Catch­ing up with Cam­bridge United’s 1990-91 Divi­sion Three cham­pi­ons

The Football League Paper - - INSIDE: - By Neil Fissler

RICHARD WILKINS be­lieves that John Beck’s Cam­bridge United don’t get the credit their achieve­ments de­served.

Beck led the club to back-to­back pro­mo­tions. In 1990-91, the U’s lifted the Third Divi­sion ti­tle, edg­ing out Southend United by a point.

A year ear­lier, af­ter tak­ing over from Chris Turner, he had taken them to Wem­b­ley for the first time in their his­tory, guid­ing them to a Fourth Divi­sion play-off fi­nal win over Ch­ester­field.

Beck also took Cam­bridge to the sixth round of the FA Cup for the only two times in their his­tory, in suc­ces­sive sea­sons when they were beaten by Crys­tal Palace and Arse­nal re­spec­tively.

Beck’s first spell in charge at the Abbey Sta­dium is of­ten over­shad­owed by an­tics that made Wim­ble­don’s Grazy Gang look tame – and Wilkins says what the team achieved is for­got­ten.

“We didn’t get the credit that we de­served,” he said. “We were di­rect, sim­i­lar to the likes of Wim­ble­don and Stoke.

“John Beck was one of the first man­agers to pump the ball be­hind the full-backs.

“We were also one of the first teams to play a 4-2-4 and some peo­ple didn’t like the fact that we some­times went di­rect.

“I can re­mem­ber a few teams moan­ing, es­pe­cially Charl­ton and West Ham, af­ter we beat them.

“But it wasn’t just long ball foot­ball. We had qual­ity play­ers and some of them went on to bet­ter things.

“How­ever, some­times you get la­belled and if you are seen as a long-ball team, you don’t get the credit that you should.”

Wilkins in­sists that dur­ing his time at the club he didn’t see many of the things that were of­ten talked about in the me­dia.

“Some play­ers used to get cold show­ers, but just to gee them up a bit,” he said.

“Peo­ple used to ac­cuse us of giv­ing the op­po­si­tion crappy balls to warm up with but we never saw that side of things.

“I never knew of any so-called an­tics or dirty tricks that were go­ing on. It is only when you read peo­ple’s books that you say to your­self ‘I don’t re­mem­ber any of that’.

“It may well be that peo­ple like to make a lit­tle bit more of it than what it re­ally was and get a story out of it.

“Apart from the cold show­ers, I don’t re­mem­ber any­thing else.”

1. Gra­ham Scarff: The for­mer youth coach is now liv­ing in the King’s Lynn area.

2. Danny O’Shea: A mid­fielder who was as­sis­tant man­ager of the U’s and coach at Northamp­ton. Ran a wine bar and then a pub be­fore em­i­grat­ing to Aus­tralia where he runs soc­cer schools.

3. Gary Woolf: A left-back, he now lives in Dun­sta­ble, Bed­ford­shire, where he runs his own com­pany, Gazza Driv­ing Ser­vices.

4. Liam Daish: A Re­pub­lic of Ire­land cen­tral de­fender, he has man­aged Ha­vant &Wa­ter­looville, Welling United, Ebb­s­fleet United and then Nuneaton Town un­til April 2015.

5. Dion Dublin: A striker who won Eng­land caps, he has worked in the me­dia and in 2015 joined pop­u­lar TV show ‘ Homes Un­der the Ham­mer’ as a pre­sen­ter. Has also in­vented a mu­si­cal in­stru­ment, The Dube.

6. Phil Chap­ple: A de­fender who went into coach­ing and scout­ing work­ing for Peter­bor­ough, West Ham United and Charl­ton Ath­letic. Cur­rently se­nior scout at Ful­ham.

7. Paul Ba­s­tock: The goal­keeper and Non-League stal­wart made his 1,000th league ap­pear­ance in Fe­bru­ary 2015. The 45-year-old is still play­ing for Dun­sta­ble Town and runs his own goal­keep­ing school.

