Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Great Tracksuits of Our Time: No.4 - John Bond special

Towards the end of September 2012, John Bond, a man who possessed great talent as a player and a manager, died aged 79. Though he spent 16 years playing for West Ham United, he will perhaps be best remembered for a long managerial career that took in Manchester City and Norwich City among many other clubs.

As a tribute to John Bond, we present four pictures of the man during his seven-year stint at Carrow Road. As you can see, he wasn't afraid to don a tracksuit before taking to the training field, and for that reason we dedicate the latest installment of this series to him.


  1. How do,

    Quick gushing intro: I only just discovered this blog two days ago - entirely thanks to googling "Joe Jordan Heineken advert" and being directed here. Absolutely bloody brilliant. I realise of course that I fall squarely into the target audience, namely "41 year old bloke, loves football, remembers when only about 6 games a season were shown live on TV", but still, it really is terrific. I have been glued to it for 24 hours now.....I really should do some work....nah, I'll read another month's worth of posts....

    Actual John Bond related wittering: here is a challenge for you. Around the time of the 81 Cup Final, when Bond managed Manchester City, there was an interview article with him about what it was like to be a top flight 'gaffer'. For some reason, it has always stuck in my mind for the following reason: The start of the article had Bond describing an amazing life of luxury that he had thanks to his job, only for him a few lines later to say that if people thought that was the case, then they were mad, football management was hard work, long hours, and always 3 games away from the sack etc etc.

    The point is though that one of the mod-cons in his imaginary life of Riley was that he had a miniature monorail in his bathroom to bring his bar of soap within reach when he was relaxing in the bath (!) (Good God, no wonder that has stuck in my mind - the thought of John Bond in the bath is terrifying).

    I am pretty certain that this interview piece was in the Shoot Annual from one of those years around 1981 or 1982.

    Any chance you have a copy lying around that you could check, just to make sure I haven't made all this up? (My copy long since disappeared sadly).

    Standard sign-off: Er...keep up the good work...isn't that what people say?


    1. Hey Anonymous,

      Many thanks for taking the time to write us a lengthy reply - we very much appreciate it! :)

      The first question to ask is 'Why were you Googling "Joe Jordan Heineken Advert"???'!!

      That aside, it's nice to know another hopelessly nostalgic 41-year-old exists out in the real world like myself!

      That's a great John Bond anecdote! My collection of old football annuals is arriving in a shipping container at my New Zealand home next Tuesday, so I'll have a look through then and see if I can unearth the article you mentioned. Watch this space, as they say!

      Anyway, we're glad you're enjoying the site - tell your friends too, if you can!

      All the best, Chris O.

    2. Just to echo what Chris said, many thanks for stopping by and leaving such a lovely comment.

      I remember when there were hardly any games live on TV too...and Coventry always seemed to play Arsenal when we got on TV, which was never more than once a season. It ALWAYS ended 0-0 and inevitably led to Cov being called boring...though to be fair, they probably did have a point ;-)

      Thanks again :)
      Rich J

    3. Hi folks,

      Thanks, that would be brilliant if you could confirm that my memory isn't playing tricks on me. I will watch this space as you say.

      I've recommended the blog on Facebook, so that could increase the readership by 200 or so (well, 200 minus the ones who can't bear football anyway)

      As for Joe Jordan, it is just because I read that he is being linked with the Scotland job and I mentioned to someone that the team would all be supping Heineken before the week was out. That remark drew a blank, so I had to google the advert to explain what I was on about.

      At least Coventry were a top flight team. My team, Tranmere, were on the box in the FA Cup last night (v Braintree) and it must have been the first time we have been on terrestrial free TV for about 7 or 8 years. Good win, mind....

      I saw Coventry at Hillsborough was 0-0.

      Anyway, must be off, I've got to fit a monorail in my bathroom....

      Cheers, Tristan

      (Tristan Browning, just used 'Anonymous' to keep up that veneer of mystique)

    4. Hi Tristan,

      Now I understand the Joe Jordan reference! Makes perfect sense now... :)

      Many thanks for spreading the word about The Football Attic - we look forward to welcoming aboard lots more people, hopefully!

      Best of luck with that monorail...

      Regards, Chris.

    5. The first Coventry game I ever went to was against Leeds (back in the day when that was a top flight game). It ended 0-0...

  2. How's John Bond's monorail coming along? Did your shipment make it to NZ safely? :-)

    Cheers, Tristan

    1. Ah... I have an update. Having unpacked everything I own from the shipping container, I was reminded of the fact that I own various football annuals - Match of the Day, The Sun, Daily Mirror, etc, etc, AND I own many issues of Shoot magazine... but sadly I don't own any Shoot annuals.

      Bugger. :(

      We won't let this drop, however, and will do whatever we can to corroborate the image you've had in your head all this time....

  3. Thanks Chris

    I googled images of the Shoot Annuals from 81 and 82 and the one from 1981 doesn't really ring any bells (in other words I don't think I ever owned that one).

    However, the 1982 edition looks familiar (Sammy McIlroy of Man Utd and Alan Ainscow of Birmingham challenging for the ball), so I am going to guess that the article is in there. This would also tie-in time-wise, because it would have been published in December 1981, 6 months after John Bond led Man City to the Cup Final. I posted a message on the Tranmere fans message board that I am on, but nobody had a copy......

    Still, I think I am narrowing it down (er, possibly!!)

    Thanks for helping - let me know what you find out!

    Cheers, Tristan

  4. Stop Press!
    Just found an image on Ebay of the contents page of the 1982 annual and there is no mention of John Bond, so now I am erring back towards the 1981 edition!!

    Grr - why did I get rid of my copies in the first place!!

    (We'll probably find it was simply in a weekly issue of the magazine, in which case we will never track it down!)

  5. On a John Bond related matter has anyone seen the excellent TV show 'CITY The Documentary' made for ITV when Bond took over from Big Malcolm Allison? I found it on You Tube (in 6 parts).
    It includes Bond introducing himself to his new squad at Maine Road and the whole scene was used to in a bit of Bostock's Cup, the excellent spoof 'Soccumentry' shown in 1999, the night before Man Utd won the European Cup.


    1. Hi Statto_74,

      I've heard of the documentary but never seen it. Now you've said it's on YouTube, I'll definitely go and watch it!

      Thanks for making us aware of that... best wishes, Chris.

  6. Norwich City tracksuits of that era were pretty good. My brother got Kevin Keelan's tracksuit top from Ken Brown. Dunno what happened to it. Used to be hung up in our understairs cupboard...

  7. Actually, my Dad used go drinking at the Oaklands Hotel on a Friday night. The Norwich squad would usually be in there along with whichever team they were playing at Carrow Road on the Saturday. My Dad used to talk to lots of famous players over a pint. Think that's how my brother came into Keelan's trackie top via Ken Brown.