There’s a lovely article here celebrating Jimmy Hill’s life in football. Hill was recognised at the Football League Awards last night for his contribution to League Football. Whatever you think of Jimmy (and I could say plenty about just how comfortable he seemed to be with the thought that Fulham could play at Stamford Bridge), there’s no doubting his impact on the game.
The article touches on Hill’s playing career briefly, with a lovely photo of him scoring at the Putney End before focusing on his role as the leader of the players’ union, as a manager and an entertainer. It is said that most of my generation will remember how the satirists poked fun at Hill and mocked him for doing no more than he always did: offering a forthright opinion on the game in front of him.
My issue with Hill about Craven Cottage is a highly personal one – I fell in love with the ground and saw (and, of course, still see) no reason why we shouldn’t continue to play there. He thought differently. He loves Fulham and I’ll always remember the desire in his face as he turned to the Hammersmith End on his walking round the pitch before our derby against Chelsea and exhorted the crowd to offer yet more support. Of course, Luis Boa Morte did the rest.
Congratulations on the award, Jimmy. You deserve it.