ONE of the oldies in the managerial league, Roy Hodgson, who was always involved at some level in my days, is back in.

He left Crystal Palace about six months ago and said then he would be putting his feet up for a while.

He has now turned up at Watford. Roy has now been managing over a period of 45 years and has now had 17 clubs, in eight countries.

So the two look like a good match, given Watford themselves are now onto their 15th permanent manager in the past 10 years, following the dismissal of Claudio Ranieri this week.

I think if I was a betting man, I would be pretty confident that Watford will finish at least fourth-bottom and Roy is the man to save them from relegation.

Roy would often turn up at places like The Dell on matchdays, sitting in the directors box, as whatever club he managed was probably having their winter break abroad.

He was always a good one to have in the manager’s office afterwards, with the two managers who had been playing each other that day and Roy always had some interesting stories about foreign players and venues and fixtures etcetera.

Nowadays of course it’s completely changed, where Roy has possibly come across lots of the players who are now playing here in the Premier League, but he will certainly know where most of the clubs they started at are based.

I’m not sure if he has written any books, but if and when he decides to retire, it would definitely make a good read.

Awful scenes in Cameroon

The worst news in the last week, of course, has been at the Africa Cup of Nations, which is being held in Cameroon.

Before a game between the host nation and Comoros, there was a stampede outside the stadium and apparently eight people were killed and 38 injured in a crush that happened as the crowds struggled to get in.

The memories of Hillsborough of course came flooding back.

The television programme, under the name of Anne, was on recently and can still be seen on ITV Hub.

It was a game of course I will never forget having been there myself and witnessed the terrible scenes.

It is now over 30 years ago, but one of the things that happened as a result of course was to stop spectators standing in stadiums anymore. Ironically, the month of the Cameroon disaster coincides with the changing back to safe-standing being allowed in England.

On that day at Hillsborough, I was doing a bit of TV work and I was asked to go back to the ground on the Sunday.

I was staying in the area, as it happens, because our son Christopher was manager then of Chesterfield, which is not too far away.

They had a home game on the Saturday and he reminded me that his club doctor got an emergency call at half-time to get over to Hillsborough to help, because of the fatalities and the injuries.

I think the part of it all which I will never forget was being asked by the TV to visit the club on the Sunday. I knew my way around, having been a coach at Hillsborough many years before that.

I walked around to the big gymnasium, which is under the stand at the far side of the ground. I went in there and all of the nearly 100 bodies were spread out on the floor. The programme brought so many memories back.

It was called Anne, because it was about a lady whose 15-year-old son Kevin, a Liverpool supporter, it was the highlight of his life to be able to go to the game, but he never returned.

I must say, the actress, Maxine Peake, that played the part of the boy’s mother in the show deserves an Oscar at least.

So after the Cameroon incident this week, I think any supporter now will be happy to do whatever keeps grounds safer.