Pat Nevin

by   |   12/05/2024  15 Comments  [Jump to last]

A couple of things I found about Pat Nevin, formerly of this parish. While not about his time with us they give an idea of the man behind the footballer:

Pat Nevin interview: “My nickname was ‘Weirdo’ for a long time. I was always thinking, ‘Oh, no I’m the normal one…” — FourFourTwo, 16 August 2021

Chelsea winger Pat Nevin saw himself as a student, music critic and activist before a footballer. During his 1980s heyday, Nevin was the game's great outsider, regularly appearing in the NME, his alternative diversions featuring knife attacks, The Proclaimers and Saddam Hussein’s secret police...

Sacked in the Morning Podcast: Pat Nevin – The World's First Player/Chief Executive — BBC Sounds, 7 May 2024

Article continues below video content

How on earth did Pat Nevin become both a player and the chief executive at Motherwell FC? Roles that meant he was simultaneously being managed by and was the boss of, the man in the Fir Park dugout. Pat talks us through the job, how the dynamic worked in the dressing room and what he was like around the negotiating table. We also hear the alarming fault he found with the Motherwell pitch, how he ignored his Clyde manager's advice to go interrailing and why it was a godsend that the Chelsea training ground was right beside Heathrow.



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Reader Comments (15)

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Rob Jones
1 Posted 12/05/2024 at 21:51:46
Pat is very much before my time as a player, but I have a lot of affection for him.

One of the better people in football, one of the better and fairer voices, especially when it comes to discussing us. He's always come across as a good guy.

Paul Turner
2 Posted 12/05/2024 at 21:53:39
I think I have an LP by Ashley Hutchings' All Stars somewhere which includes the song "Pat Nevin flew in on a Wing and a Prayer", complete with lyrics sheet. If I can find it, I'll put the words up here.

I believe Ashley (Fairport Convention founder), despite being a North Londoner, is a Chesterfield supporter.

Danny O’Neill
3 Posted 12/05/2024 at 21:57:54
I first watched him play for Chelsea against Everton at Goodison Park.

I was excited when we signed him and was a very skilful player.

The challenge was that he came in to fill big boots as we were transitioning from the most successful team of our history.

Great player to watch though.

Not sure if others have an opinion, and I was a lot younger back then, but parallels with Duncan MaKenzie? Easy on the eye but not really up there? Just a thought.

Paul Kernot
4 Posted 12/05/2024 at 22:21:44
Danny. I loved Duncan McKenzie. To me, he was the Alex 'hurricane' Higgins of EFC. He played with flair and yes, arrogance I suppose.

A bit of a luxury player, similar to when we had James Rodriguez. Brilliant and frustrating in equal measures.

Pete Clarke
5 Posted 12/05/2024 at 22:27:19
Pat was an entertainer and would always be out on the pitch before the rest of the players doing kept uppies etc. He was one of the most skillful players of that era and could pass and cross the ball well. It was his slight of frame that stopped him being great as he was pushed off the ball easily.

He speaks very well about everything in his articulate way but football was only a pastime for him.

Very fond memories of Pat Nevin both as a player and commentator.
Darrel Pugh
6 Posted 12/05/2024 at 22:49:00
Used to get in early at the Gwladys Street end to watch Pat do tricks. He was known for doing keepy-ups on his own, closer to the Main Stand side, usually about 2:30 pm.

[This was prior to my drinking days!]

Matt Traynor
7 Posted 13/05/2024 at 02:32:21
Pat was a good player, but at the wrong time. He came in during Colin Harvey's great rebuild in 1988, after the defending champions suffered the ignominy of finishing 4th (!) Tony Cottee was the marquee signing – £2M from West Ham and turned down Arsenal in the process – along with Stuart McCall from Bradford for £850k, and Neil McDonald from Newcastle for £525k.

He got injured early in the season against Forest, and was doing his guest DJ spot at Radio City whilst injured. I was at the second leg of the League Cup 2nd round away at Bury (2-2) and we bumped into him – on crutches – after the game. He had insisted on travelling with the team to watch the game (something I doubt many primadonnas these days would bother with).

