Pride of Anglia - Ipswich Town Football Club

since 1878

The Management

John Lyall 

John Lyall

Born: Ilford, 24/2/1940 England

Town Manager: 11/5/1990 to 5/12/1994
First Game:  25/08/1990 Sheffield Wednesday (home) 0-2 (Div 2)
Last Game:  03/12/1994 Manchester City (home) 1-2 (Premier League)

Honours with Town:  Division 2 Champions 1991/92

Died: Tattingstone, Suffolk, 18/4/2006

Club Management Detail

  Lge W D L F A Cup W D L F A Tot W D L F A
1990-91  46 13 18 15 60 68 7 3 1 3 10 9 53 16 19 18 70 77
1991-92  46 24 12 10 70 50 10 3 5 2 14 10 56 27 17 12 84 60
1992-93  42 12 16 14 50 55 11 6 3 2 22 12 53 18 19 16 72 67
1993-94  42 9 16 17 35 58 8 4 2 2 14 9 50 13 18 19 49 67
1994-95  17 3 2 12 16 33 2 0 0 2 0 4 19 3 2 14 16 37
Totals 193 61 64 68 231 264 38 16 11 11 60 44 231 77 75 79 291 308

Club Management Summary

  P W D L F A % Won % Drawn % Lost
League 193 61 64 68 231 264 31.61 33.16 35.23
Cup/Play-offs 38 16 11 11 60 44 42.11 28.95 28.95
Overall 231 77 75 79 291 308 33.33 32.47 34.20

Your comments

Was appointed to take over at the start of the 1990-91 season. He had been as a player and manager with West Ham for 30 years but was given the sack when they were relegated in 1988.

He then took a job with Terry Venables at Spurs but was very pleased to take over at Ipswich when offered the job. He promised to put “bums on seats” by developing a team that would play entertaining football and that would appeal to supporters.

In the 91/92 season he rather surprised some of us by fulfilling the promise and getting us promoted into the newly formed Premier League and the 92/93 season they showed great promise and by the end of January were placed in fourth place in the league. Some of the media were even putting us forward as potential champions but then it was downhill all the way and in the end it looked more like relegation, falling by the final match to 16th position.

The following season was a struggle too and pundits were calling us ‘Boring Boring’ Ipswich, a name that our club were quite unaccustomed to and it was left until injury time in the final game to move us out of a relegation place.

Meanwhile, earlier on, Mr Lyall had astounded us all by announcing that Mick McGiven was to take over as team manager with himself as supreme. This of course left Mick having to take the flack for some very bad results and cause some stormy situations by some supporters.

The result was Mick McGiven was demoted and Paul Goddard and John Walk made up as coaches and in consequence were having to face the music for a long list of bad results that were to follow.

The team were now playing as badly as I can ever remember and as early as November were looking like favourites for relegation. Some supporters demonstrated on the pitch after losing at home to Manchester City and by Monday morning John Lyall had handed in his resignation.

Some wondered did he jump or was he pushed?

With hindsight it can be seen that John Lyall made some horrendous mistakes. Most of his signings were pretty disastrous, but apart from the footballing side administratively he was trying to run our club the same way as bigger clubs [but] teams like Ipswich and Norwich have to be run in a special way.

In fact our lifeblood [had for sometime] generally come through our youth team and it must be said that during John Lyall’s reign practically nothing materialised from that direction.

Perhaps an out and out Londoner like Mr Lyall could not understand the Suffolk way.

 JF 23-06-2011

A talented left-back, John Lyall joined West Ham from Ilford Grammar School.

He won England youth international caps and had made just short of fifty senior appearances for the Hammers before a knee injury cut short his playing career.

Determined to continue in the game, he earned an FA Coaching Badge and, in addition to coaching school children, he began working with the youth side at Upton Park.

Under the tutelage of then manager Ron Greenwood, Lyall graduated through the coaching levels at West Ham to be become assistant manager and then, with Greenwood now general manager, first team coach, a position he would occupy for 14 years.

He guided the team to FA Cup success in the 1975 Final (having despatched Town in the semi's) and again in 1980 when the Hammers were a Second Division side, gaining promotion back to the First Division the following season.

His finest hour almost came in the 1985-86 season when the Hammers were in with a chance of winning the League Championship right up until the end of the season, but had to settle for third place - which remains the clubs highest ever finish.

Three years on the side were relegated and his contract was not renewed.

He joined Tottenham for a short time as an adviser to then Spurs boss Terry Venables until the summer of 1990 when the manager's chair at Portman Road became vacant following the departure of John Duncan.

Town finished 14th in the old Second Division during his first season in charge, but with virtually the same team he turned things around to guide Town to the title in 1992 and promotion to the newly formed FA Premier League.

Three years of almost constant struggle followed, and although Town escaped relegation on the final day of the 1993-94 season, they found themselves firmly entrenched in the relegation places three months into the following campaign, and following mounting pressure from supporters Lyall resigned in December, 1994.

His departure from Portman Road ended his involvement in the game as he retired to a life of fishing and gardening at his home in the Suffolk village of Tattingstone.

Died of a heart attack in April 2006 aged just 66.




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