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The Bald Facts: The Autobiography of David Armstrong by Pat Symes

Posted On March 23, 2017 at 9:26 pm by / Comments Off on The Bald Facts: The Autobiography of David Armstrong by Pat Symes

By Pat Symes

Like many proficient football gamers of the 1970s and Eighties, the tale informed by way of mythical Middlesbrough, Southampton, and England winger David Armstrong comprises a few extraordinary ups and downs; however the pace and ferocity of his own rollercoaster trip are without doubt specified. beginning out at Leeds, David resisted signing for Don Revie—later by way of Clough’s woodland and Manchester United. He performed a major 356 consecutive fits for Middlesbrough prior to being compelled out after 10 years. directly to Saints with Keegan, Ball, and Channon—and extra close to misses within the league and cup. Armstrong’s promising England occupation used to be unfortunately curtailed by way of a falling-out with Bobby Robson, and simply 4 years later he used to be pressured to join up the dole. The break-up of his first marriage, his determined wish for an ankle amputation, and bailiffs on the door lend David’s riches-to-rags tale of stardom and poverty a human charm a ways past football.

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I have to watch every step because I have re-adapted the way I get about and it’s not easy or natural. I have to check the surface I walk on in case there are dips and bumps, I need to turn with care and I will never, ever be able to run again. Even allowing for a healthy appetite, the result of my lack of movement is that I now weigh something in the region of 16 and a half stone, which for a man of 5ft 7ins is, I admit, far too much. I had an endoscopy, arthroscopy and operations to clean out the crystallised, flaked bone within.

Indeed I still reckoned I could do some kind of job on the playing side, somewhere, as long as it didn’t involve any running around. For that reason I must have applied for around 50 jobs as manager, as a scout and in commercial departments. The nearest I got to a manager’s job at that time was at Scarborough when they were still in the league. I was called for a 5pm interview and as I pulled into the car park after a long drive I saw Andy King, the former Everton player and Swindon manager, coming out.

In fact they weren’t completed because we reached the final of the tournament after beating the Chinese national side in the semi and I had to leave almost as soon as the semi-final had been played. I was told instead to get an overnight flight from Tokyo to Sydney where I was to be met and taken to the hotel in Rushcutters Bay. I duly arrived, bleary-eyed early the next morning, a solitary balding Englishman in a plane-load of small Japanese, only to discover there was no one there to greet me.

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