"Big Mal" died at the age of 83.
He was one of the most flamboyant and colourful characters that I remember as a kid growing up and watching football. He was often seen at matches with his trade mark fedora hat, big cigar, even swigging back champagne, not your typical boring football manager, but an effective one none the less. As a coach he is best remembered as the assistant to that other great, Joe Mercer, with whom he helped transform the fortunes of Manchester City in the 1960s, bringing them 7 trophies in 7 years.
He had started as player himself, playing in particular with West Ham United where he was an effective defender taking under his wing future rising English star, Bobby Moore, the future World Cup winning captain of 1966. His career was cut short in 1957, not from injury as happens to most footballers, but from a bout of Tuberculosis, which resulted in one of his lungs being removed.
He was a bit of a George Best of the football management world in that he enjoyed life to the full, was often seen in the company of beautiful women (2 Miss UKs and even Chrisine Keeler of Profumo fame to name but a few) and like Georgie had his battle with "the bottle". In fact, his own son finally admitted that his dad was an alcoholic.
God rest you, Big Mal. May you R.I.P.
Like Clough, Revie, Mercer, Shankly, Stein, Ramsey, etc you were part of my youth. Like them, you too now have departed this world. Let's hope that like them (and George Best) that you are now playing football in Heaven.