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Sep 26, 2012

Ex-Man City boss John Bond dies aged 79

John Bond, who led Manchester City to the 1981 FA Cup final, has died at the age of 79.

• Blog: John Bond RIP

The flamboyant Bond, who also had spells in charge of Bournemouth, Norwich, Swansea, Birmingham and Shrewsbury, had a reputation for getting his teams to play free-flowing, attacking football.

As a player, he spent the majority of his career at West Ham, making 444 appearances for them, and when he moved in to management his larger than life style and quotable interviews established him as a football personality.

His City side contested one of the most famous FA Cup matches of them all, losing the final in a classic replay against Tottenham Hotspur, decided by Ricky Villa's extraordinary goal in the dying moments.

But that was not his only cup final: he also took Norwich to Wembley, where the Canaries were beaten 1-0 by Aston Villa in the 1975 League Cup.

Perhaps fittingly, the FA Cup provided the main highlight of his latter career when his Shrewsbury side saw off then Premier League team Wimbledon at Gay Meadow.

Former Manchester City centre-half Nicky Reid, who played in Bond's 1981 cup final team, said he had not always got along with Bond professionally, but added: "That does nothing to stop me from being extremely sad to learn of this news.

"I am very sorry he's passed away, and my thoughts are with his son Kevin, his sister and their mum at this sad time."

Norwich City said they would pay tribute to Bond at Wednesday night's Capital One Cup tie against Doncaster Rovers at Carrow Road.

A club statement hailed his "considerable contribution" to the East Anglicans, whom he led back to the top flight as well as steering them t Wembley.

"Norwich City Football Club is saddened to learn of the death of former manager John Bond, a statement said.

"During his tenure, he brought players such as World Cup winner Martin Peters to Norwich City, which helped trigger an exciting brand of attacking football at Carrow Road."

The statement, which sent condolences to Bond's family and friends, said the two teams would wear black armbands for the cup tie.

Ken Brown, an assistant manager to Bond at both Norwich and Bournemouth, told the BBC: "He used to think it was his fault if the game didn't go right. It wouldn't be the players' fault.

"I couldn't quite get to grips with that but, when I became a manager, I got the same feelings. You do have to take responsibility."

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