People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care
Last night I was a guest at the Aberdeen Football Club Community Trust annual dinner. As part of the evening they held a Q&A with three of the clubs playing legends, Neale Cooper, Neil Simpson and John Hewitt. They were all part of Sir Alex Ferguson’s hugely successful period at Pittodrie in the 1980’s.
Early on in this session they spoke fondly of another club legend, Teddy Scott. He only ever played once for the club but it is safe to say he dedicated his life to club and worked there from 1954 – 2003. He essentially did everything behind the scenes but it was his father figure qualities that really hit home when the players talked about him.
All three had been under his stewardship since they were 10 years old and here they were 42 years later all claiming how much of a huge influence he had on them. They recalled stories of how he organised friendly games and would bus them around, often multiple games per day. They never questioned this, they believed it to be the norm. Neil Simpson spoke of a series of 20 exercises that Teddy had put together using various different areas of the club. They didn’t have a gym so Teddy just found areas that suited the exercises, he used the gap in the club bar for dips, he he found a bar somewhere for the players to do pull ups on and so on. Neil then mentioned he visited FC Twente 5 years ago and every single one of Teddy’s exercises were included in their S&C set up.
They then told hilarious stories about how brutal Teddy’s ‘coaching’ methods were. Often simply telling players how s**t they had been the week before and if they didn’t play better they’d be benched. The funniest story in my opinion was how he could break the news to players they were not playing that day. They would be having their lunch before the game and Teddy would come up to them and tap them on the shoulder and say ‘you can have chips with that today’. This meant ‘you aint playing son’.
The way these three legendary players spoke about Teddy was so touching and genuine. It was so clear he had such a strong influence on him yet his methods seemed very dated and in todays terms would be viewed as ineffective. So how was it he got away with this? Simple, he cared about the players and the club and everybody knew it.
You see, people don’t care how much you know until the know how much you care.
Thank you so much to the Denis Law Legacy Trust for inviting me along as their guest.
A great night and one I will remember forever.