The following is a story that Mick Worswick told to a North West reporter several years ago. It is one that will bring back memories for a few of us ‘oldies’ and the ever increasing ‘new breed’ here at TNS!
Wigan Athletic’s legendary former manager Harry McNally used to insist that there was no better judge of a professional footballer than canny Preston scout Mickey Worswick.
And the colourful narrative of Worswick’s secret dossier which once sent North End spinning to a madcap 6-3 Deepdale defeat against Chester City remained a firm McNally favourite on the after-dinner circuit and one that is etched into Deepdale folklore.
“I was working for BAC and the trade union had organised a meeting at Deepdale during the day to vote on a pay rise,” recalled Mickey.
“So there I was, stood on the Town End terrace, when suddenly through a forest of hands and arms I could see North End’s first team emerging on to the Deepdale pitch.
“I was Chester’s chief scout and they were due at Deepdale the following day!
“I couldn’t believe it. I never thought in a million years they’d be training at the same time as the meeting. Suddenly, they started going through all their set piece routines, corners, free-kicks, with Tommy Booth and Brian Kidd barking out the tactics they were going to use.
“I was voting for a pay rise with one hand, and scribbling down the Preston team with the other.
“When I reported back to Harry a few hours later, he thought all his birthdays had come at once. He was going ‘Mickey, Mickey, I don’t believe this. This is incredible, and beautiful music to my ears’.
“Chester scored six at Deepdale and Stuart Rimmer, a local lad from Southport, blasted a hat-trick on his 21st birthday!
Just for the record here is Harry’s record as manager of Wigan Athletic (1983 -1985):
Played 80 – Won 25 – Drew 25 – Lost 30 – Goals For – 83 – Goals Against – 102
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