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.
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.
It was a huge pleasure and privilege to welcome ex-United manager and playing legend Roy McFarland to the Abbey yesterday. The Derby County and England centre half took part in an entertaining and informative 100 Years of Coconuts Q&A session after the game against Carlisle, and was able to swap reminiscences with another former U's manager, Bill Leivers, who was also on a visit to the Cambridge area.
Roy's time at United – following a playing career during which he won 28 England caps and played almost 500 times for Derby – is best remembered for the free-scoring side he guided to promotion to the old League One in 1998/99. He recalled with affection the likes of John Taylor, Martin Butler, Trevor Benjamin, Ian Ashbee and Alex Russell, and gave a fascinating insight into the state of the club's finances, which dictated frequent player sales..
Who was Roy's favourite player when he was a lad in Liverpool, asked young fan Ellie. 'Billy Liddell,' came the response. Roy also delighted his audience with his tales of the dressing room antics of Lionel Perez.
Thanks to Roy and Bill, to all who attended and to the club for providing the Dressing Room venue and pre-Q&A preparation.