- Know any others ??! Let me know and I'll
include them on this page.
Tony Currie (Sheffield United) and Tommy
following interview at GiveMeFootball.com - The
Professional Footballers' Association
CURRIE STILL CUTS IT WITH BLADES
Ask fans at Sheffield United to name the most gifted
midfield player in the club's history and it's a fair
bet that the majority will come up with one answer -
Tony has been back at Bramhall Lane for more than 15
years and is Manager of the Blades' Football in the
Community. "I started the job on February 1st
1988," he says." I remember the date
because exactly 20 years earlier I scored on my debut
for the club in a 3-2 win over Spurs. People might
remember such as Alan Woodward,Len Badger and Ted
Hemsley who were with us United at the time,while my
idol Jimmy Greaves was playing for Spurs."
Greaves had made his name as a youngster at Chelsea -
the club which rejected Tony when he was on their
books as an apprentice. However,after joining Watford
he caught the eye to such an extent that he was
capped by England at Youth level.
Then came the move to Sheffield United,followed by
spells at Leeds United,Queens Park Rangers and -
after some time in Canada - a handfull of games for
Tony went on to gain 17 full caps for England - a
woefully small amount for someone with his imense
talent - before an injury to his left knee eventually
spelled the end of his playing days.
After a short spell with Goole Town,Tony was offered
a position back at Bramhall Lane working for Football
in the Community. "The job is exactly what it
suggests. We organise a range of activities for the
whole of the community,which has meant anything from
football coaching to organising bingo for the senior
citizens," he says.
Working alongside Tony is the former Celtic,
Southampton, Rotherham and Workington player Tommy
Spencer, and the pair admit to taking a great delight
and interest in the progress of a young local lad by
the name of Ben Starosta.
"Ben is a lad who's about 16 years of age,and
has been coming along to our Soccer Schools every
holiday since he was about six or seven. Part of my
job is to recommend anybody I think looks promising
for the future,and I'm proud to say that Ben has just
been given a three-year contract by our
Academy," Tony enthuses. "I always enjoy
attending the Soccer Schools,and get a big kick out
of seeing the likes of Ben come through."
Another young man whose progress Tony keeps an eye on
is his nephew Darren Currie who plays for Wycombe
Wanderers. Tony rates him the best crosser of the
ball,after David Beckham, in the country. In turn
Darren has fond memories of being mascot at Queens
Park Rangers when Uncle Tony used to be the star of
the side at Loftus Road.
It's hard to argue with the description of Tony
Currie as being the complete footballer of his
generation. He had a style which attracted
accusations of lazyness,whereas his stamina,skill and
pace just made the game look too easy.
These days he finds himself working with a new
generation of fans who will have only seen on video
and heard from their parents about the mercurial
talents of the man now doing such a great job for
Football in the Community - Tony Currie.
Ronnie Radford (Newport
thanks to Andrew Taylor, who is
currently speaking to former stars of Newport County, and
the resulting interviews appear in Newport County AFC's
programme. Andrew is hopeful that he will put extended
versions of these interviews into book form to raise
money for the club.
very kindly emailed me the programme articles to show on
Bob's 70-71 Pages. I am also lucky enough to have had a
sneak preview of select chapters of the book, and believe
me it will be essential reading to anyone who enjoys
here is a fascinating interview with Ronnie
Radford, who is an FA Cup legend thanks to his
rocket of a goal for non-League Hereford United that
helped the team beat Newcastle United, and won him Match
of the Day's Goal of the Season in 1971-72 season.
Ronnie was a popular player at Newport County, and
Andrew's interview actually recalls some memories of the
No image better sums up the
emotion of the F.A. Cup than ex County star Ronnie
Radford rasping a 35 yard drive for Hereford into the
top corner of Newcastles net and being chased,
arms aloft, by a pack of Parka wearing
youths.Goal of the Season in 1971/72,
Ronnie believes he scored an even better
.for County I caught up with Ronnie at his
home in Wakefield
Ronnie was part of a star
studded Leeds squad at the beginning of the Revie
era. It was the re-signing of John Charles from
Italy that led to a clear-out at Elland Road and saw
Ronnie head south.
Cheltenham made me an offer
to play part time and we had a handshake
agreement. The next day I received an offer
from York City. I was gutted as that would have been
local and meant staying in the league, but I had
given my word and would not go back on that, even
though I had to look on a map to see where Cheltenham
was! I worked as a joiner and had some great
In the 68/69 season
Cheltenham had a good cup run. Ironically, this
was to signal the end of Ronnies happy spell
there and see him move to Somerton.
Our contracts included
a bonus based on attendances but the club could not
afford to pay and so had to release us on free
transfers. Bobby Ferguson made me an offer
which, to be honest, involved a substantial drop in
income. I didnt want to move the family
and wondered if I could cope with the travelling.
