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Halcyon Days 
   Part V

1980-81 Season

Smokin' Joe is still at the helm following the garrotting of Bill McGarry. As Alan Oliver and The Board feverishly look for a replacement the boys from Ninian Park arrive.

80-09-06-cardiff-h-f.jpg (329471 bytes)Cardiff (h) Sat Sep 6th 1980

What a bunch of non-entities. Phil Dwyer and coach Doug Livermore are the only Cardiff names that threaten to ring any sort of bell. The hacks are probably hoping that Billy Ronson will set the place alight or that Steve Grapes will get sent off for whining. Linesmen, Cruickshanks and Scrimshaw uphold all the best traditions of fictional football writers with names that are just too predictable.

Programme raconteur, Arthur Appleton, contemplates the prospect of wholesale changes at the club:

"I think it is arrogant and juvenile to assume that the man before you in managership was a nincinpoop."

No, no, no. We are talking about Bill McGarry, here.

In his "File on Two" David Hogg produces another bewildering string of sentences:

"The fairytale should have continued on Tuesday. Gigg Lane, they call it. A name that sounds like half a laugh. The joke was on us. We were awful.... and another ignominious Cup exit became reality for United. Watched by an armada of guys who fancy a shy at our team management. And no jokes please, Peter Adamson - alias Len Fairclough - really was there...!"

The awful middle pages (a kind of national programme insert) contemplate the fineries of Sumo and Motorbikes. The latter article is simply titled WANKEL.

The match turns out to be a game of two halves but Joe's magic works again as Clarke and Shoulder secure the TWO points.

Diary entry

"Then after that went to match. Excellent 1st half - 2-0 up. Good goal by Clarke and a penalty. Then in second half we played crap eventually final score 2-1 - my prediction."

Journal Merit Marks: Hardwick 6, Carney 6, Davies 6, Walker 6, Boam 5, Mitchell 6, Shoulder 6, Rafferty 6, Clarke 6, Hibbitt 7, Koenen 8

The classy Dutchman leads the way:

Player Ave
Koenen 7.00
Carr 6.75
Hibbitt 6.75
Walker 6.67
Wharton 6.60
Mitchell 6.50
Nicholson 6.50
Rafferty 6.43
Davies 6.29
Kelly 6.25
Shoulder 6.17
Cartwright 6.00
Carney 6.00
Leaver 6.00
Hardwick 6.00
Boam 5.57
Shinton 5.50
Barton 5.50
Clarke 5.50

During the week a new manager is appointed. Everyone says "Who?" when Arthur Cox is revealed as the new man in charge.

Next time - The Match of the Day cameras capture Arthur's first game in charge at Q.P.R.'s Loftus Road....

Niall MacKenzie

Halcyon Days

Page last updated 25 June, 2009