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Tributes paid to former Darlington manager Jimmy Greenhalgh
5:51pm Tuesday 3rd September 2013 in News
A FORMER manager of Darlington Football Club who worked as a coach or scout for most of the North-East’s teams has died at the age of 90.
Jimmy Greenhalgh was at the helm of the Quakers between 1966 and 1968, his first and only position as manager.
It was as a player, a “tough tackling half back” as he was described in one match programme, and then a coach at Newcastle and Middlesbrough, where he earned his reputation.
Born in Manchester in 1923, Mr Greenhalgh was able to take his pick from three teams – Hull, Wigan and Everton – when he began his career after the war in 1946, eventually choosing Hull because it was the only city with available housing for him and his wife, Flo, after the bombing raids.
He plied his trade at a number of clubs, including Wigan, Bury and Gillingham, before moving to the North-East, where he took a position as a trainer at Newcastle in 1962.
He took over the reins at Darlington in July 1966 but his tenure did not prove to be a success, with club at the bottom of the Football League when he was sacked in February 1968.
Darlington legend Ron Greener, who holds the club-record for appearances with 490, played under Mr Greenhalgh and remained great friends with him outside of football.
He said: “He was a good boss and coach. I’m very sorry to hear he has died.”
After his dismissal from Darlington, Mr Greenhalgh moved to Middlesbrough where he worked as a coach until 1979 and then as a scout for Sunderland.
His daughter, Linda, said: “He was a brilliant coach, but being a manger was sat behind a desk in those days.
“He loved playing and someone once wrote that he developed into a well-respected coach during the later stages of his football career. Football was what he loved and was his huge passion.
“Even in his later years when he was living in a care home, if they played a game with a balloon or a soft ball he would always try to head it, it was still there.”
Mr Greenhalgh died on Saturday, August 31, five days after his 90th birthday. His funeral will take place on Monday, September 9, at Darlington Crematorium at 10.45am.
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