Shows what the little man can do

ytfc fans

It is one of them, and right at this moment of course it is the best. But to have between 17,000 and 20,000 fans supporting us, which is a relatively small club, on a small budget, this is what you can do. So if you have got big ambition for a little man, you can get this.”

That’s how Gary Johnson, probably the smallest manager in the league, concluded his interview following Yeovil‘s elevation to the Championship.

The “little man” can be variously taken as Gary, YTFC, the small football club or anyone who wants to make a difference with limited resources.

YTFC cider fans

As approximately half the population of Yeovil was at Wembley , King Gary can properly be speaking for the town which has little else going for it at present (other than David Laws MP and Paddy Ashdown).

We need this small-man (and woman) affirming stuff.

As Gary points out, having the guts to go for it when everyone is laughing at you isn’t easy. He’d been written off after some bad managerial experiences but the moment he and Terry Skiverton teamed up last season, the mood around the Huish changed.

Alex Ferguson got the headlines yesterday, he played minor league football and knew what it was like to be the small man in a small league. He hasn’t lost that edge.

Every small man can have his day and the democratisation of media means that every small voice can be heard.

The future belongs to the Swanseas and Cardiffs and Yeovils and Newports and Wrexhams as much as the rich clubs of Manchester , Glasgow, Liverpool and London.

“The little man did good” – a few of those who I come across in business should think about that.

hi res playpen

About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen,, partner of Stella, father of Olly . I am the Pension Plowman
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7 Responses to Shows what the little man can do

  1. George Kirrin says:

    Many congratulations, Henry.

    I took vicarious pleasure in watching Yeovil withstand Brentford’s second half siege, even if it is sometimes hard for someone brought up in Glasgow to warm to any teams playing in green-and-white or royal blue. In the 1970s and 1980s it is no surprise that Aberdeen (before and after Fergie) were known as Glasgow’s “third team”, rather than Partick Thistle, who’ve also just finished their season with a well-deserved promotion.

    • henry tapper says:

      George – very pleased to hear you reference Partick Thistle- another reader of this blog, Andrew @Yound- architect and presiding genius of the PPF is a fellow fan and I reciprocate affection for this fine club.

  2. Philip Doggart says:

    Just one correction on the article Henry. Alex Ferguson played for Rangers and won in the region of 20 Scottish caps. While he did not play in minor football, he started his managerial career at East Stirlingshire, which has been consistently the worst team in Scotland over the last 40 years or so.

    • henry tapper says:

      I’m sorry to have inadvertently dissed Sir Alex’s later career Philip.

      • George Kirrin says:

        Sorry, Philip, but Sir Alex never achieved 20 caps for Scotland.

        He did play for the Scottish League against the Football League in a 1967 0-3 home defeat, in which Fergie had a goal disallowed for offside.

        He was on the fringes of the Scotland squad that beat England 3-2 at Wembley the same year. He then went on a Scotland XI’s summer tour to Israel, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand and Canada and scored ten goals in seven games, but none of these were full cap status.

        He played once more for the Scottish League and scored in a 2-0 win over the Irish League.

        I have seen him described elsewhere as a “mediocre” footballer, which is harsh. He was Scotland’s most expensive transfer (£65,000 from Dunfermline to Rangers in 1967) at the time, and he is remembered in several places for the hat-tricks he scored, including being the last St Johnstone player (no, it wasn’t Ally McCoist) to score three at Ibrox in 1964.

        His brief record at East Stirlingshire wasn’t so mediocre either. They were 4th in the Second Division when he moved on to St Mirren, and he’d raised the home crowds from less than 500 to over 1,000.

        Scotland’s greatest manager? No, that has to be Jock Stein.

        Scotland’s greatest manager outside the Old Firm? Certainly.

        Britain’s greatest manager? Unarguably (even considering Ramsay’s record at Ipswich and with England, or Paisley’s record at Liverpool).

  3. George Kirrin says:

    That St Johnstone hat-trick was actually in December 1963, not 1964.

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