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Dave Bassett's Wondrous Quote Could Change The Way People Look At Wimbledon

Dave Bassett's Wondrous Quote Could Change The Way People Look At Wimbledon
By Conor Neville Updated

Tired of the casual sneering at the (in)famous Wimbledon team of the 1980s, Dave Bassett and Wally Downes, the men who lead them on their improbable march up the divisions, have written a book defending their team's reputation.

'The Crazy Gang' has been written as a corrective to the portrayal of Wimbledon typified by the BT Sport documentary in which John Fashanu portrayed himself as a cartoonishly violent enforcer.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TR0UgPd6oAo

The club became a byword for ugly, thuggish, unsophisticated football.

Daniel Taylor attended a reunion dinner last week at which Dave Bassett spoke. He boasted about their early interest in statistics, twenty years before Billy Beane and Moneyball'.

Bassett insisted that all his players take their coaching badges at Lilleshall so they could better understand the game. And he proudly boasted about their academy system.

For Wimbledon had established an academy long before it became obligatory. In Bassett's final season in 1986-87, the 23 man squad boasted 13 graduates from the Wimbledon youth team.

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In my last season we had 23 first-team players and 13 had played in the youth team. If that had been Manchester United people would have been ejaculating all over the stadium.

A tantalising prospect. Had the Class of '92, then the hordes in the Stretford End wouldn't have been able to contain themselves.

Read more: Balls Remembers: The Complete Story Of How Wimbldeon Almost Came To Dublin

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