WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
The heroes of Swindon’s 1985-86 Fourth Division title success
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.