Heroics Drew Softer Side From Iron-Man Boss
Bill McGarry’s disciplinary ways are legendary among those who knew him and had to suffer his temper. What is not as well known is the occasional leniency he also exercised.
On a 1969 autumn day on which winter reared its head even more significantly than it has this weekend, Phil Parkes initially fell foul of the elements and his manager. Then a welcome change of fortunes saw him emerge as hero of the day – and was very much forgiven.
“We were playing at Liverpool and I was still living in West Brom and travelling to Wolverhampton on public transport for training and matches,” the keeper said.
“But the bus was delayed that day because we had some snow and I was around half an hour late arriving at Molineux.
“I was worried the coach might have gone without me – it might have done but I think I was the only senior goalkeeper around then as it was the time between us having Alan Boswell and John Oldfield.
“Thankfully, McGarry had waited for me but told me I was going to be fined two weeks wages for being late.”
Those who remember the manager can well imagine the scowl he would have worn on the journey north.
Wolves toiled away well for a rare Anfield point, though, and Parkes was particularly impressive on an afternoon on which his stop from Emlyn Hughes was the pick of a series of fine saves.
“I had a decent game,” Lofty added. “We could have won it actually but were obviously happy with a point and I was named man of the match.
“McGarry was pretty pleased afterwards and came up to me in the dressing room to say: ‘Forget the fine, big man’.
“He said it very quietly, though, because he obviously didn’t want it to look like he was losing any of his authority.”