Malcolm Allison

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The Independent Online

Lack of space perhaps prevented Ivan Ponting's typically admirable tribute to Malcolm Allison (16 October) mentioning his brief sojourn as manager at then non-League Yeovil Town in 1981, writes KG Banks.

I remember when they visited Maidstone United with the sheepskin-coated Allison in charge – no fedora or cigar evident that day – and found themselves four goals down after eight minutes. The home supporters could hardly believe it and they wasted no time in letting Malcolm know. However, he quickly made some organisational changes and his team speedily retrieved a goal and then later on another, eventually going on to lose a closely fought, open, end-to-end match, in which the final result, always in doubt, was 4-2.

A defeat, yes, but I cannot recollect a more entertaining and sporting encounter at London Road, thanks, no doubt, in no small measure to Allison's belief that football should not be a dour, attritional thing but an exciting spectacle, 90 minutes in the week when you were able to forget about your workaday worries.