IN THE latest in our City Favourites series, LEE DUXBURY recalls his favourite things from his time at Valley Parade.

"Before we start can I just point out that I wasn’t born in Keighley!

"Nothing against people from Keighley but I was one of the last babies to be born in Skipton and I’m really proud of that.

"There are only two football players that have come out of Skipton, me and Rick Holden.

"It always says in Wikipedia and everywhere that I was born in Keighley but I’m a North Yorkshire boy!"


Every coach and manager I’ve known since I was an apprentice all helped in their little way. So I can’t pick just the one.

Trevor Cherry was my first manager and then Terry Dolan after a few months but Arthur Graham was my coach in the youth team.

We won the first ever under-19s league and in those days you were up against Middlesbrough, Sunderland, Leeds, Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield United.

We’d play against the likes of David Batty, Gary Speed, Simon Grayson, Marco Gabbiadini and Paul Gascoigne so my education early on was unbelievable. We were underdogs every week and to win that twice under Arthur was a brilliant achievement.

“Archie” was 35 and still in and out of the first team and he always tried to coach like he was still a player. Every day was different and he brought enjoyment to everything.

Stan Ternent was the coach with Terry Dolan and then after that came Terry Yorath – all midfield players. That was great for me.

This was as a time when there wasn’t a lot of coaching, it was more “do as I tell you”. If you didn’t, you wouldn’t train with the first team or play for the reserves.

Even reserve games in those days were a real education. We’d be playing on a Wednesday night against Everton, Man United, Liverpool on the first team pitch against international players and seasoned pros who were coming back from injury or whatever.

It’s not like the under-23s now. The coaching has become a lot better – I’ve got my A licence – but you’re missing that education I had from over-18s to getting in the first team.

The managers and coaches I worked under also gave me life skills and looked after you on and off the pitch.

I went to Sweden as a second-year apprentice when Terry Yorath was in charge. Basically, I was the “gofer” running round for people but I played a couple of matches.

My dad was poorly at the time and in and out of hospital and Terry gave me a tenner a day to phone up and see how he was. It was just the right thing to do and meant a lot to me.

Terry gave me my debut at West Ham. When you’re 18-19, you’ve got no fear and you’re not even aware of who you’re playing against.

It was only years later that I realised that I was directly up against Liam Brady!

Frank Stapleton came in and he gave me a good run – I think I got player of the year.

He played in midfield with me and Stuart “Pancho” Pearson did most of the coaching. He was a great man-manager.

But with most midfield partnerships, one will go on a run and the other sits. I’d make a forward run and all of a sudden Frank would be next to me!

So, who was protecting our back four? I’d look across at Pancho shaking his head, it was a nightmare!

Neil Warnock then took me to Huddersfield but Kammy (Chris Kamara) brought me back and we went up that year.

I’d played with Kammy before I left so he must have rated me because I went straight into the first team.

He trusted me and made me captain, saying that I was always a seven or eight out of 10. He treated me as an equal and let me do my thing, an absolute top man.

But all these people made me live my dream. I played 700 matches over 20 years, including twice at Wembley, I played with and against some great players at all the stadiums in England.

As a 17-year-old, I probably thought I could dribble like (Lionel) Messi, shoot from 30 yards and rise at the back post like John Charles. I needed to be educated properly into becoming a footballer.

They drilled it into me what my strengths were and told me, ‘you do this and you’ll make a living in the game’. You only got told once, if they needed to say it twice or three times you wouldn’t be involved.

I listened to these managers and coaches and, if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t have played all those matches over so many years and had so many great memories.

NEXT WEEK: Duxbury on his favourite City goals, including one scored with "pure anger", favourite games and his teammates.

In memory of Ian Duxbury, who passed away recently.