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Brian Horton autobiography


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Disappointingly he obviously rejected "Derek, I'm gutted..." as a title and went with the same as Micky Adams - "A life in football"

It is released tomorrow and could well be an interesting read for Vale fans... wonder if there's any reflections on V2001 in there?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08FZJD98Y/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

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I've seen a couple of interviews he's done to plug the book but he was only talking about Man City.

Hopefully the bit where he offered a fan in the Lorne Street outside just after Adrian Littlejohn scored against Northampton is included.

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I've managed to get my hands on the book. I haven't read it yet but there are a couple of chapters in it about the Vale. Not very comprehensive but he's covering 2000 games in football and enjoyed his time at other clubs like Brighton and Hull as well, but there must be twenty pages or so about the Vale. At a brief glance I didn't see your story, Santa. There is fulsome praise for people like Rudge and Foyle and Bridgy but he clearly fell out big time with Bratt.

Funnily enough, as I said before, I remember clearly the day he signed for the Vale. I was at the ground that day and saw him and Gordon Lee. And again to repeat myself he was a fantastic, mobile all round midfielder, one of our best we've had. He could tackle as well as score goals and had a terrific shot. It was one of my saddest evenings as a Vale fan when I found out that we'd sold him to Brighton. But it was ever thus.

David Pleat has done the forward to the book and describes Horton as "a diamond of a man." His footballing career is pretty remarkable. I think only Ferguson has been involved in more games than Horton. Over 2000 is a hell of a lot. Doesn't he live locally-ish in Macclesfield?

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In the book Horton categorically denies anything to do with negotiating behind Rudgie's back and says he told him it wasn't the case, take it or leave it. He does also say that Rudge is probably the best manager in Vale's history. 

Having read it all I don't think it's a particularly fascinating read. For keen lower league fans it is interesting but no more than 3/5 for me, even with the two chapters about the Vale, much of which we are already aware of and know about in detail. More a descriptive account of the clubs, players and people he's met over many years. There are odd tales in there but nothing explosive.

He clearly learned a lot from Gordon Lee and loved Tommy Mac. Later he fell out with Bratt and cost cutting, selling players and getting rid of his staff (as instructed to do) was probably the final straw. Apparently he asked to meet Jackson, got paid off immediately and left. Along the way he clearly found Machin irritating and a nuisance. The cost of Lorne Steet was (as we know) a huge handicap.

He did have an eye for a player and signed quite a few good 'uns over many years.

I suppose we've all got our strengths and weaknesses but with Horton (as with Foyle) I much prefer to recall the good times and have a soft spot for him, both as a wonderful young player and later when he won us the LDV Vans trophy playing some very entertaining football.

For a young fella from the coalfields of south staffs (he's a Wolves fan) he certainly had a very successful footballing career. And no doubt made a few quid along the way. As a player here I never saw him as a strict, outspoken, disciplinarian but many people in the book comment on his leadership qualities, aggressive stare and 100% commitment. A proper captain at Luton and Brighton. Pleat and Mullery both rated him as a player very highly.

Has he now retired completely? I'm a little surprised that someone with his experience is now lost to to the game but he must be in his seventies.

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3 hours ago, TheSage said:

In the book Horton categorically denies anything to do with negotiating behind Rudgie's back and says he told him it wasn't the case, take it or leave it. 

He must have been driving up to Newcastle from Brighton in the week before Rudgie's sacking for some other reason then. Maybe he was testing his eyesight? Martin Foyle should be able to get a job as a clairvoyant too, what with him knowing that Horton was getting the job whilst JR was still in post.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Horton has had a decent career in football, of that there is no doubt. There is also no doubt that he was a top player, even at the highest national level. However, his management skills left a lot to be desired.

He was the catalyst to our fall from relative grace, yet he still finds other reasons for our demise under his leadership.

I might suggest that playing Liam Burns at centre forward (albeit late in the game) one Friday night near Xmas at Boundary Park and a similar move with Sagi Burton at Northampton may have had more to do with our fall.

I loved the guy as a player for us. Unfortunately I cannot say the same about his Vale managership tenure. To me, he was completely nuts and those wild eyes were something to behold - unless they were transfixed on you.. 

 

Edited by RailwayRowdy

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1 hour ago, RailwayRowdy said:

Horton has had a decent career in football, of that there is no doubt. There is also no doubt that he was a top player, even at the highest national level. However, his management skills left a lot to be desired.

He was the catalyst to our fall from relative grace, yet he still finds other reasons for our demise under his leadership.

I might suggest that playing Liam Burns at centre forward (albeit late in the game) one Friday night near Xmas at Boundary Park and a similar move with Sagi Burton at Northampton may have had more to do with our fall.

I loved the guy as a player for us. Unfortunately I cannot say the same about his Vale managership tenure. To me, he was completely nuts and those wild eyes were something to behold - unless they were transfixed on you.. 

 

I agree with much of that. Didn't he get a reputation of being a bit of a tinker man here?

But I do think he deserves some credit for winning us the LDV at Cardiff. That was a wonderful day for me (tin pot trophy or not).

And that team played some outstanding football that season. They were a joy to watch in full flow and it's a long time since I've seen a Vale team play as fluently as they did.

He also had an eye for a player. Not all came off, and he signed some duffers, but did he not sign the likes of McPhee and Brooker and Goodlad?

I'd cut him a bit of slack. 

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On 16/09/2020 at 22:01, RailwayRowdy said:

Horton has had a decent career in football, of that there is no doubt. There is also no doubt that he was a top player, even at the highest national level. However, his management skills left a lot to be desired.

He was the catalyst to our fall from relative grace, yet he still finds other reasons for our demise under his leadership.

I might suggest that playing Liam Burns at centre forward (albeit late in the game) one Friday night near Xmas at Boundary Park and a similar move with Sagi Burton at Northampton may have had more to do with our fall.

I loved the guy as a player for us. Unfortunately I cannot say the same about his Vale managership tenure. To me, he was completely nuts and those wild eyes were something to behold - unless they were transfixed on you.. 

 

Agreed.

25 years and over 1,000 games in management and what does he have to show for it? One Football League Trophy win with us and one promotion with Hull. Says it all for me.

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