Sacked by Posh but Still is now a managerial legend

Ken Charlery. Picture: Paul Marriott
Ken Charlery. Picture: Paul Marriott
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Posh feature: Former Peterborough United boss John Still is now an official managerial legend.

Still, who was sacked by Posh after just 18 stormy months in charge in the mid-1990s, scooped the BBC London Sports Personality of the Year award for 2010 earlier this week.

It’s a big deal when you realise that Chelsea’s Premier League winning manager Carlo Ancelotti and Spurs’ charismatic chief Harry Redknapp were also on the shortlist along with double European Athletics Championship gold medallist Mo Farah.

Still’s achievement in taking little Dagenham & Redbridge FC to Wembley and then into League One for the first time in their history captured the imagination of London’s sports fans.

He clearly has a gift which his club skipper, and former Posh centre-back, Mark Arber believes will lead The Daggers to safety in League One.

Still welcomes Posh to Victoria Road this weekend.

Arber, who has been an ever-present for Dagenham this season, said: “John gave me my Football League debut for Barnet when I left Spurs 13 years ago and I’m still playing for him now so that tells you what I think of him.

“Dagenham have gone from Ryman League to a first ever appearance in League One in six years which is why he won the award.

“To think he beat Ancelotti and Redknapp is quite amazing really. I’m not quite sure how he did it, but we are all delighted for him.

“John certainly has a gift for management. I’ve lost count of the number of young players that he’s brought to the club who have then gone on to better things.

“He’s built another good squad now. We have some veterans like goalkeeper Tony Roberts who’s 41, while I am 33 and Peter Gain is 34, but we also have some talented young kids like Danny Green.

“The spirit is great and there is plenty of ability, Danny is involved in a lot of what we do with set-pieces and long throws, but there are other dangers for Posh this weekend.

“We will compete and we will battle, but we can also play some good stuff.”

Still’s performance at the smallest club in League One has been applauded by his fellow managers.

Richard Bevan, Chief Executive of the League Managers Association, said: On behalf of the LMA, I would like to congratulate John Still on being named BBC London’s Sports Personality Of The Year.

“The ultimate accolade of success in one’s career is to achieve public recognition and to be acknowledged for this award is a tremendous feat.

“John is the fifth longest serving manager in English football and to succeed in his profession requires dedication and commitment, qualities for which he’s always been known.

“Guiding Dagenham to their highest ever finish last season, combined with success at Wembley in the play-offs, makes this award extremely well deserved.”

Still took over at Posh when the club had just been relegated from the old Division One at the end of the 1993-94 season.

He led them to a 15th-place finish in League Two in the 1994-95 season, but was sacked the following October following a 3-0 defeat at Brentford which left Posh in 16th place.

Posh won 17, drew 23 and lost 19 of their 59 matches under Still. Posh won just over 41 per cent of the Football League points available under Still’s command, placing him 22nd in the club’s list of top bosses.

STILL has been in charge at Dagenham & Redbridge for six seasons.

Only Sir Alex Ferguson (Manchester United, 24 seasons), Arsene Wenger (Arsenal, 14 seasons), John Coleman (Accrington Stanley, 11 seasons) and David Moyes (Everton, 8 seasons). have been in charge of their current clubs for longer.