The end of Bertie Mee and the start of Terry Neill’s era

By Tony Attwood

Continuing the occasional series about life under Terry Neill.

Bertie Mee went into his final season of 1975/76 with this team:


Rice Mancini O’Leary Nelson

Kelly Brady Cropley Armstrong

Hornsby Kidd

After a while the team changed a bit and Ball, Stapleton and Ross became regulars.  But it was a highly changeable season with only two players knocking in over 40 games (Rimmer and Rice).   We ended the league in 17th, six points above relegation.

The first Terry Neill side was


Rice O’Leary Simpson Nelson

Ross   Ball

Armstrong Macdonald Radford Cropley

While Mee had a huge batch of players coming through at the time he took over, and thus did not have to create a new team, Neill did not have this luxury.  The only player of high quality was who becoming part of the Arsenal team prior to Neill’s take over in 1975/6 was Brady who played his first games in 1973/4, and had his first season as a regular in 1974/5.

David O’Leary had is first games in 1975/6 (27 of them), and was followed by MacDonald in 1976/77, Rix 1976/7, Jennings 1977/8, and Sunderland 1977/78.

Of the other players who were around in 1975/6 and who could be called “proven” or “high class” we had

  • Pat Rice (first game 1967/68)
  • Eddie Kelly (1969/70)
  • Sammy Nelson (1969/70)
  • Alan Ball (1971/2)
  • George Armstrong

Frank Stapleton did play one game in 1974/5.

So while Bertie Mee inherited

  • Bob Wilson,
  • Peter Simpson,
  • John Radford,
  • Frank McLintock,
  • Peter Storey,
  • George Armstrong

all of whom could be said to be coming to their prime, Terry Neill inherited an older squad who needed freshening up.


The Anniversaries Page has been greatly updated – please add more by commenting below – and we will put them on the list.

One Reply to “The end of Bertie Mee and the start of Terry Neill’s era”

  1. I was never a fan of Terry. I am glad he went to the tottie potties before coming to us. They were not able to stop the slide and were relegated the season after he left them which was his for first season with us. But for the rival of Don Howe I think we might have followed them.

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