Colleagues and friends of former Ipswich Town manager John Lyall are to celebrate his life at a memorial service in Ipswich on Friday 5th May.
John Lyall, who died last month aged 66, spent most of his career with West Ham but ended his career at Ipswich and retired nearby. Town chairman David Sheepshanks says Lyall was a rare commodity in the game:
"John was a very special man in football and he coached teams the West Ham way. And he did a wonderful job for us, unfortunately it all went a bit sad at the end. But make no mistake he will go down in history as one of the better managers for our team. He got promotion in 1992 with what many people felt was a fairly ordinary side but he turned them into a very special side. I think we will all remember John very fondly and wish his family and all his friends the very best."
Lyall, who was in charge of Ipswich Town between 1990 and 1994, guided them to the Second Division Championship and promotion to the first-ever Premier League. He made his name as a player and then manager at West Ham.
Someone who worked with him at both clubs is former Town striker, Paul Goddard.
"He was without a doubt one of the best coaches I've ever worked with and learned from and certainly one of the most knowledgeable football people I have ever known," he said. "People talk about Arsen Venga and Marinio and I'm sure these people are very clever but John was in a different era. He made complicated things seem simple and was a fantastic football intellect and a fantastic person, aswell."
Former Ipswich player, Simon Milton also worked with Lyall at Ipswich Town.
"He had a massive influence on my career, the type of guy who would improve just about every player he worked with really," Milton said. "He transformed a team of pretty ordinary players and we ended up winning the Championship and getting promoted to the Premiership. That would be everyone's biggest memory of John's time here I'm sure. John was football through and through. He loved coaching, every single day he was out on the training field, always working on new ideas and pattern of play. These are the type of things you remember about somebody. He had new ideas constantly, it made everyday's training so much better. "
last updated: 16/07/2008 at 11:19