In 1992, unfashionable Cambridge United almost became founding members of The Premier League.
This can be attributed to the unorthodox methods of one of football’s most controversial figures at the time – a man named John Beck. A staunch believer in long-ball tactics, the Cambridge boss was dubbed “Dracula” by the press, i.e. “he sucked the blood out of football.”
As ugly as it was, it worked. Beck transformed Cambridge from a mid-table 4th division side to one challenging for promotion to the newly formed Premier League in just 3 years, reaching the FA Cup quarter-finals twice along the way.
The club’s Abbey Stadium became the stuff of nightmares for visiting teams and Beck’s off-field antics have gone down in history as some of the most infamous mind-games in the sport’s history. It certainly helped their home form but the team didn’t fare as well on the road.
Beck, coupled with the firepower of a young Dion Dublin made Cambridge one of the emergent sides of the early 90s but their fall from grace was just as rapid…