Alan Pattullo: Terry Neill interview sparked happy discovery

Daughter’s delight at book purchase

Former Arsenal manager Terry Neill, pictured at Highbury in 1983. Picture: Getty Images

It’s not often you get feedback from the family of the subject itself, but following an interview with former Arsenal manager Terry Neill, his eldest daughter, Tara, got in touch.

An English graduate from Dundee University, she is now deputy bureau chief for the BBC in Washington DC and charged with making sense of Donald Trump press conferences among other tasks. She wanted to say she enjoyed re-living her dad’s career.

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“You’ve made the old man happy,” she wrote. “And you know it’s good to be reminded of what he achieved – I forgot half the details.” To that end she resolved to buy her dad’s 1985 autobiography, Revelations of a Football Manager, which is long out of print.

“You know the funniest thing? I’ve never read it,” she added. When her second-hand purchase arrived, as well as learn the ins and outs of such long dormant issues as what lay behind a fall out with England World Cup winner Alan Ball, she discovered a touching message from her dad: “best wishes, Terry Neill.” Wondrously, it was a signed copy.

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