It’s generally well known that Alan Pardew started life as an apprentice glazier, working on the building sites in the City of London.
Alan Pardew – pointing the way at Newcastle
That’s when he was in his late teens in the late 70s, but since then he has been able to forge a career in professional football, playing for teams like Whyteleafe, Epsom & Ewell, Corinthian Casuals, Dulwich Hamlet and Yeovil Town before moving to Crystal Palace in 1987, when he was 26.
And in his short management reign on Tyneside, he’s been more successful than any other manager since Bobby Robson, who with Kevin Keegan are the two must successful managers on Tyneside for the last 40 years or so – since Joe Harvey took Newcastle to the Inter-City Fairs Cup triumph in 1969 – a game I watched at St. James’ Park.
Alan has done great so far in his football career, and he is having more success at Newcastle than at almost any other club.
Alan was good at West Ham, and he had them a minute or so away from winning the FA Cup back in 2006, before that man Steven Gerrard equalized in injury time for Liverpool to make it 3-3, and they went on to win the final 3-1 on penalties.
Alan has given a very long interview with The Manager, which is the official trade magazine of the League Managers’ Association, and the piece is titled North Eastern Promise.
Alan thinks it is important he came through life starting as an apprentice glazier:
“It was a very important route because you understand the workplace and what the media represents to the working man.” “When I was a glazier I was reading the newspaper every day and that was my only insight into the football world.”
“When you play in non-League football you meet a cross-section of characters that you don’t meet in professional football.” “You might have a company chief executive and a dustbin man playing side-by-side in the same non-league team.”
“So you come across many characters from different walks of life whereas in professional football you have football-focussed individuals who have based most of their upbringing on football because it was going to be their career from day one.”
“Due to the playing route that I took I’ve experienced diversity of character, so when I come across what may be classed as a ‘difficult or enigmatic character’ in the football world it’s not much of a problem for me.”
It’s not important how you start out in life, but it is important how far you can come based on your own abilities and determination.
I’m not sure that was the thinking of the old English class system in the early 1960s, but maybe things have changed from the time I was growing up in Evistones Gardens in Newcastle.
Alan Pardew has done great so far, and he’s an excellent communicator, and one of the best English managers in the Premier League, and yes – there are not too many of them around these days.
We have to hope that this is only just the beginning of Alan Pardew’s success at Newcastle, and that there is a lot more success to come.
And I have to admit last night, while watching the Bayern Munich vs Real Madrid semi-final of the Champions League, that I have a real hope that Newcastle can get to that stage of the competition in the next few seasons.
That’s what I’m hoping for, and I may not be around when that actually happens, but I’m hoping Alan is the one who can take us there.
Howay The Lads!!