The Diasboro In2views

In a series of profiles and interviews, Orginal Fat Bob first gives his personal view on the life and career of a footballing guest, before sitting down for a chat and asking a few questions to give the reader an insight into their career. He has also met up with distinguished north-east journalist Doug Weatherall, who recalls through his diaries what it was like to rub shoulders with footballing heroes.

In2views: Players, coaches and referees (Links)

Jim PlattIan BaileyAndy CampbellAlan FoggonJohn HendrieArchie StephensGary PallisterJohn HicktonMark ProctorJeff WinterDavid HodgsonNeil MaddisonSteve VickersRon BoneThe Spraggons

In2views: Media and entertainment figures (Links)

Kay MurrayDave RobertsDoug WeatherallHarry PearsonLauri CoxRoyston VaseyEric Paylor

Doug’s Diaries (Links)

Brian CloughColin ToddStan AndersonCraig Johnston

Eric Paylor

No. 22: The Spraggons

Many Boro supporters will remember Frank Spraggon as one of the famous Charlton’s Champions, which was one of the highlights of a long career of over 300 appearances at the club. He signed for the Boro in 1962 and made his debut the following year at the age of just seventeen. His wife Linda is the proud daughter of Harold Shepherdson, who was famously England trainer in 1966 when they lifted the World Cup. Linda recalls as a very small child she would accompany her father to Ayresome Park every Sunday morning, where he would be treating players who had been injured on the Saturday…

Eric Paylor

No. 21: Eric Paylor

Eric Paylor had his first introduction to Ayresome Park when he was a young reporter for the Hartlepool Mail. He was lucky enough to see a lot of Middlesbrough’s glory years under Jack Charlton. He later joined the Evening Gazette and subsequently progressed to chief sports writer until his retirement in 2011 – though now continues to write as a freelancer. Part of his job meant watching every Boro game home and away for 26 years so he has much first-hand experiences of the highs and lows of following Boro…

Ron Bone

No. 20: Ron Bone

Rone Bone spent over 30 years at Boro until he retired in 2018 and has been responsible for spotting and bringing a plethora of young talent through the ranks at the club. He was running a kid’s team in Chester le Street in 1987 when Bruce Rioch persuaded him to join Boro as a part-time scout. Then in 1990, Colin Todd asked him to take charge of the youth set up at Middlesbrough until 1998 when the Academy system came in and he became its Head of Recruitment. His notable achievements include winning the Youth Cup and even more impressively the U18 Premier League title…

Ron Bone

Doug’s Diaries: Craig Johnston

Original Fat Bob has again met up with award winning columnist, broadcaster and journalist Doug Weatherall to delve once more into his diaries. This article looks at the career of Craig Johnston, who joined Boro in 1977 and went on to make 64 appearances for Boro, scoring 16 goals, before making a £650,000 move to Liverpool in 1981. Even though he lived in Australia, he had the initiative to write to some English League clubs, suggesting they grant him a trial. Happily, for him, but mostly for Middlesbrough, the Boro were among the few clubs, even to reply. And Craig was delighted that it was a positive response to kickstart his career in football…

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No. 19: Steve Vickers

Defender Steve Vickers joined Boro in December 1993 from Tranmere Rovers for £700,000 and made 259 appearances at Boro spanning 9 seasons, including 6 in the Premier League, and was part of the Riverside revolution under Bryan Robson…

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Doug’s Diaries: Stan Anderson

Original Fat Bob has once again met up Doug Weatherall to delve into his diaries to recall his days involved with football and sportsmen at the highest level. When he and Doug considered who should be the subject for the next chapter, they both agreed it had to be the review of the life of the late great Stan Anderson. Doug had recently attended the funeral of Stan accompanied by some of the great past players of his era. Stan succeeded Raich Carter as Middlesbrough manager in April 1966 and remained at the club until 1973, where he’d laid the foundations for his famous successor Jack Charlton to lead the club back to the top flight…

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No. 18: Neil Maddison

Neil Maddison arrived at Boro as a central midfielder in 1997 from Southampton and made 55 appearances before leaving to join his home-town club Darlington. He’s known to many as ‘Maddo’ the co-commentator and summariser on Boro’s games at Radio Tees but has now also taken up a role at Middlesbrough FC too…

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No. 17: David Hodgson

David Hodgson came through the ranks as a Boro junior and made his first-team debut in 1978 and quickly became a crowd favourite with his pace. Hodgy played for Middlesbrough’s first team 125 times and scored 16 goals before moving to Liverpool in 1982. He won several trophies in his time at Anfield, notably the First Division title in 1983 and the European Cup in 1984. He also went into management with three spells at Darlington after his playing career ended and is now working for an agency that specialises in developing the careers of those involved in football…

