Howard Wilkinson who, working alongside the late Jimmy Sirrel, helped mastermind Notts County’s promotion to the top flight in 1981, is returning to Meadow Lane for a commemorative reunion dinner.
This special occasion, which is being organised by the club’s Former Players’ Association, will take place on the evening of Saturday 6 April with all the players who figured in the promotion team, and those who helped to keep Notts at the peak of the game, present.
In the first two of three seasons in the old First Division, with Wilkinson continuing to have a crucial influence, Notts finished a highly creditable 15th. Then, in the summer of 1983, he was tempted to leave for his native Sheffield to manage the Wednesday club with whom he’d once been a player. And Notts, lacking his guidance, were relegated at the end of the following campaign.
Meantime other successes followed Wilkinson’s promotion triumph at Notts. In his first season at Hillsborough he replicated his Meadow Lane success by getting Wednesday promoted from the Second Division.
His peak came after he moved to Leeds United in October 1988, Leeds becoming the last club, in 1992, to win the championship of the old First Division.
The former Notts players expected to attend the dinner include Rachid Harkouk and Trevor Christie, scorers in the 2-0 win at Chelsea on 2 May 1981 which guaranteed promotion.
Also certain to be there is Iain McCulloch whose goal at Villa Park three months later, the Magpies’ first match in the First Division for 55 years, shook the football world by ensuring victory for Notts.
More details about this big occasion will be published shortly, including the cost and availability of tickets.
If you have special memories of those great times in County’s history please write to Les Bradd, c/o Meadow Lane, giving your name and address, and a selection of your letters will be published in the dinner brochure.