Malcolm Allison dies aged 83

Former Manchester City manager Malcolm Allison has died, it was announced today. He was 83.

The club paid tribute to 'Big Mal' on its website, describing him as "flamboyant, brilliant and larger than life".

"Malcolm will be sorely missed by everyone at the club and beyond," said the statement on City's website.

Allison joined the Blues in 1965 as assistant manager to Joe Mercer, before taking up the top job in 1972. He also had a spell back at the club from 1979 to 1980.

Club ambassador Mike Summerbee said: "Malcolm changed football by making us train like athletes, in that respect he was ahead of his time and he was a great tactician as well.

"He was also one of the lads - in effect he was the 12th player from the sidelines but he knew how to crack the whip and we respected him.

"He was a great psychologist; he knew how to handle me and how to get more out of me. He did the same for Colin Bell, Francis Lee, Neil Young and all of that great side."

City Life president and former general secretary Bernard Halford, who knew Malcolm for more than 40 years, said, "We will never see the likes of him ever again, and he did so much for the club. The signing of Tony Book was a masterstroke, but he enhanced the careers of so many other players and they worshipped him.

"You knew he was in a room with you, not many people have that kind of presence but Malcolm did, and he transferred the confidence he had in himself to the team.

"He felt we could beat anybody and he wanted the players to think that way too."

City, whose flags are at half mast, will pay tribute to Allison at their next Premier League home game against Arsenal next Sunday.

There will also be an appropriate commemoration to his life and work in the memorial garden at the City of Manchester Stadium, said the club.

Working alongside Mercer, Allison helped transform City into one of the most exciting sides in the country. They won the league title in 1968, the FA Cup in 1969, and in 1970 the League Cup and European Cup Winners' Cup.

He went on to manage Crystal Palace on two separate occasions and returned to City in 1979 for a brief and unsuccessful spell. His management career also included spells at Bath, Plymouth, Galatasaray, Sporting Lisbon, Toronto City, Middlesbrough and Bristol Rovers.

Allison, known for wearing a fedora and his love of cigars, spent most of his playing career as a centre half at West Ham, making 238 appearances (10 goals) in the 1950s.

However his playing career was cut short after suffering tuberculosis.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor