Frank McLintock

The Managers: Frank McLintock, 1977-1978

Frank McLintock’s appointment as manager at Filbert Street in June 1977 was warmly recieced by Leicester City fans.

One of only five Leicester City players to be inducted into the English Football’s Hall of Fame, (along with Don Revie, Gordon Banks, Peter Shilton and Gary Lineker) his record at the Club included playing in  the 1961 and 1963 FA Cup Finals, winning the League Cup in 1964 and being capped by Scotland. He moved to Arsenal in October 1964, captaining the Gunners, amongst other achievements, to the League and Cup Double in 1971.

His appointment came one month after retiring as a player at Queens Park Rangers, a team he had captained to the runners-up spot in the League in 1976.

He had no formal qualifications as a coach and by his own admission he lacked the experience to be a top flight manager, but he felt that his know-how as a captain would equip him for the job.

When he took over, Leicester City had finished the previous season in 11th place. When he left Filbert Street the following April, the Club were all but relegated.

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Frank McLintock
Frank McLintock

The circumstances at Filbert Street was not ideal. His initial transfer kitty was only £100,000, even though the Club needed four of five new players. Pre-season fitness levels were low, and a defeat by newly relegated Tottenham Hotspur in a pre-season friendly indicated the scale of the job in hand. Keith Weller had a chronic knee problem. McLintock was also pressured into selling Frank Worthington who was having personal financial problems.

He started off by trying to get the team to play like Arsenal but didn’t have the right type of players. By the New Year, Leicester City were bottom of the table.

During the season, Frank brought his ex- team mates Eddie Kelly, David Webb and George Armstrong to Filbert Street as well as Alan Waddle, Geoff Salmons and Lammie Robertson.

He then paid a club record £250,000 to Bruges for Roger Davies the ex-Derby County goalscoring star from their title winning side, but he hadn’t researched this well enough and as Davies himself admitted to the Matchday Magazine in 2016, he wasn’t a success at Leicester.

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Frank McLintock
Frank McLintock

With relegation all but confirmed by April the Directors wanted to Frank to move to Leicester permanently instead of living in London, where he owned a pub, but he was reluctant to uproot his family without an extension to his  current one-year contract. When this was refused, he walked out of the Club.

In an interview with the CITY Matchday Magazine in 2012, Frank told us that the biggest regret of career was not having the same impact as a manager at Leicester as he had as a player.

He said: “I was heartbroken. I put my heart and soul into that job. I loved Leicester dearly. I really mean that."

One of Frank’s legacies though was that his youth team included players like Trevor Christie, Larry May and Tommy Williams, who did so well for the club after his departure.

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