Sad To See You Leaving 2012: Dave Sexton

by George_East on January 20, 2013

Dave Sexton

 This is a post by Ray North which was originally posted on 29 December 2012 but which was lost from the site during our recent difficulties.  It is not clear whether the post is complete and unfortunately all comments on the post and any graphics originally posted have been lost.

I am a football fan of a certain age, and as a football fan of a certain age, with each passing year, I revere more and more the football teams, players and characters of my childhood, which was the 1970s.

Dave Sexton, was a quiet, but towering figure of that period – responsible for building two good teams and one truly great team which was his QPR team of 1975. His Chelsea team is perhaps best remembered for the FA Cup Final of 1970 when they and Leeds met in a titanic and thundering battle on a muddy Wembley, before a Dave Webb goal won it for Chelsea in a replay at Old Trafford. It was a Chelsea team full of characters – Peter Osgood, Alan Hudson, Chopper Harris, Charlie Cooke, Peter Bonetti – that could play great football at times, but, as they showed in the blood curdling battle against a Leeds of Giles, Bremner, Charlton and Hunter they were more than capable to mixing it with the toughest – ouch.

After leaving Chelsea though, Sexton built an even better side at Loftus Road, home of Queens Park Rangers. In 1975, QPR, were narrowly pipped for the title by the glorious Liverpool team of the time. For many, that QPR team remains the best side never to have won the Championship – it is testament to it that many football fans of my vintage can still reel off many of the players – Phil Parkes, Dave Clement, Ian Gillard, Gerry Francis, Dave Thomas, Don Masson and, of course, the irrepressible Stan Bowles. They played great football and scored superb goals. His success with the Hoops caused Man United to come calling for his services in 1978, and once again, he built a pretty good side that reached the FA Cup Final in 1979 – losing to Arsenal, and challenging Liverpool for the title. Sadly, for Dave Sexton however, the next season was disappointing and he was sacked and replaced by Ron Atkinson. All his teams were built upon the style that he learned at West Ham as a player in the 1950′s that is that the ball should be kept on the ground and that individual skill should be encouraged. Always polite, definitely cerebral – he came from an era when football managers (well most of them) only spoke when they had something interesting to say. RIP – he will be missed.

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