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Saddlers Legends

Saddlers Legends

There are times in football when its obvious a manager is perfect for a team- Alex Ferguson at Man Utd, Dario Gradi at Crewe and Ray Graydon at Walsall.

Graydon arrived at the Bescot in 1998 after big Dane Jan Sorensen left the club and to say he had a difficult task ahead was an understatement.

Not only did he have very little money to play with, he was also very aware that we were favourites to be relegated from the Second Division- a league that at the time had big clubs such as Man City and Fulham spending millions.

It did then seem like a miracle when half way through the season we were not only in the top half but in the top 6. Graydon had managed to get a belief into a squad that got better and better by the game.

And any signings Graydon did make boosted the squad instead of spliting it. Most notably a winger called Darren Wrack was brought in and alongside other Bescot favourites such as Jimmy Walker and Andy Rammell the Saddlers finished the season second behind Fulham.

Graydon had somehow turned a relegation favourite into a promotion-winning side and it looked easy.

Although Graydon couldn't keep us in the First Division, he was of course still in charge when we went to Cardiff and were promoted once more.

A man loved by players and fans alike, his sacking in 2002 wasn't the most popular decision Jeff Bonser ever made!

Let us know your memories of Ray Graydon on our forum.



Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

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Writer:Cannock Saddler
Date:Friday September 7 2007
Time: 7:19PM

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# Team P W D L Pts. GD
C Sheff Utd 46 30 10 6 100 45
P Bolton 46 25 11 10 86 32
3 Scunthorpe 46 24 10 12 82 26
4 Fleetwood 46 23 13 10 82 21
5 Bradford 46 20 19 7 79 19
6 Millwall 46 20 13 13 73 9
7 Southend 46 20 12 14 72 17
8 Oxford 46 20 9 17 69 13
9 Rochdale 46 19 12 15 69 9
10 Bristol Rovers 46 18 12 16 66 -2
11 Peterborough 46 17 11 18 62 0
12 MK Dons 46 16 13 17 61 2
13 Charlton 46 14 18 14 60 7
14 Walsall 46 14 16 16 58 -7
15 Wimbledon 46 13 18 15 57 -3
16 Northampton 46 14 11 21 53 -13
17 Oldham 46 12 17 17 53 -13
18 Shrewsbury 46 13 12 21 51 -17
19 Bury 46 13 11 22 50 -12
20 Gillingham 46 12 14 20 50 -20
R Port Vale 46 12 13 21 49 -25
R Swindon 46 11 11 24 44 -22
R Coventry 46 9 12 25 39 -31
R Chesterfield 46 9 10 27 37 -35
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