JIMMY Andrews, the manager who brought cult hero Robin Friday to Cardiff City during the mid-1970s, has died after a long illness. He was 85.
During his coaching career, Andrews worked alongside Alec Stock at Queens Park Rangers, Tommy Docherty at Chelsea and Billy Nicholson at Spurs before joining manager Frank O’Farrell at Ninian Park.
Later, he had the chance to bring John Toshack back to the Bluebirds, but hesitated and the Wales international centre-forward launched his managerial career with Swansea City.
Andrews, who lived in Cowbridge, succeeded O’Farrell as Cardiff manager in 1974. The former West Ham team-mates worked together at Cardiff until O’Farrell had accepted a job in Iran and asked Andrews to go with him.
The Scot stayed with the Bluebirds and was appointed manager. City were relegated from the old Division Two in his first full season during 1974/75, but Andrews then led his team to promotion in the following campaign.
He was in charge at Cardiff over four and a half years, steering the Bluebirds to 63 wins and 51 draws in 190 matches, before he was sacked with Richie Morgan taking over.
It was Andrews who paid £28,000 for the hugely talented and unconventional Friday in 1976 and said: “I watched him play for Reading against Burnley. He was different. Long hair, hippy look. Kids loved him. They thought he was the best thing that had ever happened to Cardiff City.
“But things went wrong for him. He became involved with things outside football which did not help his game. The next thing we heard was that Robin had died. That was a sad loss.”
Andrews spoke at his home in Cowbridge about the time he was offered the chance to bring Toshack back from Liverpool to Cardiff.
“John came to see me and we talked about him playing for Cardiff City again and moving into coaching,” said Andrews.
“But he was ambitious and already talking to Swansea City as well.”
Andrews, a former Dundee, West Ham United, Leyton Orient and Queens Park Rangers winger, continued living in South Wales after leaving Cardiff City.
He later worked as a scout for Southampton, coached football in Cowbridge and enjoyed playing golf.
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