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Former Player Remembers: Ian Ormondroyd

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https://www.lcfc.com/news/1238292/former-player-remembers-ian-ormondroyd/featured

 

When the ex-Leicester City forward Ian ‘Sticks’ Ormondroyd took time out from his current job as Chief Executive of Bradford City’s Community Foundation to talk to Club Historian John Hutchinson about his playing days, he recalled some fond memories from his time at Filbert Street.

ByJohn Hutchinson

 

Following his club record-equalling £350,000 transfer from Derby County to Filbert Street in March 1992, Ian played in nearly 100 games for Brian Little’s Leicester City, in their three successive Play-off seasons for a place in the Premier League. Earlier in his career, following his £650,000 transfer from Oldham Athletic, Ian was a member of Graham Taylor’s Aston Villa side which were runners-up in the old First Division in 1990.

Ian’s early career saw him play for both his home town Bradford City and for Oldham Athletic, for whom he appeared in the 1987 Play-Offs for a place in the top Division. Following his two-and-a-half years at Villa Park, he signed for Derby County in September 1991, before moving to Filbert Street six months later.

Speaking about his move to Leicester City Ian remembered: “Derby’s new owner Lionel Pickering wanted to sign Leicester’s Paul Kitson. Arthur Cox (Derby’s manager) told me that they wanted to swap me and Phil Gee for Paul. I was doing well at Derby, playing and scoring goals and I said I didn’t want to leave, but they literally pushed me out saying I had to go as I wouldn’t be playing. Me and Phil (Gee) went to see Brian Little at his house. We each had a chat with him for about 20 minutes. He said he wanted us and we signed the next day. It was all a bit weird but in the end we finished up doing better than Derby for the next two or three years, beating them at Wembley in 1994."

Ian played in Leicester City’s remaining 17 games that season which culminated in a Wembley Play-Off Final against Kenny Dalglish’s Blackburn Rovers for a place in the newly-formed Premier League.

Ian Ormondroyd played in nearly 100 games for Leicester City after joining from Derby County in 1992.

“When we arrived at Leicester (in March) they were slipping down the table. It was a transition period. Brian was trying to change it round a bit and freshen it up, with other new players (Simon Grayson, Colin Hill and Mike Whitlow) arriving. We had a big squad, which was good in some ways but bad in others. There was a lot of competition for places but it worked well because we had a good set of honest lads who got on well together.

“I was the sort of player that even if I wasn’t in the team, I didn’t want the team to lose. Brian had a lot of lads who didn’t moan and groan if they weren’t in the team. Instead they trained and played hard, trying to get back in. It’s a good mentality to have and that was a main reason we got to three successive Play-Off Finals. You aren’t always going to get on with everybody though. The only player I fell out with was Jimmy Willis who used to kick me in training every week! These things happen but we all got on well. We went out socially and had this massive team spirit. Brian and his management team John Gregory and Allan Evans were good at building that."

At the end of Ian’s first season, Leicester City beat John Beck’s Cambridge United 5-0 at Filbert Street in the second leg of the Play-Off Semi-Final, with Ian scoring one of the goals.

“They were all about long balls and playing in the corners. At their place it had been 1-1. They had Steve Claridge and Dion Dublin up front and they were good players. We just tried to snuff them out and with Steve Walsh at centre-half you had a good chance as he was such a good player. He had a good battle with Dion.

It gave you a massive buzz. A Portsmouth fan I know always tells me my tap-in goal was offside. The referee was Roger Milford who always liked me for some reason. We’d have a bit of banter. I think I probably was offside but it counted. We got a bit of stick leaving Fratton Park!

Ian Ormondroyd LCFC.com

“Before the final against Blackburn at Wembley Brian told us that it was referee George Courtney’s last ever game. He said that he was renowned for giving penalties and that he would give one that day. He told us to make sure it was for us and not them. Of course David Speedie won the penalty. It wasn’t a penalty! Steve Walsh is adamant to this day that he never touched him. Speedie fell over Walshy’s leg and dived theatrically. We lost 1-0.”

The following year Leicester City reached the Play-Offs again. Ian scored in the second leg of the semi-final in a 2-2 against Portsmouth at Fratton Park, following the Foxes’ victory in the first leg when Julian Joachim scored an unforgettably stunning goal (in a game played at Nottingham Forest’s City Ground due to redevelopment at Filbert Street).

“The atmosphere in those games was phenomenal,” Ian continued. “It gave you a massive buzz. A Portsmouth fan I know always tells me my tap-in goal was offside. The referee was Roger Milford who always liked me for some reason. We’d have a bit of banter. I think I probably was offside but it counted. We got a bit of stick leaving Fratton Park!”

Leicester City went 3-0 down in the Wembley Final against Glenn Hoddle’s Swindon Town, pulled it back to 3-3 and then lost to a late controversial penalty.

The forward scored in a 5-0 victory over Cambridge United at the end of his first season as a Fox.

“The next season we had to go again. It was all about the characters in the dressing room. We had a lot of lads with a lot of spirit. There were no superstars. They were all genuine lads."

At the end of the season, Leicester City reached their third successive Wembley Final. Following a 0-0 draw at Prenton Park, the Foxes beat John Aldridge’s Tranmere Rovers 2-1 in the second leg in front of a capacity Filbert Street crowd. For the third successive year, Ian scored in the semi-final.

