While researching today, I came across this obituary (in THE MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS) to one of our greatest Saddlers, which may interest followers of the Saddlers I do hope so.
Walsall FC hero Albert McPherson, who played alongside Eddie Colman, Brian Doyle and Steve Fleet at Salford Lads Club, has died aged 87
They were four young boys at summer camp in Aberystwyth with Salford Lads Club.
It was 1951 and they had the world at their feet.
Within a few years all of them would be playing professional football.
One, Eddie Colman, would become a Busby Babe, who would die in the Munich Air disaster of 1958.
Footballer Albert McPherson
Brian Doyle would play for Stoke City and Steve Fleet for Manchester City.
The fourth, was Albert McPherson, who though born and raised in Salford, would become a legend in the West Midlands, as captain of Walsall and a coach at West Bromwich Albion.
Today tributes were paid to Albert, who has died, aged 87.
A picture in 1950 of a Salford Lads Club camp showing Albert McPherson (far right, front row)
Albert lived in West Dixon Street and attended St Barts School, initially working as a block printer at local firm Worrall’s.
He was a member of the club from 1942 to 1954, before signing for Walsall in 1955. He played centre half for Walsall until 1964 and was also club captain. He went on to coach and scout for West Brom where he became a highly respected member of the backroom staff.
Eric Salthouse, the most senior volunteer at the Lads Club, described Albert as “a fine athlete and all round good guy, a real role model for young lads at the club”.
Leslie Holmes, spokesman for the Lads Club, said: “He is fondly remembered here. He visited our club in 2008 and his achievements and characteristics are an inspiration to our members.
“During the 1950 camp at Aberystwyth Albert and the other lads played Aberystwyth Town and won 6-1.”
Photo from Salford Lads Club summer camp showing (from left to right) Brian Doyle, Albert McPherson, Eddie Coleman and Steve Fleet
As a player McPherson made more than 350 appearances for Walsall during a 10 year spell, skippering them through back to back promotions from the Fourth Division to the Second in 1959/60 and 1960/61.
He moved into coaching taking up the role of trainer under Jimmy Hagan at The Hawthorns where he remained until 1984.
His work with the first team coincided with them lifting the League Cup in 1966 and reaching the final the following season.
McPherson then moved into youth and reserve team football, bringing youngsters through the ranks with the likes of Alistair Robertson, Len Cantello, Bryan Robson, all coming through under his watch.
Albion club legend Tony Brown led the praise today: “Albert was a football man, through and through, steeped in the game, he watched it, talked about it all the time.”
“I remember training with him under Jimmy Hagan back in the ‘60s, but then I trained with him again at the end of my career here in 1981, when Ronnie Allen took me out of the first team squad and I went to train with the kids.
“Watching him at first hand, you could see why he was so good with the youngsters because they hung on his every word, they worked hard and he instilled real discipline in them.”