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No. 16: Jeff Winter

Middlesbrough born Jeff Winter started refereeing at 23 and reached the top of the game before retiring as a professional after the 2004 FA Cup Final. He claims to have decided on a career as a referee at such a young age after discovering he had a distinct lack of talent as a footballer. He’s still a keen follower of football and puts in the miles watching Boro, who he saw play 49 times last season. Jeff is also a big fan of Glasgow Rangers and also regularly watches their games too…

Colin Todd - Crop

Doug’s Diaries: Colin Todd

Original Fat Bob met up with journalist Doug Weatherall and they delved into his diaries to recall never previously told facts, intimate stories and moments shared, which bring back to life what it was like to meet footballing heroes. This Diary tells the story of Colin Todd, who as a player won the title under Brian Clough, then he late became Boro manager Bruce Rioch’s right-hand before taking up the reigns himself…

Mark Proctor Pitch

No. 15: Mark Proctor

After graduating from the juniors, Mark Proctor made 229 appearances and scored 18 goals in his two spells at Boro (1978-81 and 1989-93). Mark eventually returned to Boro in 2008 when he was appointed as under-18 coach before being promoted to the first team set-up by Tony Mowbray…

Clough Suit

Doug’s Diaries: Brian Clough

Original Fat Bob met up with journalist Doug Weatherall and they delved into his diaries to recall never previously told facts, intimate stories and moments shared, which bring back to life what it was like to meet footballing heroes. This Diary tells the story of football legend Brian Clough, who from being born in a council house in Grove Hill, went on to score 251 goals in just 274 appearances in his short but prolific playing career. He began life as a manager at Hartlepool, which launched him on a glittering career that saw him win the Division One title with two clubs and then lifting the European Cup twice with Forest…

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No. 14: Royston Vasey

Royston Vasey is more famously known as the stand-up comedian Roy ‘Chubby’ Brown. He was born in Grangetown in 1945 and left home at the age of 14 and moved from job to job before finding his vocation as an entertainer on the working men’s club circuit during the 1960s. He can be often seen at the Riverside following his beloved Boro, though not dressed in his stage gear of flying helmet and colourful suit – that is actually someone else…

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No. 13: John Hickton

Although John Hickton was a prolific striker, he was originally considered to be a defender when he first started playing professionally. He had a 15-year career in the football league between 1963-78 and became Boro’s fourth all-time top scorer with 192 goals, plus stands third in the all-time appearances list after pulling on the shirt for Middlesbrough an incredible 499 times…

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No. 12: Lauri Cox

Lauri Cox is best known as a well-respected and experienced sports journalist. She contributes to UTB, the Boro matchday programme, compiling a six-page spread on the visitors. She has always been well connected to football, being the daughter of Gordon Cox the football journalist and broadcaster, plus she’s no doubt had Boro instilled into her through her “Uncle Ali”, the legend that is Alistair Brownlee…

Harry Pearson 1

No. 11: Harry Pearson

Harry Pearson is a Great Ayton born writer, who was well known for his regular column in The Guardian. He is also the author of many popular books including those on football such as ‘The Far Corner: A Hazy Dribble Through North-East Football’ and ‘Dribble: An Unbelievable Football Encyclopedia’ – which is described as an A-Z of credulity-twanging facts and stories about what Pele once memorably dubbed ‘my bloody job’…

pallister trophy

No. 10: Gary Pallister

Gary Pallister was a commanding six-foot-four central defender who began and ended his career with Middlesbrough with two spells at the club. The first was from 1984-89 in which he was part of the team that won successive promotions from the third and second division. He then caught the eye of Alex Ferguson, who brought him to Old Trafford where he spent nine seasons and became half of the famous Bruce and Pallister partnership that was the backbone of the success for Manchester United. He was brought back to Teesside in the 1998-99 season by Bryan Robson following Boro’s promotion to the Premier League and retired at the age of 36 in 2001…

Clough and Wetherall 2

No. 9: Doug Weatherall

Now long retired and in his mid-eighties, Doug Weatherall was an award-winning journalist, who was the North-East sports correspondent for the Daily Herald from his early twenties until his retirement. A career that has ranged from writing match reports to appearing on television as a sports broadcaster at the BBC for Look North. Over the years he’s been lucky enough to have rubbed shoulders with many legends of the game and struck up a friendship with his favourite Boro player of all time Brian Clough (seen here pictured with him in Majorca), who he first met when the great man was just 20…

