Managers Countdown – Jimmy Quinn & Maurice Lindley

No.28 | Jimmy Quinn | Manager Oct 1998 – May 2000 | Score 157.7

Quinn couldn’t translate his playing success into the dugout

Northern Irishman Quinn joined Town for a third time in 1998 as manager to replace Steve McMahon. Initially the move paid off for Chairman Rikki Hunt as Quinn led Town to the relative safety of 17th, 3 points above the drop.

In his second season the Mighty Quinn found his hands tied. The club had been poorly run for several years and hemorrhaging money, nearly bankrupt and soon to be falling into administration.

So the squad was cut and the fire sale begun as Bullock, Ndah, Gooden, Onoura, Hay and Hulbert left for a total of £1.45m. The quality of those coming in throughout Quinn’s time was awful then and terrible now. With the exception of Carrick and Grazioli, the likes of Neale Fenn, Charlie Griffin, Des Linton, Shayne Bradley and Mark McCammon still go down as some of the worst players to ever play for us. The player situation was so desperate that even Quinn, then 40, made 7 appearances.

Town were made a laughing-stock and in the relegation zone pretty much all season, bottom of Division One from November until the penultimate game when Quinn was sacked. So awful was our form, Quinn’s side set a club record 19 games without a win between October and March, conceding 36 and scoring only 11 goals.

Following Swindon, Quinn played for another 6 sides until he was the grand old age of 44 and subsequently managed Northwich Victoria, Shrewsbury, Egersunk IK, Cambridge United and Bournemouth. In March 2011 Quinn moved back into management after a 2 year break as manager of Nantwich Town in the Evo-Stik League. I wonder whether he’ll don his boots for one final hoorah at the grand old age of 51?

Good, Bad or Ugly? Bad – Jimmy was always on a hiding to nothing. What did the Board expect when selling off the family silver and then expecting Quinn’s side to compete in Division One? Like Iffy in 2006, when there are financial constraints the Board always turn to a former hero who ultimately ends up as the undeserving fall guy.

  • Leagues: 2 seasons in Division One
  • FA Cup: 0 Tie wins – Knocked out 3rd Round twice
  • League Cup: 0 Tie wins – Knocked out 2nd Round
  • Achievements: Relegation from Division One in 1999/2000
League Pld Won Drn Lst For Agg League Pts P/G League Score FAC Score FLC Score
80 19 19 42 81 134 76 0.95 157.7 0 0
TOTAL SCORE: 157.7

No.27 | Maurice Lindley | Manager May 1953 – April 1955 | Score 181.11

Maurice Lindley (Born 5th December 1915 in Keighley, Yorkshire) joined Swindon as a coach in 1951 after playing spells at Keighley Town and Everton. After four years of under achievement in Division Three South under his predecessor Louis Page, Lindley, if anything, took the club to a new low.

Maurice Lindley (with bobble hat 2nd from right) in his time at Leeds United

Town finished 20th in his first full season, a worst league finish since 1932/1933. Then Lindley followed this with a mediocre 1954/1955 campaign and was handed his three months notice in January. When Lindley was sacked with two games remaining in April, Town were 21st and ultimately only narrowly avoiding re-election.

It wasn’t just in the League that Lindley failed as Town were embarrassed in the FA Cup. In 1953/1954 after only narrowly progressing at the expense of non-league Newport (Isle of Wight), a 4-1 defeat at Hastings United in the 2nd Round was Town’s first FA Cup defeat to non-league opposition since the War. 1954/1955 fared no better as Maurice’s side were beaten by Palace at home in the 1st Round.

During his tenure Lindley’s awful transfer dealings nearly broke the club. The Board has initially decided to give their full support through the sale of club houses funding the purchases of 4 players, including inside forward Matthew Gemmel from Portsmouth for a near club record £2,250, however poor judgement showed as Gemmel only played 9 times and was soon released.

There was life after Swindon as Lindley teamed up with Don Revie at Leeds United and became his valued assistant manager and chief scout. Lindley stayed at the club for over twenty years and became caretaker manager on four separate occasions.

Good, Bad or Ugly? Ugly – Lindley’s league and cup failures worsened an already perilous situation at the County Ground both on and off the pitch. This cementing of dismal league form would nearly cost the club its place in the Football League.

  • Leagues: 2 seasons in Division Three South
  • FA Cup: 3 Ties | 1 Tie win – Best 2nd Round in 1953/54
  • League Cup: Not entered
  • Achievements: None
League Pld Won Drn Lst For Agg League Pts P/G League Score FAC Score FLC Score
90 25 25 40 111 127 100 1.1 147.8 33.3 0
TOTAL SCORE: 181.11

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Click here for a full list of the managers in the countdown so far and their scores, including an explanation of how the scoring works.

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