Hundreds of Manchester City fans honour Malcolm Allison

Malcolm Allison Malcolm Allison helped Manchester City to several trophies

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Hundreds of Manchester City fans paid their respects to Malcolm Allison when the former manager's funeral cortege passed by the club's home stadium.

Mr Allison, known as Big Mal, died on 14 October, aged 83.

His cortege passed the City of Manchester Stadium on its way to a service at the Southern Cemetery.

Around 300 people had gathered to pay their respects and a round of applause from the assembled crowd greeted the arrival of the cars.

A sky-blue Manchester City scarf was draped over Allison's coffin and next to it was an ice bucket containing a bottle of Moet et Chandon champagne.

Stephen O'Neill, 51, from Gatley, near Stockport, said: "Big Mal was a Manchester City legend.

"He was an innovative coach who brought us great success.

"Some of the coaching techniques you see in football today, Malcolm Allison was doing all those years ago."

'Sorely missed'

City season ticket holder Shirley Hull, 74, from Macclesfield, said: "He was a big man on the pitch and off.

"As well as bringing us success he is also part of the reason Manchester City is such a close-knit, family club."

Big Mal tribute

Mr Allison had a long career as a player, coach and manager but was best known for helping City win a host of silverware in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Working alongside manager Joe Mercer, he helped City win the league title in 1968, the FA Cup in 1969, and the League Cup and European Cup Winners' Cup in 1970.

Allison went on to manage Crystal Palace on two separate occasions and returned to City in 1979 for a brief but unsuccessful spell.

He also managed Bath, Plymouth Argyle, Galatasaray, Sporting Lisbon, Toronto City, Middlesbrough and Bristol Rovers.

As a player, Allison made more than 250 appearances for West Ham United, before losing a lung to tuberculosis in 1958.

In a statement issued after his death, Manchester City paid tribute to him.

It said: "Flamboyant, brilliant and larger than life, Malcolm will be sorely missed by everyone at the club and beyond."

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