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THE football world this week paid tribute to former Wembley FC manager Malcolm Allison following his death at the age of 83.

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Allison, who became famous for his flamboyant style and fedora hats as boss of 13 clubs including Manchester City and Crystal Palace, took his first steps into management in the humble surroundings of Vale Farm.

After his playing career at West Ham was ended by tuberculosis, Allison moved into coaching at Cambridge University and joined Wembley – who were then playing in the Corinthian League – in November 1962.

The harsh winter played havoc with the Lions’ fixture programme, but his role nevertheless gave Allison a chance to experiment with revolutionary coaching techniques that he then took to Bath City after leaving Vale Farm in March 1963.

He became best known for assisting Joe Mercer, who he succeeded as manager, during Manchester City’s glory years of the late 1960s and early 70s, and also coached in Canada, Turkey and Portugal before ending his career at Bristol Rovers in 1993.

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