The football world is in mourning following the sad news of the passing of Malcolm Allison, who to most in football was well known for his success with Manchester City but at West Ham he is credited with being one of, if not THE, founder of our famed Academy.
The story is that after watching the Hungarians tear England apart at Wembley in 1953, he went back to West Ham and gathered around his friends in the local café just around the corner from the ground, where they would work out their new style of playing with the salt and pepper pots and sauce bottles.
They then imposed this style of play onto manager Ted Fenton, who had a love-hate relationship with his captain, although this turned out to be successful as in 1958 West Ham were promoted into the top flight for the first time in over 20 years.
Unfortunately for Malcolm he never got to play in the First Division for West Ham due to illness the season before and, although he did try to make a comeback, a certain Bobby Moore was picked in his place.
Malcolm had spent a lot of his time training the juniors at Upton Park and knew Moore well and probably helped make him into the legend that he became.
For whatever reason, he wasn’t offered a coaching job at the Hammers and so he moved on but the fans all know that Malcolm Allison played a big part in making the club what it is today, famed for our style of football, and our development of young players.
R.I.P Malcolm Allison.
Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.