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Life after football: Mike Duxbury

13 May 2010 14:04:43

Life after football: Mike Duxbury

A man who twice won the FA Cup with Manchester United is something of a sporting all-rounder these days. You could just as easily find Mike Duxbury coaching cricket, athletics and swimming as well as football in his role as a PE teacher at a leading Bolton school. If you searched hard enough, you might discover him in an isolated spot in deepest Lancashire catching fish. Duxbury was regarded as one of the quiet men of football and loved nothing better than to follow a chaotic Saturday afternoon playing in front of a screaming full house at Old Trafford with a relaxing day by the water's edge. "I must admit I love my fly fishing," confessed the 50-year-old. "I'm a member of a club based mainly around the Burnley and Yorkshire area where there are rivers and still waters so there is plenty of choice. Great "I've been fishing since I was a kid but I've been fly fishing for the last 20 years. It's great and you can soon lose five or six hours just fishing. I'm okay at it but I'm forever learning and every time I go there is something different," added Duxbury, who made almost 300 appearances for United in the 80s. He is just as passionate about his day job, teaching boys up to the age of 11 at the independent Bolton School. "We teach the whole spectrum of sports and I enjoy that variety. "But for me it's not just about sport - it's the social and interactive aspect with pupils and you get the whole picture with a child, helping their development as young boys going on to young men." Duxbury has been at the school since 1996, apart from a short spell abroad when he helped out with soccer schools. "Through word of mouth it became known that I was an ex-professional. The kids had never seen me play but maybe their parents or grandparents had and I was on the Championship Manager computer games. "The kids would come into school and say `SirI transferred you last night or I bought you for my team'. "I had great times at United but I don't tend to dwell and don't look back that often. It's only when I get reminded about it." Duxbury was given his debut as a substitute at Birmingham in August 1980 by manager Dave Sexton, who was sacked at the end of that season after winning the last seven games. "Players like Kevin Moran, Martin Buchan, Sammy McIlroy and Lou Macari were in the side in those days," recalled Duxbury, a composed right-back who could also play centre half. "I played in the 1983 FA Cup win over Brighton and came on as a substitute when we beat Everton two years later. My one abiding memory of the Brighton game was that famous miss by Gordon Smith when Gary Bailey saved the ball with his foot. Trophies "It was great being at a club the size of United but we just couldn't win the league. We hoped we could have won a lot more trophies but we were up against the great Liverpool team of the 80s. "Funnily enough, I think I played about nine games at Anfield and was never on the losing side - yet they always ended up winning the championship. "I have to say the most difficult opponent I faced was Ian Rush. I remember playing against him in the reserves and saw just how good he was. Strangely, in my time at United he never scored against United although probably half their team did." One of Duxbury's 10 England caps came in the 1984 win over Brazil, a game remembered for the brilliant solo goal scored by John Barnes in the Maracana. "I must admit I had difficult times at international level," said Duxbury. "I did okay for the under-21s but when I got to the senior set up I struggled.." Accrington-born Duxbury left the Reds to join Blackburn in 1990 soon after Sir Alex Ferguson had collected his first piece of silverware at the club. "You could see that Sir Alex was starting to change the club. I know it took a few seasons to turn things round but once he got his first trophy there was no looking back. "By the time of the 1990 final I knew I was leaving and it wasn't shock. In some ways it was sad I wasn't around after that but I consider myself very lucky to have played for such a great club. "When I went to Blackburn, football became a piece of work to me and there was something missing. It was nothing to do with Blackburn, or the people, because I come from that area and it was the same when I went to Bradford City. I only started enjoying my football again when I went to play in Hong Kong. "I enjoy getting back together with the old players at United at reunion dinners but I don't really look back on my career. I'm busy with the teaching which I enjoy immensely. " What are your memories of Duxbury? Have your say.


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