly free sign­ings or if he did pay money, it was very, very lit­tle.

“He used to like tak­ing us away to army camps for two or three days be­fore games. He was ob­sessed with train­ing and we spent a lot of time away from our fam­i­lies.

“But it was a good pe­riod. We went up again the fol­low­ing sea­son through the play-offs.

“When Lou first came we were only get­ting at­ten­dances of 2,0002,500, we were a fairly small club.

“He then changed the course and mapped out how Swin­don would progress over the years.

“We made big strides and he put Swin­don on the map. Af­ter him, Ossie Ardiles and Glenn Hod­dle man­aged the club.

“Had Lou not been man­ager there is no way in a mil­lion years we would have at­tracted the likes of Ossie Ardiles and Glenn Hod­dle.

“Lou did all the hard work, and there is no doubt he laid the foun­da­tions for what fol­lowed.” 1. John Trol­lope: A left-back, he is the Robins’ record ap­pear­ance holder with an incredible 889. Spent 36 years at the club, in­clud­ing a spell as man­ager, be­fore be­com­ing a post­man. Has also done some scout­ing for his son, Paul.

2. Leigh Bernard: The mid­fielder be­came a maths teacher at Ab­bots­field Sec­ondary School for Boys in Hilling­don.

3. Chris Ka­mara: Kammy was a mid­fielder who had spent time in the Navy. Went on to man­age Brad­ford City and Stoke be­fore be­com­ing a pop­u­lar pun­dit with Sky Sports.

4. Dave Bam­ber: The striker is based in Black­pool where he started and ended his ca­reer. Works as a prop­erty de­vel­oper and runs Bam­ber’s Re­me­dial Con­trac­tors.

5. Colin Gor­don: A striker, he is now a di­rec­tor of Key Sports Man­age­ment and is also Kid­der­min­ster Har­ri­ers’ foot­ball de­vel­op­ment di­rec­tor.

6. David Cole: A cen­tral de­fender, he is now based in South Wales. Spent his post-play­ing ca­reer work­ing in a va­ri­ety of shops.

7. Kenny Allen: The goal­keeper lives in New­ton Ab­bot and was a post­man be­fore be­com­ing an am­bu­lance driver for the South & West Devon Health Author­ity. 8. Char­lie Henry: A cen­tral mid­fielder who still lives in Swin­don. Spent ten years at Rover but now works for his brother-in-law mak­ing stain­less steel uri­nals.

9. Colin Calder­wood: A cen­tral de­fender who has man­aged Northamp­ton, Not­ting­ham For­est, New­cas­tle and Hibs. Is now as­sis­tant man­ager at Brighton & Hove Al­bion.

10. Dave Hock­a­day: A right-back who has man­aged For­est Green Rovers, Leeds United, Coven­try City (co-care­taker), where he was de­vel- op­ment man­ager, and is now in charge of Kid­der­min­ster.

11. Andy Rowland: An England youth in­ter­na­tional, he was first team coach at the County Ground and was the land­lord of the Plough Inn. Now works for Swin­don Mind.

12. Chris Ram­sey: The left-back worked for the FA, in the States and for Spurs, where he was as­sis­tant tech­ni­cal co-or­di­na­tor. Was man­ager of Queens Park Rangers un­til last week.

13. Kevin Mor­ris: The former physio spent 36 years at the club un­til his death in Septem­ber 1994.

14. Bryan Wade: A for­ward, he worked as a stone­ma­son be­fore turn­ing pro­fes­sional. Is now earn­ing a liv­ing as a builder in the Bath area.

15. Pe­ter Coyle: A mid­fielder who has worked in Manch­ester United’s com­mu­nity scheme. Now works at Manch­ester Air­port and coaches in lo­cal schools. 16. Paul Roberts: A full-back, he is back liv­ing in his na­tive Lon­don and is one of a num­ber of ex-foot­ballers who are driv­ing a black cab in Lon­don for a liv­ing.

17. Lou Macari: Af­ter spells in man­age­ment, he now lives in Stoke-on-Trent and works as a me­dia pun­dit. Also owns Lou Macari’s Fish and Chip shop near Old Traf­ford.

18. Derek Hall: The mid­fielder is now based in Port Ade­laide, Aus­tralia, where he coaches the lo­cal side, the Pi­rates, and is coach­ing di­rec­tor of a lo­cal foot­ball academy.

19. Tony Evans: The for­ward has worked as a so­cial worker as well as for one of his former clubs, Wolves, as com­mu­nity man­ager.

20. David Moss: A winger, he joined the Robins’ coach­ing staff and is now the chief scout in the UK for Liver­pool’s academy. NOT PIC­TURED Scott En­der­sby: A goal­keeper, he en­tered the li­censed trade and has be­come a chef in both York­shire and Hert­ford­shire. Jake Find­lay: The goal­keeper is now an As­ton Villa sea­son ticket holder and works as a driv­ing in­struc­tor in Great Barr, Birm­ing­ham. Mark Gar­diner: A winger, he worked as a post­man in Crewe be­fore re­turn­ing to his na­tive Cirences­ter. Nicky Cole­man: The full-back has been run­ning his own build­ing com­pany in Brom­ley since a knee in­jury forced him into retirement.





















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