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No. 8: Archie Stephens

Archie Stephens joined Boro in 1984 from Bristol Rovers and formed a two-pronged strike force with Bernie Slaven. Archie was at the club during the difficult dark days of Boro’s liquidation period and brought some brighter times on the pitch. He made over 92 appearances for Boro and scored over 24 goals, though it should also be noted that he also claimed a lot of assists for his striking partner Bernie. Admired by the Boro fans and respected by opposing defenders he has even had a record made in his honour, “Archie Stephens Birthday Party” by the band Shrug…

Dave Roberts - Transporter jump

No. 7: Dave Roberts

Dave Roberts is a man of many talents – Radio broadcaster, TV Presenter and Sports Personality, football referee and even stood for Middlesbrough Mayor as an independent candidate in 2015 – eventually coming third. He started his broadcasting career in 1981 with BBC Radio Cleveland before later moving to Radio Tees. He regularly appeared on ITV Sport providing live reports at football matches throughout England and following the birth of the Premier League also conducted after-match interviews for BBC Match of the Day. He’s pictured here doing a bungee jump off the Transporter Bridge in homage to his great great uncle, who he discovered once did something similar…

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No. 6: John Hendrie

John Hendrie was a big player even though he was somewhat smaller in stature at 5’7″ and played as a right-winger or striker. He started his playing career at Coventry in 1980 before moving on to Bradford City, where he took part in that fateful game at Valley Parade where the main stand caught fire leaving 56 dead and over 250 injured – a day he described as his most nightmarish in football. Following spells with Newcastle and Leeds, he arrived at Boro and scored 44 goals and helped the club to promotion in the newly founded FA Premier League in 1992. He was also our leading scorer in 1995 when we won promotion back to the top flight and eventually left for Barnsley after being replaced by Juninho…

Kay Murray - Bein

No. 5: Kay Murray

Kay Murray is best known as a well-respected and experienced sports presenter for USA and European football. She was born and raised in Middlesbrough and after studying for a degree in journalism she has pursued a career in broadcasting. She has over a decade of on-screen experience behind her, working with such well-known clubs as own Boro and some Spanish team called Real Madrid. Kay also jointly co-hosted the Ballon d’Or awards ceremony alongside Ruud Gullit, as well as hosting the FIFA Interactive World Cup show and now currently works for BeIN SPORTS…

Alan Foggon 6

No. 4: Alan Foggon

Alan Foggon signed for Boro from Cardiff City in 1972 at the age of 22. It was another astute signing by Stan Anderson at Boro, which was largely due to the scouting talents and contacts of the late Harold Shepherson. Alan had wanted to return his native North-East and became a crowd favourite at Ayresome Park as part of Jack Charlton’s famous promotion team of 1973-74. Big Jack utilised him as a super-fast forward, which was founded on his performances as a junior sprint champion of England. He went on to make over 105 league appearances for Boro and scored over 45 goals to give him quite an impressive goals-to-games scoring ratio…

Andy Campbell 1

No. 3: Andy Campbell

Born in Middlesbrough, Andy Campbell started his career in 1995 with his hometown team and was signed as a professional by Bryan Robson. He made his first-team debut at the age of 16 against Sheffield Wednesday and on one occasion away at Liverpool he had to borrow a shirt from a Boro supporter in the crowd to come on as a sub after nobody had remembered to pack one for him. One of his career highlights included scoring against Manchester United in the FA Cup in a 2–0 win for us and he also played for England at under-21 level. Known for his pace, his flame-haired head could be seen storming down the pitch leaving defenders struggling in his wake…

Ian Bailey - Crop

No. 2: Ian Bailey

Ian Bailey was born in Middlesbrough in 1956 and became another lucky local lad to play for his home town club. He was an accomplished defender, with his best position being at left back and made 144 appearances for Boro between 1975-1982. He made his debut for Boro shortly before Christmas 1975 in a 1-0 win at home to Tottenham. He was famous for his long flowing blonde locks that used to stream behind him in the wind – but now in his early sixties they are unfortunately long gone. He is also remembered for the cracking goal he scored against Sunderland at Roker Park, which as it turned out was his only goal he ever scored for the Boro…

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No. 1: Jim Platt

Jim Platt was signed for just £7,000 from Northern Irish side Ballymena and he went on to become Boro regular number one in the seventies and the eighties. During his long playing career on Teesside he had five managers and played 481 games, which made him Boro’s fifth highest all-time appearance maker. As well as being one of our greatest ever goalkeepers, he was actually a great striker too. Jim had always liked playing up front and was a striker when he was at school before being moved back between the sticks. In fact he did once play for the Boro reserves as a striker at Lincoln and amazingly scored a hat-trick…

2 thoughts on “The Diasboro In2views

  1. OFB,

    Thank goodness for that. My up-to-date version of Charles Buchan’s Football Annual will be just right for Christmas. No Pressure!



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