“Right at the end of the game, their goalkeeper Eric Nixon wasn’t happy about being fouled by Speedie (now a Leicester player) who preventing Nixon from catching the ball, which led to the second goal. With seconds to go, there was a flare up, Nixon chased Speedie half way round the field and they both got sent off.

“In the Final against Derby, Brian put myself, Iwan Roberts and Steve Walsh up front. We were surprised as we thought Brian would play two of us. Steve had been out injured for six months. Iwan was returning from injury. I played on the left of the three. It worked on the day. Tommy Johnson should have scored two or three for them and they were the better side. I had a role in the winning goal. Simon (Grayson) crossed it. I headed it and thought it was in. The goalkeeper made a decent save and Walshy tapped in the rebound with four minutes to go. It didn’t bother me that I hadn’t scored. The squad wasn’t about individuals. It was about the team and we had won."

I played for 13-and-a-half years and it was great. As Graham Taylor used to say, I was never a player who was pleasing to the eye like [Aston Villa’s] Tony Daley.

Ian Ormondroyd LCFC.com

Back in the Premier League, the team struggled and in November Brian Little and his management team walked out of the Club to manage Aston Villa.

“It was a shame that Brian left," Ian reflected. “He liked me and I liked him. The new manager Mark McGhee didn’t want me from the word go. It was only going to be a matter of time before I went. I went out on loan to Hull City but then he brought me back for a game against Wimbledon. Then he dropped me after this one game and left me out for the rest of the season. It annoyed me. I could have still been playing for Hull. At the end of the season I was desperate to get away. Not because of the Club, but because of the manager.”

Although troubled with painful ankles (which eventually necessitated two big ankle fusion operations after he had finished playing), Ian went back to his former clubs for a season each at Bradford City (and another Wembley Play-Off victory)  and Oldham Athletic, before finishing his career at Scunthorpe United.

Looking back over his career, Ian concluded: “I played for 13-and-a-half years and it was great. As Graham Taylor used to say, I was never a player who was pleasing to the eye like [Aston Villa’s] Tony Daley. At 6’4” tall I looked awkward sometimes but you need to be judged by what you actually do rather than by how you look!”

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Sticks!!! Galloping down the wing, what a graceful sight lol actually quite liked him, we were not the most talented back then but we battled hard, nearly scored at Wembley only denied by a great save and we all know what happened straight after!

 

 

 

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Good lad was the Droyd. Did a decent job for us. I'll always remember his stunning good looks too...

 

Image result for ian ormondroyd

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Met him in fosse park once, got his autograph, left it at the game versus derby 1992 we won 3-2....if memory serves.

 

 

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The 2 memories that spring to my mind are him treading on the ball at Ipswich away in 1992 and going over like an upturned giraffe.                                         The other is him scoring the 3rd in a 3-0 away win at Watford I think in 1993 or 1994 and him sinking to his knees and taking huge applause from the travelling masses. Not the greatest player but he always gave 100% and was very likeable.

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Think he scored the winner in the game at my first ever visit to the Hawthorns when it was still terracing and we were packed in like sardines in the corner...weird the goals you remember ?

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Just now, EastAnglianFox said:

Think he scored the winner in the game at my first ever visit to the Hawthorns when it was still terracing and we were packed in like sardines in the corner...weird the goals you remember ?

We only had ten men ?

Remember that also. Grayson sent off.

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4 minutes ago, pds said:

We only had ten men ?

Remember that also. Grayson sent off.

 

Blimey, yes! 

 

Good memory Sir, all I can remember is him somehow getting to a ball that didnt look likely then bodies everywhere after it went it.

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Loved him

His way of getting the ball over the line reminds me of a recent smiley title winning legend 

 

All together now 'He just a lanky Okazaki, lanky Okazaaaaaki'

 

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Inspired one of my favourite pieces of football commentary from one of our games in the Derby playoff final when he got taken out and Alan Parry said "He went down like a felled giraffe there."

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5 hours ago, Jobyfox said:

I always thought he was weirdly shit in the air for such a giant. It was even more weird that he seemed better as a wide forward given his attributes. 

 

He frustrated me, but I kind of still liked him. The Brian Little era is also one that, for me, was one that re-booted the club and put us on a path towards better things, which ultimately culminated in the two League Cup wins under O’Neill. 

He was fantastic in air,until he joined us ?It was a fascinating transfer swop at the time.One of the few occasions losing your young star striker could be turned into a positive.The team had hit a buffer and this gave everyone a boost.The rest of the cash was spent wisely also.Thanks big Ian

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6 hours ago, Crazy Kop Corner said:

The 2 memories that spring to my mind are him treading on the ball at Ipswich away in 1992 and going over like an upturned giraffe.                                         The other is him scoring the 3rd in a 3-0 away win at Watford I think in 1993 or 1994 and him sinking to his knees and taking huge applause from the travelling masses. Not the greatest player but he always gave 100% and was very likeable.

I think the goal v Watford was the end of yet another drought for him.His knee dropping celebration was a show of sheer relief.I remember it well.

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I’m not sure if I’m remembering this correctly but didn’t he not play a few games then got recalled for a play  off semi final and every one was moaning about it . He then ended up playing a blinder , think he even got man of the match . 

Edited by baldeagle

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That header against the sheep:- fabulous cross, brilliant header, fantastic save, Walshie tap in. Cue pandemonium and tears in the blue half at Wembley and an earthquake in Leicestershire. Ormondroyd's contribution that day will never be forgotten by anyone watching. RIP Amanda Stafford, a true and loyal fox who was at Wembley that day. 

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