A full clear out as Leicester transform to a new and more exciting unit, a time in history rocking the boat

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As a fan you do experience years of a football club as it transforms with management and players and just carries on in different leagues as promtions and relegations appear.

This summer is said to be seen as a transition period for Leicester but hopefully not as many changes as we did see during the short lived period of management under Jock Wallace.

Jock Wallace was like Brendan Rodgers brought in after a grand period in charge of a major Glasgow club, and as Rodgers came from Celtic, Wallace had been a successful man at city rivals Rangers.

He had taken a gamble Wallace and moved south for the first time as a player or manager and his presence became a shock for most players and the old regime of players who had been a steady group since the days of Jimmy Bloomfield.

Jock started the season with most of the “Bloomfield Boys” and a few additions from the season before, but soon found himself in problems with the old guard. Players such as Andy Peake, David Buchanan, Gary Lineker and several other youngsters were soon to be introduced and also adding unknown players from non-league clubs in Scotland.

Kevin MacDonald and Ian Wilson were two who came down and had no other experience than lower league football in Scotland, joining from Inverness and Elgin. The two turned out to be great additions in the year to come at Leicester.

Wallace made a grand number of changes during the 1978/79 season as his team went from an older mature unit to a young and very exciting group of players that had Mark Wallington and Eddie Kelly as two experienced players left from the past.

Just before Jock Wallace took charge players such as Steve Earle, Jeff Blockley, Brian Alderson, Carl Jayes, Alan Woollett and Jon Sammels all left for other adventures and made gaps in the hull of a ship that had sailed for a long period of time. Just weeks after the 78/79 season start, Steve Sims and Steve Kember are moved on and sold.

You do still have names such as Steve Whitworth, Dennis Rofe, Mark Wallington and Keith Weller still part of the set up, but it surely makes no shock when Whitworth moves to Sunderland and Weller is on his way back over the pond to play in the NASL, this time on a permanent basis.

This 78/79 season becomes a transition period and young faces such as we described above are introduced, but still the exit of great icons are not stopping with club captain Dennis Rofe also on his way out at the fall of the 79/80 season, as he surprised us all by moving on and sign for Chelsea.

Leicester must said to have surprised most people by again finishing as the winners of the league tier two competition, and be back at the top as we all got very excited about this project created by Jock Wallace.

The start to the season could not have been much better with a historical win vs. Liverpool at home on the 2nd matchday of the season. Andy Peake scored a wonderfull goal from distance as Ray Clemence had no chance.

We all believed in Jock Wallace and his transition code, but his work was not good enough as the team struggled and had no chance of surviving long term. The full roll over was in all happening probably too fast as the new team was not prepared and given enough strength in depth to survive.

The only player in the squad with some sort of good top tier experience was Mark Wallington. The rest was either players coming up and being up there for the first time and signings of promise that also needed to adapt. Alan Young and Jim Melrose was both two new Scottish signings. Young being a top forward signed from Oldham the season before and Jim Melrose coming in from Partick Thistle. None of the players ever managed at any stage in their career to establish themselves as top quality first tier players as their careers went to other lower league destinations or fringe experiences at top level.

We certainly hope that Brendan Rodgers is not preparing the same type of changes as Jock Wallace introduced and pushing out almost every player from the previous years.


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