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malcolm allison
Season 2010/11

Your Big Mal tributes

  • 15 October 2010 15:05
  • Posted by Chris Nield

We have been inundated with memories and tributes from football fans from around the world this afternoon, each paying tribute to former City manager Malcolm Allison who passed away this morning ages 83.

We would love to print them all however here is a selection of the hundreds of emails, tweets and posts on our Malcolm Allison tribute page on Facebook that we would like to share.

"Being a man of 53 yrs of age I’m fortunate to remember those fantastic days under Malcolm Allison and Joe Mercer and the truly great team they produced. Such wonderful memories. 

I find it tragic for Malcolm to pass away on the eve of City returning to the good times after all these years. I know how happy that would have made him.

God bless you Malcolm and thank you from all City fans. I’m sure you`ll soon be toasting the boys with Joe. You have a glass of bubbly and a big cigar in your usual style, you deserve it.

After all you two started it all.


"As an impressionable 8 year old, I watched City beat Leicester in the 1969 Cup Final on a black and white TV at home. From that moment on, City became my team.

City’s style of play was a joy to watch, and a team that was almost completely made up of Englishmen made watching Match of the Day and ITV Sunday afternoon highlights the high point of the weekend. Behind all this were Joe and Big Mal.

Big Mal was an infectious character that wasn’t afraid to speak his mind. I remember watching him on the ITV World Cup panel in 1970, and he wasn’t short of saying what he felt. I was thrilled when he came back in 1978, and I defended him to the hilt when all around called for his head. I remember standing on the Kippax and applauding him with tears in my eyes when he ran on to the centre of the pitch ahead of an FA Cup tie against his Crystal palace team back in 1981.

Interestingly, the day City last won a trophy in 1976; Big Mal was 49, the same age I am now. Let’s hope that this coincidence his Big Mal’s last hurrah and an omen for some silverware in 2010. He may be gone, but he’ll never be forgotten.

Andy, Season Ticket Holder, Tier 2, Colin Bell Stand"

"A footballing pioneer and True Blue in every sense. Gone but never to be forgotten. Thank you Big Mal, I'm proud and honoured to know you played a massive part in the Club's history."

Best Wishes,

Peter Amoah"

"The announcement of the passing away of 'Big Mal' today is deeply sad; not only for all of us who have passionately supported City over the years, but for all people who are true lovers of the beautiful game.

Besides being one of the most innovative coaches throughout the 1960's, I will always remember Mal for his outrageous jackets, hats and cigars - a real flamboyant guy who brought a smile to everyone who was fortunate enough to see City when we were the best team in all the land. Along with Joe, he put City on the map and I am just so sad that as we are again on the verge of becoming one of the top teams in the top division and possibly Europe, he will not be around to see it happen.

Thank you Mal for what you did for City - a true legend of the sky blues and of the game of football.
John Wadsworth-Ladkin"  

"I remember when he used to come out on the pitch before the game and say how many City were going to score; what a character! We all believed him, too. And as Mike Summerbee has said, he was one of the first to do athletic style training ... I seem to remember he had Colin Bell  timed at 52-second in a 400m AFTER training back in '72.

Keith Faulkner, Sheffield"

"The word legend is often used these days without realising the true meaning. There are many definitions of the word but the Brothers Grimm defined a legend as a folktale that is historically grounded.

For me that sums up Big Mal and the battles he, Joe and the team fought over what is undoubtedly the most successful period in our history to date.

Why a folktale? Well this club has always been and always will be a part of our community and as such we are only strong when our leaders recognize and galvanize that spirit to bring us the success that we deserve. Big Mal (and Joe) did that, his flamboyance, attitude and sheer football genius got us behind a great team which lead to exotic nights abroad embellished by the tales (folktales?) of the fans who were there which unfortunately being a 4 year old in Rusholme at the time prevented my attendance but boy did my family tell me those stories, almost Arabian nightesque, hence a life long blue.

So a true legend, a folktale historically grounded by the silverware, legacy, stories he brought to us, a big man, a larger than life man, A True Blue. RIP The Legend.

David Parker"

"I'd just like to pay tribute to Malcolm Allison; a great football man. As a West Ham fan who remembers the 50s, Allison played a massive part in the history of my club as well as City.

He coached Bobby Moore as a boy and was eventually replaced by him in the West Ham side. His contribution to City's success as coach and manager was inspirational. Thanks Big Mal for all you did for my club and City.

Paul Walker, Macclesfield"

"I was fortunate enough to be able to remember my greatest football side of all time the Mercer / Allison era.  It was because of these two great men I became a City fan when others around me were following other teams.  

They soon switched sides and are still following our beloved City because of Malcolm putting us on the map once again.

We have now lost our great fathers of the greatest era City ever had.  An era which produced some of the greatest names in world football of which some are still connected with the club. 

 I wish we had characters like Malcolm in the game today, his knowledge of the game was second to none.  Wherever you go in the world people still talk about the wonderful things Malcolm did for football and some of his tactics are used by managers today.  

Malcolm Allison


Al Zammit"

"Thank you for memories of a great team, great football, and the rebuilding of a great club, with "SIR JOE". You will always be remembered as a true blue.

I remember one night in particular that summed up your brash, outspoken but passionate personality. We had gone to Anfield in the FA cup and battled to a goalless draw.

The re-play at home was packed to the rafters, and the noise in the Kippax was amazing, even Malcolm´s son was there singing with the lads, when just before kick off this figure with a wide brimmed hat and overcoat walked across the "Hallowed Turf" to stand in front of the Kippax and hold his hand up to say that we were going to put five past them.

If my memory serves me well we won 2-0.

One of many fantastic memories,

Thank you Malcolm,

Never to be forgotten.


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