Seoul Glow: Roger Self

Seoul Glow
In a second extract taken from Seoul Glow, a new book about Great Britain's golden success in 1988, five Olympians reveal the similarities between the late Roger Self, the mastermind behind their success, and the power inflicted by football managers Sir Alex Ferguson and the late Brian Clough.

"Roger knew how to make me tick. On the big occasion it was all about stepping up and performing. Some of the '88 squad members may be able to tell you why, but I always struggled with it. I just loved performing on the big stage. Players were fond of him but also got incredibly fed up with him at the same time. He was a hard-nosed manager and we all got grillings."
Steve Batchelor  

"He was quite an athlete in his time, a hockey player but not a great player. And I'd expect a lot of the greatest managers aren't, because they understand the game in a slightly different way. I've never met Brian Clough or Sir Alex Ferguson, but I suspect they were similar to Roger. They were characters strong enough to stick their neck out and not worry about what people thought."
Richard Dodds  

"For me, I think he liked the competitive tension and the fact I could give something back. If you just fell over, you were going to do it in an international. If you could stand up to his pressure, that was easy. Try 69 minutes, breathing out your backside in 80 degree heat, 1-0 down and what were you going to then do about it. That was nothing. He wasn't your friend and he didn't want to be. But afterwards I certainly appreciated the subtleties to get the best out of us."
Martyn Grimley  

"He embedded a level of resilience that we could deal with any setback and look at the opponents in the eye and say to ourselves that "yes, we are going to compete with you today". Previously, everyone was talking about how good the Dutch, Aussies and Germans were. We built our own identity and stood up to those regimes. The resilience levels he put into us was just staggering."
David Faulkner  

"Awkward, cussed yet he understood about how to make a team function. We operated as a unit in terms of getting the finance together with no politics getting in the way. It was like a business to him and that’s why it worked. He ran it tight and it made a difference. I am very grateful for what the game has given me and the friends I’ve made."
Sean Kerly  

Seoul Glow: The Story Behind Britain's First Olympic Hockey Gold By Rod Gilmour (Pitch Publishing). Available from all good stockists now.