100 Years of Coconuts inducted six personalities to the Cambridge United Hall of Fame on Thursday, March 15.
The Hall of Fame, launched in 2016, recognises outstanding contributions to the development and history of the football club.
During a sold-out dinner and ceremony at United’s Abbey Stadium, players Alan Biley, Wilf Mannion and John Taylor, managers Bill Leivers and Richard Money and former commercial manager Dudley Arliss were added to the Hall of Fame.
Biley, Mannion and Taylor were chosen by U’s supporters via online and paper voting. Arliss, Leivers and Money were selected for induction by a Coconuts/CFU committee.
They joined the existing Hall of Famers who were inducted in 2016 and 2017: player/supporter Russell Crane, players Dion Dublin, Rodney Slack and Paul Wanless, manager John Beck, stadium manager Ian Darler and supporter Lil Harrison.
The Hall of Fame may be found at cuhalloffame.org.uk. Coconuts, CFU and Cambridge United have plans to create a permanent display within the existing Abbey Stadium or in any new development.
Coconuts chair Pat Morgan said: ‘Six truly inspiring United legends have been received the honour due to them tonight.
‘Their contributions to the story of our great football club were varied, but they have one thing in common: they made a massive difference. If it hadn’t been for them, we would be telling a different story today.’
Alan Biley was the star goalscorer of the 1970s who held the Football League-era record until John Taylor came along in the 1980s and 1990s. Wilf Mannion, possibly England’s greatest ever inside forward, was legendary far beyond Cambridgeshire’s boundaries.
Bill Leivers and Richard Money share an achievement – they both oversaw United’s rise into the Football League, Leivers in 1970, Money in 2014.
Dudley Arliss revolutionised the club’s commercial operation in the 1960s and provided the financial foundations for election to the League.
Cambridge United director of football Graham Daniels presided over the ceremony, which was attended by nominees for induction including Andy Duncan, Terry Eades, Steve Fallon, Alan Kimble, Andy Sinton and Dave Stringer, plus Hall of Famers Ian Darler and Rodney Slack.
To read the Hall of Fame citations for the six latest inductees, or to suggest future Hall of Famers, visit cuhalloffame.org.uk.
To view Simon Lankester's photographic record of the evening, go to flickr.com/photos/lank24/sets/72157666788809668.
Clockwise from top: former players line up for photographer Simon Lankester: Andy Sinton, Rodney Slack, Alan Biley, John Taylor, Andy Duncan, Terry Eades, Steve Fallon, Alan Kimble, Dave Stringer, Graham Daniels; Barry Arliss (Ieft), son of inductee Dudley Arliss, receives the memento from Graham Daniels; Bill Leivers with Coconuts chair Pat Morgan; Alan Biley (right) with Rodney Slack; Wilf Mannion's son and daughter, Wilf Junior and Anthea; John Taylor (right) and Dave Matthew-Jones; Richard Money.
This article appeared in the Cambridge United official programme for the game against Doncaster Rovers on 6 December 2015.
With today’s technology, manipulation of photographs for whatever purpose, devious or innocent, is the simplest of tasks. It’s laughably easy to iron out a facial wrinkle, brighten a dull autumn sky or, say, pop a poppy on to a politician’s lapel. It’s easy, in other words, to make things appear not as they really are.
Back in 1979 it was a bit harder, but photo manipulation was nevertheless a flourishing art, in Fleet Street as well as in graphic design studios the world over. For example, taking a pair of scissors or a scalpel to a print to alter reality was known in some journalistic circles as doing a Hammersmith, in tribute to the surgeons of the west London hospital. An altogether different process, however, was employed to take the cover photo of one football club’s matchday programme and turn it into the cover photo of another football club’s matchday programme.
Strange but true, and it happened here. We’re indebted to the wonderful Brighton & Hove Albion retro blog The Goldstone Wrap for doing the legwork on this story of copycattery, which explains how legendary Seagulls striker Peter Ward ended up as a U’s cover star.
On Tuesday, 22 August 1978, United, newly arrived in Division Two of the Football League following a second successive promotion, were playing at the Goldstone Ground, whose site is now partly occupied by a drive-through Burger King. It was something of a surprise when a goal from Floyd Streete and an og by Brighton defender Graham Winstanley led the visitors to a 2-0 win in front of 21,548 spectators. The Seagulls were, after all, being tipped for promotion to the top tier that year and had a predator in Ward who had snatched 36 goals in 1976/77 and 17 the following season.
Perhaps the U’s players had flicked through the programme in the dressing room before the game, wincing inwardly at the front-cover image of Ward in typical pose, snaking sinuously between three Blackpool defenders. They were to become much more familiar with that photograph.
In the opinion of the Wrap, United not only left the south coast with the win, they also took away the programme and, using ‘blotchy felt tips’, traced the Ward image for future use on their own publication. It was probably with a measure of indignation, and perhaps hilarity, that Albion supporters regarded the programme when they travelled to the Abbey on Tuesday, 4 September 1979. There are the felt tips and there’s Wardy weaving his way through the Tangerine lines, only this time he’s a U, looking a bit like an out-of-focus Tommy Horsfall. And the felt tip artist has cunningly changed a shirt number.
Brighton had the last laugh. They’d already won the first leg of the League Cup first round tie 2-0 at the Goldstone, and they completed a 4-1 aggregate score at the Abbey. ‘It proved that cheats don’t always prosper, at least not ones armed with felt tip pens and a high level of temerity,’ observes the Wrap.
Dave Brown wrote much of what appeared in the programme in those days, but we don’t know if it was his idea to raid WH Smith for fibre tips. Was it secretary Les Holloway? Commercial manager Dudley Arliss? A designer at Eastern Counties Printers? Please tell us if you know: email@example.com.
The latest family to visit The Story of the U's, Coconuts' mini-museum in Cambridge United Supporters' Club, was that of Len Saward, a highly talented forward who made 170 appearances for the U's between 1952 and 1958.
Len also played a vital role in the U's massively successful commercial department in the 1960s, working under manager Dudley Arliss to sell pools tickets across a wide area of East Anglia. The scheme was acclaimed as the biggest in the country, and it helped United to lay the foundations for life in the Football League from 1970.
Len's brother Pat was the better known footballer, playing for Millwall, Aston Villa and Huddersfield and earning 18 Republic of Ireland caps, but there are those who believe Len was the more talented of the two. Now aged 89, he loves to talk about the old days, and he was in his element at The Story of the U's. He was accompanied by Jill Saward, his son Patrick and grandsons Jack and Charlie. We hope to see them all again soon.
Happy Harry's blog
I'm the living embodiment of the spirit of the U's, and I'll be blogging whenever I've got news for you, as long as I don't miss my tea.