From October 1971 until August 1975 I worked for the Bailey Organisation, the nightclub business which had opened in Hull in September 1971, on the top of the Co-op building, which had previously operated as the Skyline Ballroom.
In my role as Sales & Promotions Manager I was instrumental in organising party bookings, charity nights, dinner dances, boxing shows and the like. ‘Bums on seats’ was the name of the game.
In early 1974 Hull City was still under the stewardship of former Arsenal player Terry Neill who had joined the club as player/manager in June 1970, and around that time a plan was put in place to hold Hull City’s inaugural Player of the Season evening at Baileys in the summer of 1974. I met up with Terry on several occasions to hammer out details.
When the event took place, the winner was announced as local lad Malcolm (Mally) Lord. One member of the presentation team onstage was Radio Humberside’s David Gredington, who had been lined up to conduct an interview with the trophy winner.
It’s fair to say that the interview did not go exactly according to plan, as David immediately called the winner ‘Wally’ instead of Mally. At first those of us looking on assumed it was a slip of the tongue, but the error continued even after Mally himself attempted to put David right, although he just ploughed on regardless of numerous other signals, and attempts to get him to correct his continuous mistake.
To his credit, I believe Malcolm Lord went along with things, probably giving up on correcting David after trying several times. A few of us wondered if it had been a private joke, or if David had over-indulged in the falling-down juice which was flowing quite liberally (not for me – I was working!!). To this day, I don’t know the answer, although I have bumped into Malcolm a couple of times at golf dinners. Next time I see him, I must ask.
Not long after the event Terry Neill left the Tigers, to take up the manager’s job at Tottenham, succeeding the great Bill Nicholson.
Area Sales & Promotions Manager 1971-75
The Bailey Organisation
PS. Trick question. Who was the first recipient of Hull City’s Player of the Year trophy in 1974.
Answer – James Milner (not the current Liverpool player, but my son, James, who was born in May 1974 and kind of held the trophy when aged about two months, and propped up on our sofa!!)