I was sorry to read about the death of Malcolm Allison the former Manchester City, Crystal Palace and Sporting Lisbon manager, as well as several other clubs around the world. Malcolm was one of the true characters of English football, larger than life and well known for his outlandish dress style and big cigars. He had a great sense of humour, very much in the mold of Terry Venables. I remember the story of one game where Venables and Allison were on opposite sides. Allison revved up one of his players, who then went on and committed a foul. Venables told him “You know you just got him booked”. Allison said “Yeah, I’ll fine him for that later”
I was surprised to read that he was 83 but I suppose it has been a long time since his glory days. But as well as his character and humour he was a very successful coach, taking Man City to the Second Division Title, the League Title (old first division), The FA Cup, League Cup and European Cup Winners Cup in the space of 4 years between 1966 and 1970. He also guided Sporting Lisbon to win the Portuguese League and Cup in 1982
Malcolm epitomised the phrase “You’re not a real manager unless you’ve been sacked.” and he should know, he had managed 11 different clubs in his career. He also played more than 250 games for West Ham, but his playing days were cut short when he lost a lung to tuberculosis.
During his spell as a panelist on ITV‘s coverge of the 1970 World Cup Malcolm became a sex symbol to many British women. He along with Derek Dougan, Pat Crerand and Bob McNab were mobbed by hundreds of women when they left their hotel to go shopping.
Malclom Allison was loved by his players and respected by many people in football, especially at Manchester City where he is a legend. They will pay tribute to him at their next home game against Arsenal and in their of memorial garden at the City of Manchester Stadium