Former Manchester City FC and Crystal Palace FC manager Malcolm Allison has died aged 83.
As assistant to Joe Mercer, Allison helped to oversee Manchester City's greatest period of success in the late 1960s, winning the English First Division title in 1968, the FA Cup in 1969, and the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup and English League Cup in 1970. He took the manager's job in 1972/73 before returning to the Maine Road hot seat in 1979/80. Those two stints book-ended spells as Crystal Palace boss and with Galatasaray AŞ and Plymouth Argyle FC.
"Flamboyant, brilliant and larger than life, Malcolm will be sorely missed by everyone at the club and beyond," read a statement on the City website. He also led Sporting Clube de Portugal to the Portuguese Liga title in 1982 and was fondly remembered as one of the most charismatic characters in the English game.
It was at City that Allison made his name as a coach after a playing career as a defender at West Ham United FC. He was appointed assistant to Mercer in 1965 and helped to inspire the most glittering era in the Mancunians' history. City lifted the English title for the second and last time in 1968, the FA Cup, League Cup and also collected European honours after beating KS Górnik Zabrze in the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup final in Vienna in April 1970.
Malcolm changed football by making us train like athletes, in that respect he was ahead of his time and he was a great tactician as well," City ambassador and former player Mike Summerbee said. "He was also one of the lads. In effect he was the 12th player from the sidelines but he knew how to crack the whip and we respected him. He was a great psychologist; he knew how to handle me and how to get more out of me. He did the same for Colin Bell, Francis Lee, Neil Young and all that great side."
His later assignments took him to Turkey, Portugal and Kuwait, yet it was probably his association with south London club Crystal Palace that brought most attention: Allison becoming known for his trademark fedora hat and cigar during Palace's run to the FA Cup semi-finals in 1976.
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