Cheltenham then said they wanted to keep me but again
I had verbally accepted and would not go back on
that, even though I was torn. I noticed how
much quicker the game was but when I settled I
thoroughly enjoyed it. I had a wonderful
relationship with the fans and was thrilled
they voted me Player of the Year in my
It was in that 1969/70 season
that Ronnie played his most memorable County game and
scored perhaps the greatest goal of his career.
We beat Bradford P.A.
5-1 and I scored two. Len Hill took a corner
and I was on the edge of the box. I dont know
how I got my leg that high but I hit it just right
and it flew into the top corner. I got as much
pleasure from that as my Hereford goal.
The 1970/71 season had a
nightmare start with not a single victory in the
first 25 games. Ronnie missed a number of these
with a blood clot in his leg and it is no coincidence
that the very good form in the second part of the
season featured Ronnies return.
The tension was
terrible until we won and that really lifted
us. We were seriously worried we would go
through the whole season without winning and got
humiliated 6-1 at non-league Barnet! I felt
really sorry for Bobby Ferguson. What can a
Manager say in those circumstances? We let him down
that day. Poor old Bobby! We had some
really good performances when we picked up our form,
especially beating Notts County who were running away
with the league. I also had the biggest run
around of my career that season when we played
Crewe. Stan Bowles played for them and ran me
ragged. I played against people like Bobby
Moore and did really well for County against Kevin
Keegan, but Stan was a real eye opener.
The pleasure of playing full
time and his rapport with the County faithful, could
not make up for the financial hardship and draining
We were eating into our
savings and things were tough. I could be leaving at
eight in the morning, getting home in the early hours
and then be back training a few hours later. It
took its toll and so I returned to playing part-time
While we are talking, the
phone rings and it is none other than his former
Hereford player-Manager and later County Boss, Colin
Colin would make you
feel that you were unbeatable. We are in
regular touch, as I am with County team-mates Mike
McLaughlin and Ian Hamilton.
Ronnie would not only write
his name into history with that goal but
also deprive County of promotion in 1972/73. Hereford
did the double over County with a 2-0 win in front of
I didnt enjoy or
celebrate in that game as part of me was still and
always will be County. They were a
great set of lads and the fans were marvellous. Had
we been able to manage better financially and had it
not been for the travelling, I would have been very
happy to stay there. I still look out for
Laurie Sheffield (Doncaster Rovers)
another interview by Andrew Taylor (see above) that originally appeared in a
recent Newport County AFC programme. Laurie played for
Newport from 1962-1965, and in the 1970-71 season he
played for Peterborough United, however he did not move
to them until August, and hence appears under Doncaster
Rovers on Bob's 70-71 Pages.
Andrew Taylor has been
catching up with County players of yester-year. In
this article, Andrew was chatting to Laurie
Until Tommy Tynan re-wrote
the record books in 1982/83, the Countys best
post war scoring feat was Laurie Sheffields 29
goals in the 1964/65 season. I caught up with
Laurie at his home in Doncaster.
Like many others, Laurie
fondly remembers Billy Lucas. I was not
big for a forward and Billy was always on at me
for jumping too nice. He
would show me how to use my elbow on the defender
just before we jumped and had me practising this over
Lucas made his expectations
on this clear to Laurie before one game, and repeated
the instruction before Laurie went out for his
pre-match warm up. I was just heading back to
the dressing room when I heard a familiar Swansea
accent booming hello Laurie boy.
I turned to see the great John Charles and my
heart sank before asking you up front or centre
half today John? Centre half,
replied the Gentle Giant, I fancied an
As the first ball was pumped
high towards Laurie, he could see an animated Lucas
on the touch line, gesturing with his elbow but
Charles simply rose above him like a
plane. This scene was repeated throughout
the first half and Billy flew at Laurie at half time,
asking why he had not elbowed the great one to get an
advantage. I did replied Laurie,
but he didnt feel a thing!
Whilst Laurie did not make
much of an impression on Charles, he certainly did on
team mate, Ralph Hunt. I had a set-to with Big
Ralph in training. Ralph had been putting it
about, roughing up the young kids and, to my
frustration, he smashed the only ball we were
training with fifty yards, when all that was needed
was a simple tap in, delaying the session
for the umpteenth time. We had words but what I
did not know until I bumped into David Pugh a couple
of years ago was that for the rest of the session,
the others were deliberately setting up
hospital balls between us.
The inevitable happened, and Ralph swung a punch at
Laurie. Unbeknown to the much bigger Hunt,
Laurie had been a champion boxer in his youth and
army days and through sheer instinct he ducked and
countered, connecting perfectly, putting Ralph out
for the count. Lovely punch it was
mind added Laurie.
Laurie was also fond of goal
keeper Len Weare We had a colour-clash at an
away game so had to change our strip. Lennie
was always incredibly nervous before games and would
usually be the last one out. He was later than
normal this game and we all stood watching as he ran
to the amberish shirts, where the
home side were already warming up and remonstrated
with their keeper, telling him to go to the other
end. It was some time before he saw us all doubled-up
with laughter on the half-way line.
