skip to content

Lawrie McMenemy warns Southampton: Don't ignore the greatest day in club's history

23 Jan 2011 13:28:11

Lawrie McMenemy warns Southampton: Don't ignore the greatest day in club's history

On Saturday evening Lawrie McMenemy will settle in front of thetelevision and watch as Southampton attempt to repeat their greatestever victory. That McMenemy will not be at St Mary's to see the club he managed toFA Cup glory 35 years ago take on Manchester United, the team Saintsdefeated that day at Wembley with an 83rd-minute goal by Bobby Stokes,may surprise many in football. But McMenemy, now 74, fears that he has been airbrushed out of the history of the club he did so much to influence. Club hero: But Lawrie McMenemy is not treated like one by Southampton these days The photograph of Saints' former manager holding the FA Cup - the club's only major trophy - has gone from the wall of the boardroom where it once had pride of place. And McMenemy says he has not spoken to the club about watching Saturday's re-match of the 1976 Cup final. 'It is a fact there was more chance of me being invited to sit with United and long-time friends like Sir Bobby Charlton and Sir Alex Ferguson than with Southampton,' he said. 'I just accept it and, in a way, I understand it. The club secretary told me, "Lawrie, what you have to realise is the game has moved on". Well, of course I do realise that. But does it mean you must totally ignore what has gone before?' FA Cup Final 1976 Southampton 1 Manchester United 0 May 1, 1976, Wembley SOUTHAMPTON: Turner, Rodrigues, Peach, Holmes, Blyth, Steele, Gilchrist, Channon, Osgood, McCalliog, Stokes (Fisher). GOAL: Stokes 83 MANCHESTER UNITED: Stepney, Forsyth, Houston, Daly, Greenhoff, Buchan, Coppell, McIlroy, Pearson, Macari, Hill (McCreery). REFEREE: Clive Thomas ATTENDANCE: 100,000 McMenemy watches as many of Saints' League One matches as he can and enjoys meeting up with friends at St Mary's. He insists he has no problem coping with the way he feels Southampton's recent owners have treated him. Like all who love the club, he longs for Saints to return to the top flight. 'When I walk from my car to the stadium, nothing seems to have changed,' he said. 'I chat with the supporters and some old faces among them. They often look back and the Cup final all those years ago is still a source of pride to them. 'But from outside the ground to my seat, it is so different; we are not allowed to enter through the foyer but up the stairs at a side entrance. That's when you know you are no longer part of the setup.' He believes the removal from the boardroom of his picture of Southampton's famous victory is evidence of the club's attitude, not just to him but to the team that achieved so much at Wembley and a few years afterwards. Saints, a Second Division side when they beat United to lift the FA Cup, went on to a League Cup final, finished runners-up to Liverpool in the title race and enjoyed big nights in Europe. Oh when the Saints: Southampton celebrate their FA Cup win. McMenemy says that the photograph of him with the Cup was replaced in the boardroom at one stage by a picture of a steam train presented to former chairman Rupert Lowe by Doncaster Rovers. For much of the time since then, McMenemy's photograph has leaned against a wall in the Saints' storeroom. Eventually he found it had been deposited in his garage, and Southampton's current owners have now adorned the boardroom with a montage of the club's triumph in last season's Johnstone's Paint Trophy. McMenemy said: 'It's a new era and I'm all for it, but you can learn from the past and use it to your advantage. 'The message we can pass on to the lads who face United on Saturday is that anything is possible. We proved it. 'We had a togetherness that is essential if you are going to achieve anything in any competition. And we had the perfect mix of players. 'I'm hoping for a repeat of our win on Saturday but most of all I want to see us back in the Premier League - and sooner rather than later.'  Manchester United 5 Birmingham 0: Dimitar Berbatov hits another hat-trick in Reds routAll the latest Manchester United news, features and opinion  Explore more:People: Alex Ferguson, Clive Thomas, Rupert Lowe Places: Liverpool, Europe


Daily_Mail

Sponsored links