Leicester fans of a certain age hold very fond memories of the side that Jimmy Bloomfield built…
Barring the Charity Shield in his first game they never lifted any silverware, so it is difficult to explain quite how colourful and exciting those times were, but those who were there at the time will know.
Last year The FOX had an interview with Jimmy’s son David, here is an extract of what turned out to be an excellent and revealing piece.
FOX: Whereabouts did you live in Leicester?
DB: We lived in Oadby, just off Manor Road, Cranbourne Gardens. It was Manor Road ‘unadopted’ at the time, which made it a really bumpy ride for my bike or later my Mark II Cortina. I think its part of the University now?
FOX: How old were you when you moved to Leicester?
DB: I was about 13, my Dad was manager at Orient and we lived in Epping. He had established them as a level two club having won what was Division Three the year before. Then Leicester came in for my Dad and I think they had to pay Orient a compensation fee of about £10,000.
I was very keen to go because I thought that with Leicester being in the top flight I would be able to augment my autograph book.
Towards the end of Leicester’s promotion season in 1970-71 they had come down to Orient and beaten us and they made a bit of an impression on me, with their stars like Peter Shilton and Rodney Fern.
When Leicester came in for Dad we had a family meeting about it, as we always did about these things, and everyone voted in favour of it.
It was quite a step up in status and salary so it was a bit of a no-brainer really.
We liked it at Orient and we had a lot of roots in the London area, but that wasn’t much of an issue, really.
FOX: Did you ever have any second thoughts?
DB: No, I think we all enjoyed it right from the off. We found the schools in Oadby were good, so we didn’t regret it for a moment. The PE Teacher at Oadby used to pick on me a bit. If City lost then he would be on to me, saying, “When is your Dad going to sign a decent player?” I said: “Oh, when we have a decent PE lesson, sir.”
I was in his black books a bit and I got a shocking report from him. His name was Forster, can’t remember his first name, we didn’t know such things then.
FOX: Did you have a certain amount of reflected celebrity status, being the City manager’s son?
DB: Yes. I mean they all knew who I was, before I got to know anybody in the school. But I’d had that at all my schools because my father was quite a well known player, so I was quite accustomed to it. I quite liked it, to be perfectly honest.
I remember in my first game of football they were trying to kick me and I did respond to that. I had more of a London twang at the time, which warned them off.
It’s a funny thing, it makes some people dislike you more and some like you more, not for anything that you have done.
FOX: The public perception of Jimmy was that he was always a very mild-mannered, even tempered sort of individual, is that your impression of him?
DB: Yes, well football was always talked about at home. My mother was always interested in the game too so it would have been bizarre not to talk about it.
Dad always said the only thing that could make him swear was football. If a player had done something diametrically opposed to what he had told him to do then that would rile him. But he wasn’t a ranter and a raver, that was never his style.
I’ve worked for the FA as press officer for quite a while and I remember Terry Venables saying: “If you lose your temper, where do you go after that?”
I think ranting and raving might work once or twice but after that it goes over people’s heads.
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