The life and times of Malcolm Allison
- 15 October 2010 12:25
- Posted by Will Unwin
It is with sadness that Manchester City can report that former manager and coach Malcolm Allison has passed away aged 83. Our thoughts go out to his family and friends.
Allison was seen as Joe Mercer’s first signing, when he joined the club in 1965 as part of the coaching staff. From early on he was seen as an extrovert and a colourful character.
In partnership Mercer and Allison clinched promotion in their first season at the helm through some stylish attacking play, which was only enhanced by the inspirational signing of Colin Bell.
After a year of consolidation in the top-flight the Blues had another extremely successful season, and clinched the 1967-68 First Division title.
The next two campaigns saw more trophies in the cabinet as City won the FA Cup in 1969, and then the League Cup and European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1970.
City suffered some seasons without success which saw a change in the managerial team with Allison being promoted to Team Manager, and Mercer becoming General Manager, but their relationship stayed strong throughout, until Mercer left for Coventry in 1972.
He left Maine Road in 1973 however this was not the last that Blues’ fans would see of Allison.
Following spells at Crystal Palace, Galatasaray and Plymouth, the maverick returned to City in 1979 in the capacity of ‘Coaching Overlord’, working alongside Manager Tony Book.
Both Book and Allison left the club after a poor start to the following season. Allison moved back to Crystal Palace for a brief spell, before moving to Portugal to manage Sporting Lisbon for a year, in which he won the treble.
Although he gained success in Portugal Allison moved back to England in order to take charge of Middleborough before time in Kuwait, then spells at Vitoria Setubal, Farense, prior to ending his managerial career at Bristol Rovers in the early 90s.
Outside of the game, Allison was well known as a flamboyant and charismatic figure, the likes of which will not be seen again in the game.
The Club, whose flags are at half mast, will pay tribute to Malcolm at the forthcoming game against Arsenal. There will also be an appropriate commemoration to his life and work in the memorial garden at the City of Manchester Stadium.