A SOUTHAMPTON FC legend came to Basingstoke to talk about the Saints’ glory days as part of a book launch event.
Former England player Terry Paine MBE visited Basingstoke Discovery Centre, in Festival Place , with historian Duncan Holley, a passionate fan of the club, to celebrate the launch of Duncan’s latest book, Suited and Booted: A Snapshot of Pre-war Southampton FC in Pictures.
Terry made 713 appearances for the club from 1956 until 1974, scoring 160 goals, and was part of the England 1966 World Cup-winning squad.
Duncan presented a slide show of images from the publication, talking through the faces of the past and events of note.
Duncan, who lives in Otterbourne, publishes histories of the Saints through Hagiology Publishing, which he co-established in 1998. Suited and Booted is the company’s eighth publication.
During a question-and-answer session, Terry, who now lives and works in South Africa as a presenter for the country’s SuperSport channel, said he was overjoyed by Saints’ return to the Premier League this season.
He said: “None of us could have dreamed of that. If we can draw a few games, if we can be there next season, then we’ll all be highly delighted.”
He recalled the glories of a 1960s trip to Maine Road when Saints beat Manchester City 5-1. But he admitted that the current team have a lot of work to do, remarking: “There are areas they’ve got to improve in. We don’t do things quick enough, and in the Premier League, you’ve got to step it up.”
He delighted those present by discussing a recent three-hour dinner he enjoyed with former Saints and Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp, but also revealed that the pair had been pessimistic about the future, including the consequences of the increase in foreign players for sourcing an adequate England squad.
Terry added: “We were saying that the warmth that was there, like a family club, is gradually being eroded.
“There seems to be a gap that is widening between the clubs and their fans, certainly between players and fans.”