While praising Alan Shearer, a little word for another ex-player in Nick Holmes, who deserves congratulations on getting Salisbury City promoted.

Supporters can applaud him when he joins the other 12 surviving Cup final players at the reunion next Saturday at the Guildhall.

On a very sad note I was deeply shocked to hear of the death of John Lyall. He started his management career at West Ham the year after I arrived at The Dell. He was a top class coach but more importantly a lovely man.

I always remember a game near the end of the season at Upton Park. We sat across the aisle from each other while our teams battled it out.

His goalkeeper, a giant by the name of Phil Parkes, continually kept us out.

I commented on this and John said undoubtedly the acquisition of Parkes had given them an extra ten points or more per season.

That persuaded me to go myself for a top class number one and I finished up with Peter Shilton.

It was a pleasure to know John and the world of football is poorer with his loss.