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Where Are They Now? Boro’s Division Two Champions 1973/74

JIM PLATT says Jack Charlton made his intentions very clear early on in his first days in charge of Middlesbrough.

The England World Cup winner was handed control on his 38th birthday after giving the club’s board a list of demands at his interview for the job.

Platt says Charlton set out his stall very early in his reign after they lost their first home game of the season to Fulham. It was only one of four defeats they would suffer in the whole campaign.

He remembers that Charlton hit the roof and it obviously worked as Boro next lost a game, when they were defeated 5-1 at Nottingham Forest, in early February.

“We won our first match at Portsmouth 1-0. Then, after the loss to Fulham, Jack did his nut.

“We’d never seen him in a bad temper before,” said Platt.

“Pre season had gone well. We had won all of our matches, but then we saw the other side of Jack.

“He said we would have a meeting on the Monday. Then, on the Monday, he apologised for losing his temper but lost his temper again and starting arguing.

“He told us we either did it his way or not at all.

“So, we did it his way and got promotion. We were very hard to beat and, after that Fulham game, went 23 games without defeat.

“We never dreamt it would finish up like that. We had the league won by Easter.”

Charlton pulled off a minor miracle in his first season when they raced to the title by a massive 15 points from Luton Town.

But Platt doubts that Charlton’s no-nonsense management style would go down well today.

“Jack took over a good team, under Stan Anderson,” he said. “We had been in the top four but he couldn’t get us promotion. But he bought in Bobby Murdoch from Celtic and he was the missing link.

“I don’t think Jack could manage nowadays because he wouldn’t put up with agents. And players earn fortunes.

“We went into Jack looking for a new contract, especially when he got promoted, looking for a £50 pay rise, which was a good rise.

“As soon as you got through the door, Jack would ask what you wanted. So, instead of asking for £50, you asked for £30 before coming out with £10 thinking you had done well.”

watn boro 1973 graphic

  1. Alan Foggon: A forward who worked as a security manager before running the Smithside Arms in South Shields and then owned a pub in Jarrow.
  2. Peter Brine: A midfielder who lives in Townsville, North Queensland, and worked as a gaming machines manager for a major casino before opening a restaurant called Salts.
  3. Stuart Boam: The central defender briefly went into management with Mansfield before leaving the game to work for Kodak and then as a newsagent until retiring.
  4. Jim Platt: Northern Ireland goalkeeper, who coached at Boro’s football community centre before becoming a coach in primary schools around the Middlesbrough/Stockton area.
  5. John Hickton: A striker who lives in his native Chesterfield. Now retired after working in insurance and, before that, ran a newsagents and off-licence in Redcar.
  6. Willie Maddren: The defender ran a sports shop on Teesside, then worked for an Insurance firm in the area before his death from motor neurone disease in August 2000, aged 49 .
  7. David Armstrong: A midfielder who lives just outside Southampton and has done various jobs including community officer, soft drinks salesman and radio pundit.
  8. Frank Spraggon: A defender who married the daughter of former England trainer Harold Shepherdson. He coached abroad and then for Boro’s community scheme.
  9. Bobby Murdoch: A midfielder who managed Boro but returned to live in Glasgow, where he ran a pub and worked as a match day host at Celtic until his death from a stroke in May 2001, aged 56.
  10. Malcolm Smith: A striker who was a vehicle hire manager for more than ten years, before becoming a sales rep for sports equipment company HiTec.
  11. David Mills: A forward who worked as a freelance journalist and was a print consultant. Has since been scouting for Newcastle, Middlesbrough, Hull City and now Leicester City.
  12. Graeme Souness: The midfielder managed Glasgow Rangers, Liverpool, Galatasaray, Southampton, Torino, Benfica, Blackburn and Newcastle, and is now a Sky Sports pundit.
  13. John Craggs : A right-back who became a car salesman in Redcar and then ran a sports shop in Teesside Park, which he took over from Willie Maddren and sold to Sports Direct.

NOT PICTURED

Brian Taylor: A central defender who settled in the Rochdale area, where he has worked on his former club’s Football in the Community scheme.

Eric McMordie: A midfielder who worked for a builder’s merchant before opening a couple of newsagents in Middlesbrough.

Harry Charlton: A midfielder who was not related to Jack. Returned to his native Gateshead and has worked as a hospital porter in Newcastle.

Malcolm Poskett: A striker who became a plater after being released by Jack Charlton. Settled in the Carlisle area, where he works as a car salesman.

Tony McAndrew: The defender has been youth team coach at Leicester City and Stoke City, but in 1999 returned to Aston Villa for a second time and is head of academy coaching.

Bill Gates: An England youth defender and the brother of Eric. He owned a chain of sports shops before selling up and retiring to the Cayman Islands.

Jim Cochrane: A left-back who qualified as a solicitor more than 30 years ago and is now running his own practice, Cochrane’s, in Stockton-on-Tees.

Peter Creamer: A defender who  worked for TNT in Australia, before returning home to open a pub in Bishop Auckland. Then became a sales rep for a brewer.

Pat Cuff: A goalkeeper who went on to run a chain of betting shops on Teesside with his brother, before selling to Coral.

This article was brought to you by The Football League Paper. On-sale every Sunday, the newspaper provides extensive coverage for all 72 Football League clubs with news, features and gossip plus comprehensive match reports.
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