An edited version of this article appeared in the Cambridge United matchday programme for the game against Lincoln City on 9 February 2018, and preceded this year's Hall of Fame inductions.
By the time you read this it will be all over bar the shouting, although if I know you lot there will be a fair amount of that.
The votes for this year’s player inductees to the Cambridge United Hall of Fame will have been counted and tickets for the induction ceremony will have gone on sale.
Even if the Coconuts mob let me in on the secret, I’m not going to reveal which players have won the votes. But I want to take this opportunity to talk about one of those shortlisted in the 1970-1989 category – a man whose contribution to the United cause was immense but is sometimes underestimated.
It’s true the Great Yarmouth native had a glorious playing career with the Canaries, chalking up 499 senior games, and it’s true he’s also a managerial legend up there, having taken the club to two FA Cup semi-finals and fourth place in the old First Division.
But if you saw Dave in any of his 167 appearances for the U’s between 1976 and 1980, you will know he was also one of the most influential players ever to turn out in the amber and black.
Ask Steve Fallon or Ron Atkinson. Big Ron reckons Dave might have been his best ever signing.
At five feet ten he was not the tallest of centre backs, but his reading of the game, great strength and deceptive speed more than made up for that.
He was 31 when he dropped three levels to sign for the U’s, with Ron declaring: ‘He could do the same for us as Dave Mackay did for Derby and Bobby Moore is doing at Fulham.’
His experience proved a vital component of the Atkinson side that John Docherty took over and kept in Division Two for six seasons.
No one benefited more than young Fallon, for whom Dave became mentor, coach and defensive partner. The pair became our greatest centre-back partnership; there's no question about that.
United cruised to the 1977 Fourth Division title, shipping just 40 goals along the way, and were promoted again the following year, finishing with the phenomenal home record of 19 wins, three draws and one defeat, with only 11 goals conceded.
Dave’s experience and vision were to the fore in Division Two as United finished in 12th place in their first season and, scarcely credibly, eighth in 1979/80.
‘It was a fairy story,’ he recalled of his time at the Abbey. ‘It was great to be a part of it, and I get a lot of satisfaction from looking back at what we achieved.’ And so say all of us.