The FOX – the Leicester City fanzine – issue 180 is in the shops now…
FOX 180 features: an interview with former-City boss Frank O’Farrell; What Was the Year? Quiz; Odd One Out; Fully Programmed from 1981; Fox Diary; the latest from the Foxes Trust; Tales From the Riverbank; Rewind – Tommy Wright for sale; the Chris Lymn Column; an extract from our new book ‘GOT, NOT GOT’; John Hutchinson’s From the Archives; Expectations; the Filbert Street turnstile block model competition result; your letters and Bentley’s Roof; Parting Shots; and Fanatical Frank goes to Chelsea…
A quarter of a century, and we’re still here…
Frank O’Farrell Interview extract:
FOX: You clinched the title at Bristol City and were then awarded the trophy at Portsmouth on the last day of the season. Was there a point before that when you thought ‘Yes, we’ve done this.’?
FO’F: We were never sure until it was done. It is a game that can knock you down and it can all go wrong in the last minute of the last match. There’s no certainties and you have to keep your tempo up until you have actually achieved it.
It was nice to win it and a great achievement. It was a quick recovery and we didn’t languish in the Second Division which means you can start to lose your best players.
FOX: You moved to Manchester United that summer, how did that come about?
FO’F: I had a phone call from Matt Gillies, he said: “Matt Busby wants to talk to you, is it okay to give him your number?”
I said that was fine, my contract was actually up at Leicester.
He said: “I don’t know what he wants to talk about.” But I knew United were looking for a new manager so I had a good idea.
If my contract hadn’t been up at Leicester I would never have entertained it, because I preached to the players that they had to honour their contracts.
I spoke to Matt Busby and he wanted to meet somewhere quiet so that it wouldn’t get in the papers. I arranged a meeting at my house, at that time I was on Loughborough Road in Birstall. I met him off the motorway junction and he followed me back.
He offered me the United job. “I’ve let things go, there’s a lot of work to be done.” he admitted, “So you’ll get a five year contract at £12,000 a year and time to sort it all out.”
I said I’d think about it over the weekend and talk to Len Shipman on Monday.
He said he’d just talked to Len at a League meeting in London about approaching me and Len told him I wasn’t interested!
How Len knew that I don’t know, but these things go on in football.