John Bond 1932-2012
- 26 September 2012 10:21
- Posted by Mark Booth
Manchester City FC are deeply saddened to hear the news that former manager John Bond has passed away at the age of 79.
John managed the club for three years, between 1980 and 1983 and oversaw the memorable run to the 1981 FA Cup final.
Before Roberto Mancini in 2011, Bond was the last manager to lead the Blues to a Wembley the FA Cup final, only going down in the replay courtesy of Ricky Villa's famous goal.
Mike Summerbee recalls a "lovely man" who leaves behind a real legacy in the game.
"I knew John from when I was 16 years old. I played for Swindon against him when he was at West Ham. We had some wonderful times off the field," said Summerbee.
"He was such a lovely man and it's a very sad day. He was a football man. He knew the game inside out. As a person outside of football, he was a wonderful man."
"You could talk forever about his contribution to the game of football because he was so dedicated to the game and he loved the game so very much."
He took over from Malcolm Allison on 17 October 1980 and led City to a 12th place finish having inherited a side anchored to the foot of the table and seemingly headed for relegation.
Within a few days he signed Scottish trio Tommy Hutchinson, Bobby McDonald and Gerry Gow who helped transform the Blues into a completely different side who rapidly climbed the table, reached the semi-final of the League Cup and the Centenary FA Cup final.
It was nothing short of a sensational campaign and the Blues also finished in twelfth in Division One, playing the sort of football the supporters demanded.
Gerry Gow gave his memories of his old boss.
“I’d been at Bristol City since I was a 17-year-old and it was down to John that I got the chance to go to City and to play in an FA Cup final, something I never thought I would get the chance to do," Gow remembers.
"He was the reason I joined. During the discussions before I moved I thought, because I was joining a big club, I’d shoot for the moon. Afterwards he said I’d done the same as the other lads and undersold myself and he bumped the money up."
Former keeper Joe Corrigan thinks Bond's abilities as a coach will see him remembered for years to come.
“He was a great, great coach,” said Corrigan. “He was a really good motivator. At the time he took over, the team really was in a sad situation. He came in, brought a breath of fresh air into the club, introduced three top-class players into a youngish squad and we went on from there.
“After John took over we didn’t lose that many games and we had one of the best records from when John took over to the end of the season of anybody in the country.
“He was a great character and he had a really great sense of humour.
“He could relate to players, he could relate to the press and to the fans.”
Dennis Tueart was another former player quick to pay his respects to his former boss.
"John was an astute manager he quickly identified at City that we needed some more experienced players and he brought in Gow, Hutchison, and McDonald and they were a perfect fit," said the former England international.
"He was a manager whose whole philosophy was formed around getting the ball forward and attacking - he didn’t like taking a backward step."
"He changed my game around after a slow start and I went on to score 11 goals in 17 games one season.
"He played a big part in that. He was a good manager for City and well respected throughout the game."
In his first full season as boss, he signed Trevor Francis for £1.1m and by Christmas, the Blues sat on top of the division and looked genuine title contenders.
The form dipped thereafter and midway through his third season at the Club and following a 4-0 defeat at Brighton, Bond quit City, leaving many happy memories of his time at Maine Road behind him.
Nicky Reid, who made more than 200 appearances for the Blues, admitted that he didn't always see eye to eye with Bond but was saddened by the news.
"It's well documented that we didn't get along professionally at all times but of course that does nothing to stop me from being extremely sad to learn of this news," said Reid.
"I'm very sorry he's passed away and my thoughts are with his son Kevin, his sister and their mum at this sad time."
Alex Williams added: "‘John was a great man and a great manager he was great for me when I made my debut in 1981 he will be missed by the football world."
As well as managing City, Bond had tenures at Norwich City, Burnley and Witton Albion.
In his playing career, John was a talented right-back who cemented his status as a West Ham legend with 444 appearances for the club, winning the Second Division in 1958 and the FA Cup in 1964.
Francis Lee has also taken to Twitter to deliver his tribute to Bond.
Sorry to hear the sad news about John Bond. Top player,manager and coach!A sad day for Jan,Kevin and Toni.A great guy!
Everyone at the club would like to extend their deepest condolences to John's family and friends.