George Swindin

George Swindin

Kettering Town manager from July 1965 to November 1965.

George Swindin was already a household name in footballing circles when he arrived at Rockingham Road to take over the vacant manager’s post after the departure two months earlier of Dick White. By the time he took up then chairman John Nash’s offer to become part-time manager, Swindin had already decided his priorities lay in financial security for his family and had become the tenant manager of a service station in Corby.

Swindin had been keeping goal for Arsenal and had two League Championship medals and an FA Cup winner’s medal before eventually becoming manger of the Gunners in 1958. During a spell in charge at Cardiff City, Swindin signed the legendary John Charles for the Bluebirds.

Swindin’s tenure at Rockingham Road was fleeting and his departure brought about by the unhealthy atmosphere between chairman, manager and playing staff, of which the former Arsenal keeper and now successful businessman had no desire to continue dealing with in his part-time job as Poppies boss.

His programme notes for the home match against Bath City on November 1965, gave an alarmingly honest appraisal of the situation from the manager’s point of view:

“Much has been said and written about the club in the past few weeks, most of it uncomplimentary. This has arisen because of my criticism of team performances and individual effort, yet nothing has been said publically by me, which had not first been conveyed to the playing staff. Unfortuanetly, some players are completely unmoved by private criticism, and one has to resort to more drastic methods. This is seized upon by those whose pleasure it is ‘knocking’ everything and everybody, to stir up trouble, by suggesting there is more to it than meets the eye.

It is my duty to get the best out of the Club’s players, that we are limited is obvious, yet we have players on the staff who give 100% every game, some of them lack experience as well as having limited ability, yet if they are 100% fit and show effort and fighting spirit, I would rush to their defence at all times, my criticism is of those whose attitude is, make sure not to get injured, don’t train an harder than ncessary, and when the going gets tough, make sure to keep out of the way.”

The match ended in defeat for Kettering Town and Swindin decided he’d had enough, handing in his resignation to then chairman, John Nash.

Despite the brevity of his tenure, Swindin’s record in charge of Kettering was fairly impressive: Played 20, Won 11, Drawn 4 and Lost 5.

Swindin was later coaxed out of retirement to manage Corby, before eventually retiring to live Spain. The manager’s position was left vacant until early December, when Steve Gammon, who had been player-coach at the Poppies, now took over as player-manager.