Not bad, not bad

I’ve had many skilful men,” observed Shankly in 1975, “but the best professional of the lot was Gerry Byrne. He wasn’t flashy and he wouldn’t score you goals. But he was hard and skilful and gave you everything he had. More than that he was totally honest. Which is the greatest quality of all.”

9 thoughts on “Not bad, not bad”

  1. A reputation as a hard man in a violent era and yet never sent off. You have to be very talented to achieve that.

    My dad played with him. One day I noted that the Arsenal midfielders Viera and particularly Petit never seemed to foul anyone even though they were breaking up every attack, “Yeah, they’re like Gerry Byrne” he replied. We were watching a world cup final.

  2. Bloke in North Dorset

    In an era of Norman Hunter it was easy for Gerry Byrne not to get sent off. I suspect if he was around today and tried to be as hard as he was he wouldn’t last long, not least because modern footballers are more willing to cheat by falling over and far better at it.

  3. Shankly was so much a better fellow than Ferguson.

    I don’t know much about Shankly, but I did know Ferguson’s secretary for a while and she said he was lovely to work for. This was also a nice touch.

  4. I wouldn’t dream of taking sides against Mrs G’s beloved Sir Alex, not least because of the seven years I spent standing on the terraces at Pittodrie, freezing my balls off.

  5. I don’t know anything about football but my mother had to deal with Alex Ferguson for work once, over something that he could have taken as an annoyance. He was very nice.

    So he’s OK by me.

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