It seems incredible but today marks the 25th anniversary of my joining Swindon Town FC after leaving my role at The Football League (or EFL as it’s now known).
Sadly though the club was in a tough place financially and there was a lot of unrest amongst the support base with the board and with the playing side – Steve McMahon was to resign as manager just a few months into my time at the club.
It transpired that I was only at The County Ground one challenging season – it became impossible for my wife and I to consider moving to Wiltshire from our home in Kent – but I made a lot of friends at Swindon and I learnt so much about myself and also about what it takes to run a football club; invaluable experience I was able to draw on when I went back to Charlton Athletic in 2000, the year we won the Football League championship to reclaim our place in the Premier League.
When I joined Swindon Town in the summer of 1998 I had every intention of making a new life for my wife and I in Wiltshire but it just wasn’t possible. Leaving The County Ground when I did though meant I was available when Peter Varney approached me to return to Charlton, initially as his assistant…the rest as they say is history.
As the old saying goes, ‘when one door closes another one opens’…that was certainly true in my case!