Vinyl Record

Links With The Past: A Vinyl Record For Graham Cross’ Testimonial Year

Club Historian John Hutchinson's Links with The Past series continues with a look at a 49-year-old vinyl record featuring Leicester City’s first team squad from 1974.
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Between 1961 and 1975 Leicester-born Graham Cross, an England Under-23 international, played a Club record-breaking 600 games for Leicester City at wing-half and then at centre-back.

He holds the Club record for playing the most games in top-flight (414), in the FA Cup (59) and in the League Cup (40). His goal on his debut as a 17-year-old makes him the Club’s youngest scorer in top flight.

He was an FA Cup finalist in 1963 and 1969, a League Cup winner in 1964, a League Cup finalist in 1965 and a Second Division title winner and Charity (Community) Shield winner in 1971. He also played in Europe for the Club in 1961.

In addition, Graham played first class cricket for Leicestershire between 1961 and 1977, winning the Benson and Hedges Cup in 1975.

In 1973/74, in his 13th season in Leicester City’s first team, Graham was awarded a testimonial year which included a prestigious testimonial match against Derby County who had been the league champions two years earlier.

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Vinyl Record
Vinyl Record

Ivan Slack Promotions produced the record, which had two songs.

Another feature of Graham’s testimonial year was this seven-inch vinyl single record. Produced by Ivan Slack Promotions, it is a Decca record containing two songs. These are ‘The Tank’ on the ‘A’ side and ‘This is the Season’ on the ‘B’ side. ‘The Tank’ was the nickname given to Graham by his team mate Alan ‘The Birch’ Birchenall.

The singers of both songs were the first team squad. Their pictures appear on the record’s sleeve. Alan Birchenall, Keith Weller, Peter Shilton and Frank Worthington are on the front cover along with the producer Ivan Slack. 

The players on the sleeve’s reverse side are Jon Sammels, Dennis Rofe, Mike Stringfellow, Malcolm Munro, Joe Waters, Len Glover, Steve Whitworth, Alan Woollett, Steve Earle and Mark Wallington.

‘Birch’ told us that the recording took place at a local recording studio, that it was televised for regional TV and that it sold quite well.

The lyrics of the ‘The Tank’, which pay tribute to Graham, include such lines as: ‘The Tank, The Tank, The Tank / The Leicester City team: Graham Crossy is the Daddy / Many a team he sank / That’s why he’s called the Tank.’

The lyrics of ‘This is the Season’ proclaim: ‘This is the season for Leicester / This is the big one for us / We’re playing great / In front of every gate / We don’t want to slip until we get right to the top / Where we belong.’




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