A long time ago now, but we all, who are a few years, can remember the shrewd business done by Jimmy Bloomfield during his years as Leicester City manager. He was one that could really handle the job and finding the right players to slot in.
Back in November 1974 Bloomfield came close to signing John Toshack from Liverpool. There were money available after the sale of Peter Shilton to Stoke City, and by the time that the big Liverpool fella came available.
Leicester had a number of strikers at the time, but only Frank Worthington was a clear candidate with Steve Earle and Bob Lee alternatives. A move for John Toshack looked as a clever act by Jimmy Bloomfield.
John Toshack who we all know from his great days at Liverpool being integral when winning the League in 1972/73 and the FA Cup in the next season. In his autobiography he talks about the transfer that fell through.
“Never really a Bob Paisley favourite, so following Shankly’s unexpected resignation in 1974, it became harder and harder for him to feel fully at home at Anfield. With a thigh problem keeping him out of the team, both player and club accepted a transfer to Leicester City in November of that year, only for a failed medical to scupper the deal. At the age of just 25 Toshack looked in limbo. It’s a sign of the man’s admirably large well of self-belief that he was able to turn things round and force his was back into the team, winning a second UEFA cup in 1976 and taking part in the club’s famous run to the 1977 European Cup final (although Toshack was injured by the time the game – won 3-1 by the Reds – came around)”
Later in the season Jimmy Bloomfield did sign two new players, with Jeff Blockley and Chris Garland coming in at the same time, Garland from Chelsea and Blockley from Arsenal, both of them shining in the Leicester City team but more or less forgotten at their London clubs.
The partnership of Keegan and Toshack is well known, but how would he had done together with Frank Worthington, we never got to know, since the medical stopped that partnership.
John Toshack turned 70 today, was a good footballer but probably even better as manager. He has had a great career as manager, leaving Liverpool for such a challenge joining Swansea City in 1978, taking them up from the bottom tier to the top in just four years. He has never been in charge of a club in the Premier League, but had stints as a national coach for Wales and Macedonia.
He is probably best known for his time as manager of Real Madrid from 1989 to 1990 and even coming back for short lived period 10 years later. He’s been around in Europe and of course three rounds as manager of Real Sociedad stands out.
Toshack has been in football management from 1978 to 2018, that is an impressive 40 years career, and of course the major of years in Spain and with Wales, but also been in charge of Catania (Italy), Besiktas (Turkey) and Sporting Club (Portugal).
The player Leicester City signed but we never saw in a single game since he never got his medical clearance, could probably have been the best of all those great moves done by Jimmy Bloomfield, as Toshack rebuild his career at Liverpool and had great impact at Anfield in the years after, winning trophies and going top in the league.