John Bond passes away
I was saddened this morning to receive a phone call to tell me that former manager John Bond had passed away at the age of 79.
Saddened but not surprised having been told some time ago that John was very ill to the extent that today's news was inevitable.
I can remember him as a full back with West Ham and then as a manager with a growing reputation at Bournemouth, Norwich and then Manchester City, and I have to say I was delighted when he was given the Burnley job in 1983.
As we know, the history books tell us that he wasn't a success in his one season at Turf Moor. He took over a newly relegated side, made a lot of changes that didn't bring the desired success and, after a fall out with the board, he was sacked on the eve of the 1984/85 season.
Like everyone else, I can recall him walking across the pitch trying not to damage his white shoes and suit after a cup defeat against Crewe. Like everyone else, I can recall him giving up on the season and missing the last few games, leaving us with John Benson in charge.
I wasn't disappointed when he left and I don't think I would have ever wished him back. He certainly divided opinion amongst the players. Go and ask such as Martin Dobson, Brian Flynn and Brian Laws about him and you'll get little support, but then ask either Vince Overson or Micky Phelan and you'll get a totally different story.
Today though is about John Bond the person and the loss of life of someone who cared passionately about the game of football. It's about a man I remember as being always courteous, polite and helpful, an absolute gentleman and someone it was a pleasure to deal with.
Whatever your thoughts on John Bond, today is a sad day for the game with his passing and my thoughts are very much with his family today at this sad time.
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