Only now will the enormity of what Tony Gold achieved at London Lions really hit home.
The club were this week picking up the pieces of the Gold-en era, one I’d compare to Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United in Jewish football terms.
Gold took the club to a high level – its highest level in fact – and Jewish football may not see the like of him again.
The decision to ask him to step down is a huge gamble, and an unnecessary one in my eyes. Gold may not have been everyone’s cup of tea, but neither is Jose Mourinho or the late Brian Clough; he is certainly no ‘yes man’. He did things his way and you have to say his way worked – getting every ounce of energy and talent out of his players. He went about his business in a professional and meticulous manner and has a football CV few can rival in the Jewish game.
There may be a logical decision as to why he was asked to step down, but if I had to take anyone into a fight, especially one in which some might say my team were punching above their weight, he’d be my first choice. The man could have done no more.
He and former coach Darren Yarlett were against the club taking promotion and it now appears he was the victim of his own success.
Clearly, this isn’t a decision the club has taken lightly, but it’s one I hope they don’t live to regret.
* It’s great to see Darryl Lee back involved with the Team GB set-up. His appointment to spearhead the football section at the 2015 European Maccabi Games is an excellent choice.
Lee is right up there with the most knowledgeable figures in Jewish football. He is driven to succeed and will leave no stone unturned in his search for glory.
* Well done to the eagle-eyed reader who noticed I married England rugby star Scott Spurling with footballer Scott Shulton in my recent piece on the Maccabi GB Sports Awards. Another name for the judges to consider is tennis ace Josh Paris. It’s too early to start calling him the Jewish Andy Murray, but he’s definitely one to watch.
* Reims star Eliran Atar is the chump of the week after missing the 1-1 draw at Valenciennes in Ligue 1 because he overslept. The Israeli star didn’t turn up for the team bus and when the manager eventually phoned him, he woke him up and then told him in no uncertain terms that he was dropped.
* Fifty-something Neil Collins rolled back the years when he hit the winner in South Manchester Sports Club 2nd’s 2-1 win over Oakhill Lions. His celebration was far from vintage but he certainly taught the students a lesson.