Leicester’s Dream Strike Pairing…

There’s more than a hint of irony really, in a week when Leicester City have been running here and there desperately trying to find a striker and even £6M is being sniffed at, that here I am with not one but two excellent centre-forwards in the same cosy front room in a neat terrace in Burnley.

When Alan Young heard that we were interviewing Andy Lochhead for The Fox fanzine he jumped at the chance to come along and visit his old mate. Although they were a decade apart with their Leicester City careers their paths crossed at Oldham Athletic when Lochhead was a veteran and Young was young. Alan considers his fellow Scot to have been one of the biggest influences on his career teaching him the tricks of the trade at Boundary Park and ensuring, in much more physical times for the game, that no assault on Young from a strapping defender, such as Eion Hand, would go unnoticed or unpunished. 

When Andy retired from playing he was Alan’s coach at Oldham and Young recalls his method of letting you know you weren’t in the side. At the pre-match meal Lochhead would prowl around behind the players asking what they had ordered… “If you felt the dreaded hand on your shoulder and the phrase: ‘You can have chips, son’ you knew you hadn’t made the team!” Young recalls.

There are just a few hints around the house of Andy’s former career. A framed Scotland shirt hangs on the wall and there are photos of him playing for Aston Villa against Spurs in the 1971 League Cup final, and meeting Princess Anne before the 1969 FA Cup Final, resplendent in his white City tracksuit top. Sadly, the runners-up medal he received from HRH that day is no longer in his possession, Andy came home one day to find he had been burgled and his medal was missing along with items of his wife’s jewellery.
Burnley, for whom he now works in a matchday hospitality, swiftly commissioned an exact replica to replace it.

I’m not sure what Lochhead and Young would go for in today’s money when a young bloke called Jordan Henderson, that I have barely heard of, can be transferred for £20M but you could probably add a couple of noughts to their transfer fees of old. Andy cost City £80,000 when Matt Gillies brought him from Burnley to Leicester in 1968; and Alan was one of the first players to move under freedom-of-contract in 1979 with a tribunal setting his fee at £250,000, much to Oldham’s disappointment and Jock Wallace’s delight.

Although Andy only played for just under two seasons at Filbert Street City got their money’s worth out of this big brave battering ram of a striker. He scored a bullet header at Anfield in an FA Cup 5th round replay that was City’s tallest hurdle en route to the 1969 FA Cup Final. When we are discussing this career highlight with Andy, Alan is quick to jump in and point out that he also scored at Anfield, although he admits his achievement was somewhat tarnished by it being an own goal past Mark Wallington. 

City won that game too… they often won at Anfield. After eight seasons out of the top flight you begin to wonder when City will ever play Liverpool regularly again, never mind beat them. How we could do with another Lochhead or Young now…

This article first appeared in the Leicester Mercury…

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You can read the rest of the Andy Lochhead interview in the next issue of The FOX…

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