Saturday, 14 April 2012
In memory of Eddie May....
Eddie first came to the club in 1991 as Head Coach and took over a City side in transition following the sacking of manager Len Ashurst. His arrival coincided with the investment from Barry Island holiday camp owner Rick Wright who bankrolled the new signings of Paul Ramsay, Carl Dale and Paul Millar. In his first season City finished just outside the Fourth Division play off places, but did win the Welsh Cup after beating Hednesford Town in the Final 1-0. It was the following season where Eddie May made his mark as he was able to strengthen a solid Third Division (formerly Fourth Division) team into genuine title contenders. City also took part in the European Cup Winners Cup bowing out in the first round to Admira Wacker from Austria by 3 goals to 1 on aggregate. Two significant signings were made just before Christmas 1992 after a reasonably average first half of the season. Striker Phil Stant signed from Mansfield Town and former Wales Captain Kevin Ratcliffe joined from Everton and both players went on to have an enormous impact on the team. Ratcliffe shored up a leaky defence and Stant began to score the goals with strike partners Carl Dale and Chris Pike to fire the City up the league table. Crowds flocked back to Ninian Park and just over 17,000 watched City secure promotion with a 2-1 win over Shrewsbury Town. The following week City secured the Third Division Championship title with a 3-0 win away to Scunthorpe United at Glanford Park. A couple of weeks later City also won the Welsh Cup again with a 5-0 demolition of Rhyl with Phil Stant scoring a hat trick. Sadly after this period Rick Wright didn't have the funds to drive the club forward and after key players were sold to pay the bills, City were relegated back to Division 3 in 1995.
Eddie May sadly passed away in his sleep today aged 68, but I and many City followers will always be thankful for that perfect season in 1993. The Third Division Championship, two Welsh Cups, European adventures and the 1-0 FA Cup upset against Premiership Manchester City in 1994 were all achieved during his reign. Rest in peace Eddie, the barmy army will always remember you.