‘Sgt Wilko’ returning to the scene of his first managerial success with Notts
Howard Wilkinson who, working alongside the late Jimmy Sirrel, helped to mastermind Notts County’s promotion to the top flight of English football in 1981 is returning to Meadow Lane for a commemorative reunion dinner being organised by the club’s Former Players’ Association.
This special occasion will take place on Saturday evening, 6th April, and all the players who figured in the promotion team, and those who helped to keep Notts at the peak of the game, will also be present.
In the first two of three seasons in the old First Division, with Wilkinson continuing to have a crucial influence, Notts finished a highly creditable 15th. Then, in the summer of 1983, he was tempted to leave for his native Sheffield to manage the Wednesday club with whom he’d once been a player. And Notts, lacking his guidance, were relegated at the end of the following campaign.
Meantime other successes followed Wilkinson’s promotion triumph at Notts. In his first season at Hillsborough he replicated his Meadow Lane success by getting Wednesday promoted from the Second Division.
His peak came after he moved to Leeds United in October 1988, Leeds becoming the last club, in 1992, to win the championship of the old First Division.
The former Notts players expected to attend the dinner include Rachid Harkouk and Trevor Christie, scorers in the 2-0 win at Chelsea on 2 May, 1981 which guaranteed promotion. Also certain to be there is Iain McCulloch whose goal at Villa Park three months later, the Magpies’ first match in the First Division for 55 years, shook the football world by ensuring victory for the Magpies.
More details about this big occasion will be published shortly, including the cost and availability of tickets.
If you have special memories of those great times in County’s history please write to Les Bradd, c/o Meadow Lane, giving your name and address, and a selection of your letters will be published in the dinner brochure.