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History

Team-mates: Billy Russell

22 May 2020

We continue our Team-Mates feature by speaking to former Iron full-back Billy Russell, who made 117 appearances and scored seven goals in a spell at the club that lasted from 1985 to 1988.

Now a coach in the Leeds academy set-up after his departure from Hull City, following 17 years with the Tigers, the ex-United defender looked back on his stint.

BEST MATE…

That’s a difficult one to start with as there were a few. I’d have to look back to those I shared a car journey with, travelling through from Doncaster, so that would be David Harle, Steve Lister, Tommy Graham and David Travis. It was a great motor to be in. I travelled to football a lot over the years but the Scunthorpe car was probably one of the finest. Alan Birch and Mark Atkins were also in there, as it evolved over my three years at the club.

BEST TRAINER…
There were a lot of good trainers during my time at Scunthorpe but Neil Pointon was the young boy coming through the ranks. He was a very good athlete and a solid trainer. You could see something in him as he was coming through, as you could with Mark Atkins. Tommy Graham was good too, but all the boys had a go.

LEADER…
I think over the years there were different leaders. Tommy Graham at one point, Alan Birch and to be honest a lot of other players, including myself, were leaders. Most took their turn and Dave Harle was probably the funniest.

MOST INTELLIGENT…
Probably myself (laughs). There was Mike Brolly. Over the years he was the one who came across as the most intelligent. Whether he actually was or not, I don’t know. He was a good football player and a good lad.

LEAST INTELLIGENT…
I couldn’t go into that one, as there were a few of us I think! There were one or two but I wouldn’t like to mention or say. There definitely are a few vying for that spot though. It’s best they remain nameless but I might have travelled in the car with them!

JOKER…
There were a few. Mike Lester and Mike Matthews were both quite funny. John Green has to be in that category as well.

Pointon0.jpg

BEST PLAYER…
That’s a difficult one, because I could pick different players for different reasons. There were a couple of lads who had a lot of success – Neil Pointon (above) and Mark Atkins, who undoubtedly did really well. I think, looking back over the period I was there, the team didn’t do as well as it should have considering the players we had. John Green, Mike Brolly and Mike Lester were all very good players too.

WORST TRAINER…
I think he’d let me mention it as he’s a good friend of mine – John Hawley. John was a good player and led a very successful player. When it used to come down to training though, he wasn’t the best. Training was at Normanby and would be a good 90 minutes of flat out running.

QUICKEST…
I’m sure it was Julian Broddle. Others might argue with that, but I’d say him. It wasn’t me!

Longden.jpg

UNSUNG HERO…
Paul Longden (above) is a player that I’d like to mention. He served the club very well and perhaps didn’t get the recognition he deserved. He was underrated. Week-in, week-out he didn’t always get the credit he deserved.

BEST TEAM…
The last season I was at the club was the best (1987-88 - below). We got to the play-offs and it was the last season at the Old Show Ground. We were under Mick Buxton and that was the best team. It was the second season of the play-offs and we lost to Torquay United over the two legs.

8788squad.jpg


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