30 Sept 2011

ROY EVANS: "Cynics said he had the easiest job in football. What a load of rubbish"

At a recent event to celebrate the launch of a new book about treble-winning Liverpool manager Joe Fagan, Roy Evans - who wrote the foreword to the book - paid tribute to the man he saw as his 'mentor' and 'father figure' in football.

Former Liverpool manager Evans enthused:

"He was a great servant to Liverpool over many, many years, under Bill Shankly, and Bob Paisley. He did most of the stuff on the training pitch over the years; him and Ronnie Moran. He was the glue that kept everything together in my eyes.

"All the players liked Joe. His honesty was such that, if he gave you a kick up the backside then you deserved it, and if he gave you a pat on the back then you knew you’d played well. All the players appreciated how he man-managed them.

"You have to remember, he was part of nearly every trophy we ever won, certainly from ’64-’65. He was part of that; a big part. Not at the front obviously, but at the end, he won trophies as a manager himself, and to win three in one year is a magnificent achievement.

"He was a part of all those things, through four or five different teams…and very rarely would you find anybody who would have a bad word to say about Joe Fagan, and that’s how big his influence was".

In the book's foreword, Evans was emphatic about the size of the task Fagan faced when he took over from Bob Paisley:

"The cynics said he’d simply inherited the treble winning team from Bob Paisley. That he had the easiest job in football.

"What a load of rubbish. If anything, following in the footsteps of a man who had won 19 major trophies in nine years was an unwinnable task. It was typical of Joe that he answered his critics in the best possible fashion".

Jaimie Kanwar


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