December 13 2013 Latest news:
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Former Norwich City defender Dave Stringer, who later managed the club for four and a half years, paid his own tribute to John Bond and remembers how the players were encouraged to play a more “expansive” game when he became manager.
Stringer was one of the senior players, along with Kevin Keelan, Duncan Forbes and Colin Suggett, to survive the change in management from the Ron Saunders era to Bond’s arrival in November 1973.
He said: “The difference in the two managers as personalities was reflected in the way their teams played.
“Under Ron we were a very, very hard-working, stoic team. John Bond brought a lot more openness to the club and believed in more flair in his team’s football.
“It was quite difficult to come to terms with at first because he wanted players to express themselves more and he brought in people like Ted MacDougall, Phil Boyer and Martin Peters who could do that.
“I think Kevin and Duncan and I survived because he still needed people who could defend and do that side of the job and we had the experience and a good understanding with each other.”
City were relegated from Division One in April 1974, five months after Bond’s arrival, but bounced back at the first attempt, winning promotion and reaching the League Cup final in 1975.
“We regrouped and had a very good season and that included going to Wembley again.”
Bond is also credited with revolutionising City’s youth programme by taking the club into the South East Counties League.
Said Stringer: “At the time the A and B teams were coming through in local leagues like the Eastern Counties League, but by moving to the South East Counties they were playing against people their own age - the best young players from all the top clubs - and that helped produce a new crop of young players. We could also see who was coming through at other clubs.”
Stringer said he last saw Bond at the club’s Greatest Ever event at Carrow Road in May 2008.
“That was the last time I saw him but I did hear he had not been very well,” he said.