Thursday, May 19

Lou Macari's rough sleepers in Stoke

Thanks to Matt for sending in this picture of the Lou Macari Street Retreat, a shelter for homeless people in Stoke. Matt remarks that, "it's strange how some football figures are real heroes in some places, as Macari is in Stoke, but total zeros elsewhere, as Macari is at West Ham." Judging by the superb drama about Stoke fan Neil Baldwin, Marvellous, Macari — who had a son who committed suicide — is a good guy with a social conscience. He suffered at West Ham through not being John Lyall and was only given six months in charge before leaving after a betting charge, which these days would surely result in a mere fine. Though he did bring us Morley, Bish, Mad Dog and, erm, Colin Foster. Would he have succeeded at West Ham if given more time? We'll never know now, but credit to him for his work in the Potteries. Wonder if we'll see a Julian Dicks Street Retreat — though as Matt says, "Julian Dicks would never retreat." 


matt said...

Macari's greatest gift to West Ham was surely signing Ludo Miklosko, who I believe he found somewhere near Moscow. Macari was teetotal, and a fitness fanatic, and struggled to change the drinking culture at West Ham. There's a story about how he took several players to a health farm to improve their poor diet, and they broke out and went to McDonald's. Macari was also a very keen gambler, which caused the problems that saw him leave West Ham - I think he bet against his previous club Swindon in a cup tie, to get the money to pay for their expenses in the next round, and the players' win bonuses.He still lives in Stoke, but also owns a chip shop near Old Trafford.

Pete May said...

In his book Dicksy mentions clattering him in training a few times! Couldn't have been easy for him at WHU… and he had the whole Paul Ince saga to deal with.