He chatted with us for about 10 minutes about football, music until the team bus, exasperated at him holding them up, started sounding the horn.

When Howard Kendall came back for his 2nd spell, he didn't rate Nevin (or any of Harvey's signings, even though Colin was back as #2), and Pat was farmed out to Tranmere on loan. He was settled in his house in Chester – and I think had his daughter there – and made the move to Tranmere permanent.

A good footballer, but a great ambassador for the game, and EFC. He was a very articulate and intelligent communicator – in the days before "media training" for players – and explains why he went (briefly) into football administration, and became a commentator and writer. Top bloke.

Incidentally, when I worked in "dat London", one of my colleagues told me that, during his Chelsea days, Pat used to join them for a kick about in a local park on weekends when he wasn't playing for Chelsea. Strictly against their rules, but everyone kept it quiet.

Till now!

Denver Daniels
8 Posted 13/05/2024 at 08:42:45
As I was a winger myself, naturally Pat was one of my favourite players.

That goal he scored in the 3-2 win vs Man Utd where he chipped Jim Leighton after racing clean through — I practiced that goal forever.

Matt Traynor
9 Posted 13/05/2024 at 09:28:26
Denver, he also did it against Bob Bolder at home against Charlton. Trouble was, he tried it another time in a derby match at Anfield, and lollipopped it straight into Grobelaar's hands.
John Pickles
10 Posted 13/05/2024 at 09:54:45
A great player for us, however one of my most vivid memories was, at Goodison, when he was playing for Chelsea, running down the touchline with the ball, and 'Psycho' Pat comes steaming over and shoulder barges him. He left the ground, only returning to terra firma when he impacted the advertising hoardings.

The look on his face, when he picked himself up, of 'What hit me?' was hilarious.

Dave Abrahams
11 Posted 13/05/2024 at 10:08:09
I go along with a few on here, I thought he was very good with a couple of faults but always entertaining, better than Duncan McKenzie, for me, he played for the team not himself.

I wrote him a letter after watching him play for Everton Reserves v Nottm Forest on a cold and windy day at Goodison, asking him what he felt like, wasting his time for the reserve team when he deserved better? He wrote me a reply on a scrap of green paper saying he just loved playing football but preferred to play in the first team, not feeling sorry for himself in any way.

Kendall wasn't fussy on him, Harvey liked him enough to sign him so one man's meat was another man's poison. I was with Colin on this one.

Danny O’Neill
12 Posted 13/05/2024 at 10:49:59
John, your Pat memory takes me back. It might have been the same match, if not the same era.

Psycho deliberately and blatantly elbowed and floored David Speedie. The Ref missed it, so he got off scot free!!

Almost like his waist-high tackle against the Luton player in the semi-final at Villa Park.

Nothing to see here!!

Andrew Ellams
13 Posted 13/05/2024 at 10:54:41
Denver @ 8,

That goal made it 3-0 early in the 2nd half and a lad sat behind me in the Upper Bullens went mad because he had a bet on for a repeat of the 5-0. Didn't work out for him.

It was a great goal though.

Paul Tran
14 Posted 13/05/2024 at 11:02:48
In my student days, a good mate was a Chelsea fan, in their Division Two days. Always talked up Nevin. I've always liked him as a player, pundit and writer. He was right that that Harvey team was close to being successful, but wasn't convincing enough.

When I lived in Edinburgh, I played footy in the university league for a team called FC Pat Nevin's Haircut. The name was the nearest we got!

John Pickles
15 Posted 13/05/2024 at 11:39:20
Danny, after one typical challenge, I heard 'Good tackle Pat, he'll feel it in the morning, but good tackle!', called by a fellow Blue. Put a smile on my face.

It was how full backs dealt with diminutive wingers or ones that didn't like the physical side.

I remember Gary Stevens going through Jesper Olsen the first time Olsen got the ball. It achieved the desired effect as Olsen didn't want the ball, and got rid of it as soon as possible, for the rest of the match.

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