MARTIN O'NEILL'S two years as manager have arguably been the most successful in Leicester City's history. But older fans tend to become more misty-eyed about the flair which characterised Jimmy Bloomfield's reign in the 1970s, much of it served up by refugees from today's visitors, Chelsea.
Keith Weller, Chris Garland and Steve Kember all arrived from Stamford Bridge, while Alan Birchenall (now a PR man at Leicester) linked up after diverting to Crystal Palace. Combining with other recruits from the capital like Jon Sammels and Steve Earle, plus the distinctly un-Southern Frank Worthington, their flamboyance contrasted with the functionalism of O'Neill's team.
Weller's final goal for Leicester - scored in a pair of white tights worn for protection against the cold - symbolised the end of an era in 1979. Bloomfield had already left, yet Filbert Street continued to tap the Fulham Road connection. David Webb, who had won the FA Cup for Chelsea in 1970 and later occupied their manager's chair, was relegated in his only full season with the Foxes.
Another of Bloomfield's Cockney colony, Dennis Rofe, left for Chelsea in 1980. The same year, Hereford's Andy Feeley went on loan to Chelsea, whose failure to make the deal permanent disheartened him so much he went off to play for Trowbridge. His manager there, a certain Mr Birchenall, sold him to Leicester where he became the regular right-back. Muzzy Izzet, signed by O'Neill for pounds 800,000 from Ruud Gullit, provides the "ex" factor today.
Ten things that Southampton's
might be missing
1 His home town, Haugesund, which advertises itself in Norway as "The best in the south-west."
2 The "lovely shops, reasonable prices and god service" promised in Haugesund tourist literature.
3 Stave churches, the oldest wooden buildings on earth. Rivalled only by parts of The Dell.
4 The tantalisingly promoted Etne waterfall, near Haugesund. "Total height 1900 feet. Picnic area, kiosk and toilets."
5 Brown goat's cheese.
6 A day in Hell, a town which often freezes over and the Pope once passed.
7 The world's longest table (covered in pickled herrings) which is erected for coastal festival days.
8 Glacier hiking in Nigardsbreen, guaranteed to be less perilous than a season at Southampton.
9 The statue of writhing bodies in Oslo's Vigeland Park. Evokes all emotions from unfettered joy to total despair, not unlike watching Matt Le Tissier.
10 More fresh fish than you can shake a stick at.
NAME OF THE GAME
No 23: PEGASUS
Famous for their extraordinary exploits in the FA Amateur Cup in the 1950s, Pegasus won it twice at Wembley in front of 100,000 crowds. The name Pegasus (winged horse) was adopted in recognition of the names of the two university clubs from which they drew membership, Oxford's Centaurs and Cambridge's Falcons. The club lasted just 15 years.
ON 19 February 1965, Chelsea's manager Tommy Docherty stunned the football world by cooly selling their prized striker, Tommy Knox, to Newcastle.
It did not hinder their progress that season. The next day they beat Tottenham 1-0 in the fifth round of the FA Cup. They were top of the League at the time, and progressing in the League Cup, and a Daily Mirror headline even asked: "Heck!... Why not Chelsea for the lot?"
They didn't quite win the lot, but it might hearten Gianluca Vialli to note that Chelsea finished third in the First Division, were semi-finalists in the FA Cup and won the League Cup.
Lincoln's Third Division fixture against Barnet today recalls the remarkable season the two clubs enjoyed in the GM Vauxhall Conference 10 years ago. Lincoln, having been relegated from the old Fourth Division, kept a full-time playing staff in the hope of winning immediate promotion back into the League and it paid off as they pipped Barnet to the Conference post.
Barry Fry's Barnet - who were to win promotion three years later - led for seven months of the season but faltered in the closing stages. Colin Murphy's Lincoln secured promotion with a 2-0 win at home to Wycombe Wanderers in front of a crowd of 9,432.
THis WEEK'S TRANSFERS
Free transfers or undislosed fees unless stated
Alun Armstrong (forward) Stockport to Middlesbrough (pounds 1.5m); Darren Purse (defender) Oxford Utd to Birmingham (pounds 600,000); Kyle Lightbourne (forward) Coventry to Stoke (pounds 500,000); James Quinn (forward) Blackpool to West Bromwich (pounds 500,000); Kevin Francis (forward) Birmingham to Oxford Utd (pounds 100,000); Gary Bollan (defender) Rangers to St Johnstone (pounds 100,000); Andy Legg (defender) Birmingham to Reading (pounds 75,000); Matthew Robinson (winger) Southampton to Portsmouth (pounds 50,000); Danny Cullip (defender) Fulham to Brentford (pounds 50,000); Jermaine Wright (forward) Wolves to Crewe (pounds 25,000); Simon Coleman (defender) Bolton to Southend; Nicky Wright (forward) Derby to Carlisle; Danny George (defender) Nottingham Forest to Doncaster; Habib Sissoko (forward) Louhans-Cuiseaux (Fr) to Preston.
Peter Beardsley (forward) Bolton to Manchester City; Craig Liddle (defender) Middlesbrough to Darlington; Lee Briscoe (defender) Sheffield Wednesday to Manchester City; Steve Bywater (goalkeeper) Rochdale to West Ham; Danny Hill (midfielder) Tottenham to Cardiff; Bryan Gunn (goalkeeper) Norwich to Hibernian; Steve Davis (defender) Barnsley to Oxford Utd; Stuart Elliott (defender) Newcastle to Swindon; Lee Charles (forward) QPR to Cambridge Utd; Mark Crossley (goalkeeper) Nottingham Forest to Millwall; Tony Lormor (forward) Preston to Notts County; Darren Roberts (forward) Darlington to Peterborough; Zeke Rowe (forward) Peterborough to Doncaster; Steve Tutill (defender) York to Darlington; Neil Woods (forward) Grimsby to Mansfield; Jim Crawford (midfielder) Newcastle to Dundee Utd; Manny Omoyinmi (forward) West Ham to Dundee Utd.
Contributors: Phil Shaw, Nick Harris, Paul Newman
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