Laurie went on to have a long
association with Doncaster Rovers, not only as a
player in two spells but as Youth Team Coach and is
still to be found at Belle Vue on match days doing
the meeting and greeting on the corporate
hospitality side. It is through Rovers that
Laurie achieved his life-time claim to fame.
Kevin Keegan, who is originally from Doncaster,
came to Belle Vue and got quite excited when he saw
me. Apparently I had been his favourite player as a
young lad and he pulled his multi-million pound
Premiership strikers over telling them
now this was a proper striker ! I took
quite a bit of stick for that from the Rovers
'I played for Norwich,
Rotherham, Oldham, Luton and Peterborough but to be
honest they were just jobs. The County and Rovers
though were different class and are the only clubs
that I have retained an emotional attachment
The next Andrew
Taylor (see above)
interview is with Richard Walden. In
1970-71, Richard was at Aldershot, and played 404 League
games with them. He moved on to Sheffield Wednesday for a
further 100 games, before moving on to Newport County,
whom he played for between 1978-82. Andrew's interest
center's on Richard's days at Newport County.
Andrew Taylor chats to
The first Transfer Tribunal
in July 1978, saw the bargain £3,500 signing from
Sheffield Wednesday of arguably Countys best
ever right back, the immaculate Richard Walden. After
over 400 league games for Aldershot and now a
mainstay of the Owls defence, Boss Jack
Charlton had valued him at £20,000 and was not a
happy man! What possessed Richard to give up the
relative big time of Hillsborough, for a Club which
had recently nearly gone out of existence?
House prices boomed
down south so we wanted to move back before it was
too late. I told Charlton my intentions but he
didnt listen! Len Ashurst had signed me for
Wednesday and when joining Newport heard I wanted a
move and sold the club to me. I was dubious
because County had struggled and the ground was in a
state, but he said there was a new Board and he was
optimistic. Len was an excellent manager and the
clincher was allowing me to live in Fleet, just
coming over a day or so before games or meeting up
with the coach en route for away trips. He trusted me
to look after myself.
After the first
dozen or so games I thought Id made a
mistake. We had a dreadful start. The turning
point was bringing in people like Keith Oakes and
also the Cup victory over West Ham, which meant
money to spend and importantly gave us belief.
That trust was well placed as
Richard not only missed very few games over the next
four seasons but put in ultra consistent performances
during what became the most successful spell in the
Clubs history. Richard perhaps owed the
County faithful this kind of payback, having been a
thorn in our side with Aldershot, our
bogey team of a few years earlier.
It is odd that I scored
only sixteen goals in twelve years at Aldershot, but
three of them were against County.
BBC Match of the Day cameras
captured one of those in the 1969-70 season.
County were beating us
3-1 but we won 4-3, for the second successive season!
I tried a cross from the touchline and it sailed over
the keepers head into the net! A real
Richard and the
Shots would later break hearts.
Promotion was decided
in our last game of the 72/73 season on a Friday
night. County had completed their fixtures and
would go up if we lost at Stockport. I remember there
were quite a few Newport supporters there but we got
the draw we needed to pip County on the narrowest of
Despite a poor start to
Richards first season, County rallied to finish
eighth. Crucially, the backbone of the side was being
built, the astute Ashurst signing Oakes, Bruton,
Moore and former Wednesday team-mate Tynan.
These were excellent
pros and when adding Dave Gwyther and the
emergence of Nigel Vaughan and Steve Lowndes, you
sensed good times ahead. Of course Len also
made the one in a million signing of John Aldridge, a
raw but pacey natural scorer who became a phenomenal
player. Len could really spot a bargain.
Strange he did not fare so well when he had more
money to spend, such as with Alan Waddle and Jeff
Johnson. It was such a pity with Jeff who had
been so influential when I had played with him at
What followed was A
Season of Triumph.
Winning promotion at
Walsall was my most satisfying game for County, as
the supporters had waited so many years for it.
The Welsh Cup win gave
European entry and a whole new set of experiences.
We were at Cardiff
Airport waiting for our flight to Haugar and laughing
at a twin propeller, green wreck, on the runway. We
stopped laughing when we realised it was ours!
The Carl Zeiss Jena games were the icing on the
cake of our careers. There was no pressure on
us and we realised we had a chance when their most
capped player was moved from left wing to
sweeper. We were desperately unlucky. I
was surprised talking to Len Ashurst not long ago
that he felt it was not bad luck, but that we just
did not quite do enough. I disagree and still picture
that save from Keith just near the end!
I was released when
Colin Addison took over, but joining Newport turned
out to be a very good decision after all and I still
look out for their results.
Bromwich Albion Players
the efforts of Simon Wright, West
Bromwich Albion now have a 'Where are they now?' page of
their own based in this site. The lists includes many
more players than just the regular 1970-71 Players. As
always if you know any more, let me know.
Are They Now? : West Bromwich Albion.
Spring 2006 news can be found at ...