Death for former Town boss McGarry

FORMER Ipswich Town manager Bill McGarry has died at his home in South Africa at the age of 77.McGarry had been in poor health for several years and passed away on Tuesday.

By Dave Vincent

FORMER Ipswich Town manager Bill McGarry has died at his home in South Africa at the age of 77.

McGarry had been in poor health for several years and passed away on Tuesday. He left Watford to manage Ipswich in 1964, taking over from Jackie Milburn.

He had four years in charge at Portman Road, guiding Ipswich to promotion to the old First Division in 1968 before embarking on an eight-year stint at Wolves.


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Town won the Second Division championship thanks to a terrific 15-match unbeaten run at the end of that campaign. Promotion was clinched by a 1-1 draw at Blackburn Rovers.

Town chairman David Sheepshanks said: “We are very sad to hear of the death of Bill McGarry and, on behalf of everyone connected with Ipswich Town Football Club, would like to express our condolences and send our deepest sympathies to his family and friends.

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“Bill McGarry served this Club well as a manager from 1964-1968, culminating in promotion to the old First Division before leaving us to become the manager of Wolverhampton Wanderers. As a mark of respect the club's flags will fly at half-mast for 24 hours.”

McGarry was known as a strict disciplinarian and turned training methods upside down at the club, which upset some players but brought results.

He also brought fans' favourite Ray Crawford back to the club in 1966 and he was to prove a key figure in the promotion-winning team that beat QPR to the title.

But McGarry left Ipswich voluntarily when the chance to return to his Midlands home to manage Wolverhampton Wanderers came. He felt at the time Wolves had more potential than Ipswich.

McGarry's military-style methods proved successful. While in charge at Molineux, he won the 1974 League Cup and took the club to the 1972 UEFA Cup final and to an FA Cup semi-final. He enjoyed less success as manager of Newcastle United between 1977 and 1980 and returned for an ill-fated second spell at Wolves in 1985, which lasted just 61 days.

As a player, he won four England caps and also played one B international.

Although born in Stoke, he spent 10 years of his playing career with Huddersfield Town and also played for Port Vale.

He then became player/manager of Bournemouth and had a stint in charge at Watford before coming to Ipswich.

Since calling time on his second brief spell at Wolves, McGarry held a variety of coaching positions in Africa, including Zambia and Bophutaswana.

His funeral will take place in South Africa on Saturday, when Wolves will hold a minute's silence before their home game with McGarry's home-town club Stoke.

The EADT's former Ipswich Town correspondent Tony Garnett knew McGarry well. He writes:

“Bill was appointed by Ipswich Town as the disciplinarian needed to steady the ship at Portman Road to check the decline that had started under Jackie Milburn.

“He always told me that every team needed a strong backbone, a sound goalkeeper, a competitive midfield and a sharp striker.

“He soon signed Ken Hancock to keep goal and Cyril Lea to provide aggression in midfield. He inherited Bill Baxter at centre-half and was able to bring the best out of Danny Hegan and Gerry Baker up front. Then he signed John O'Rourke, a natural goalscorer.”

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