GALLERY: Ted Phillips at 80
- Credit: Archant
Former sports editor of the Evening Star and the East Anglian Daily Times, Tony Garnett, reported on Ted Phillips in his pomp.
Tony watched in awe as the likes of Phillips, Ray Crawford, Andy Nelson and Jimmy Leadbetter took on all-comers, leading to the Blues’ historic First Division title win in 1962.
Remarkably, Tony was also given extensive access to mix with the players at the club and travelled with them to games – something that would not even be contemplated in the modern era.
This privilege also stretched to him being allowed to play in goal as Phillips took shots at him after training.
“Alf (Sir Alf Ramsey) used to let me go down and train at the club and Ted sometimes stayed behind to hit some penalties,” he recalls.
“I remember going in goal against him and Alf saw and told Ted to “stop that”.
“He had the hardest shot in football, and they used heavy balls then.
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“As a goalkeeper, you knew you were in danger and I recall one opposition goalkeeper who shall remain nameless turning his back on one of Ted’s shots.”
Phillips was a roaring success under Sir Alf and spearheaded the future England manager’s attack as the Blues became the best team in England.
However, as Tony explains, Ted wasn’t hugely involved in the legendary manager’s masterplan.
“Ted did not fit in with the tactics and used to do his own thing but he was so dangerous because of the shooting power he possessed,” recalls Tony.
“I remember on one occasion, Ted had not scored for about six games and Alf asked me whether he should play him in the next game.
“I told him he had to because of the ability he had when shooting.”