8. John Vaughan: A goal­keeper who went into coach­ing with York, Mac­cles­field, Grimsby, Hud­der­s­field Town, Birm­ing­ham City and now Barns­ley.

9. Steve Lewis: The goal­keeper is liv­ing in his na­tive Nor­folk. Is a part­ner in the fam­ily in­te­ri­ors com­pany, spe­cial­is­ing in cov­ing and ceil­ings.

10. John Tay­lor: A striker who was U’s boss be­tween 2001 and 2003. Lives in North Suf­folk and works as a ware­house man­ager.

11. Steve Welsh: The de­fender and for­mer sol­dier went on to be Lin­coln’s com­mu­nity of­fi­cer, man­age Bos­ton United, where he was also head of youth, and is now work­ing for Non-League llke­ston FC.

12. Colin Bailie: A full-back who moved to Cum­bria where he joined the po­lice and is a mem­ber of the Pen­rith ru­ral polic­ing team.

13. Michael Cheetham: A mid­fielder, he worked for an Ip­swich-based firm as a dis­tri­bu­tion man­ager but is now earn­ing a liv­ing as a courier.

14. Roy John­son: He has served var­i­ous clubs as physio, in­clud­ing Arse­nal, and was work­ing for His­ton un­til re­tir­ing in 2010.

15. Neville Proc­tor: A for­mer ac­coun­tant who served the club as chief scout and is now re­tired liv­ing in Suf­folk.

16. Lau­rie Ryan: The for­ward has been a sales man­ager for First Copy Cor­po­ra­tion for the last 22 years af­ter work­ing for Bar­l­ey­corn Copiers and Howlett Of­fice Equip­ment.

17. Steve Clar­idge: The striker has man­aged Portsmouth, Wey­mouth, Mill­wall and, cur­rently, Sal­is­bury. He also works in the me­dia and has his own foot­ball foun­da­tion.

18. Shaun Har­ring­ton: A mid­fielder who has set­tled in the Cam­bridge area. Works for Cam­bridge City Coun­cil run­ning their ManagEn­ergy scheme.

19. Gary Clay­ton: The Eng­land semi-pro­fes­sional in­ter­na­tional mid­fielder now lives in his na­tive Sh­effield where he has re­turned to his trade of plas­terer.

20. James Kearns: The full­back has for the last 21 years been the op­er­a­tions di­rec­tor of St Neots Pack­ag­ing in Cam­bridgeshire

21. Lee Philpott: The winger is now based in York­shire where he runs a suc­cess­ful foot­ball man­age­ment com­pany, LPM Foot­ball Agents. 22. John Beck: Af­ter two spells man­ag­ing Cam­bridge as well as Pre­ston, Lin­coln City, His­ton and Ket­ter­ing, he is now work­ing for the Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion. 23. Gary John­son: The as­sis­tant man­ager be­came U’s man­ager and is cur­renlty in charge of Chel­tenham Town. His son, Lee, man­ages one of his for­mer clubs, Bris­tol City. 24. Tony Den­nis: The mid­fielder was last known to be liv­ing and work­ing in the Der­byshire area. 25. Chris Lead­bit­ter: A mid­fielder, he has now re­turned to his na­tive North East where he works in an in­dus­trial chem­i­cal plant on Teesside. 26. Alan Kim­ble: A de­fender who has man­aged Non-League sides Ave­ley and Mal­don & Tiptree. For the last 20 years has been an en­gi­neer at Ford’s Dun­ton car seat plant. 27. Andy Fen­some: A right­back who has been as­sis­tant man­ager at Here­ford United. Is now a youth team coach at Pre­ston and is the man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of a graph­ics and sig­nage com­pany. 28. Richard Wilkins: A de­fender who has man­aged Bury Town and now Leis­ton, and is the head of foot­ball at West Suf­folk Col­lege. 29. Mike Cook: A mid­fielder who ran Cam­bridge’s com­mu­nity scheme. Then went into coach­ing and is now the PFA re­gional coach ed­u­ca­tor in the South West.






























Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.