Managers Countdown: Ken Beamish & Andy King (1)

In this next Managers Month post we finish the first group of Swindon Town managers with Ken Beamish and Andy King’s first spell in charge at the County Ground.

We’ve had two managers, Andy King and Danny Williams, who’ve managed us in two separate spells, so for the purposes of this feature each spell is considered in isolation.

As we’ll see, both Ken and Andy were thrust into the dugout having been promoted from within, then leaving in very similar circumstances to higher profile managers.

No.22 | Ken Beamish | Manager March 1983 to June 1984 | 214.8 Points

After taking over from John Trollope towards the end of our first ever season in the fourth tier, former assistant Ken Beamish steadied a potential plumet down the league to finish in 8th place and was given a contract for the 1983/84 season.

As is usual at Swindon, financial constraints meant Beamish couldn’t bolster his squad enough to make a concerted challenge for promotion. The pre-season sale of Paul Rideout to Aston Villa hardly helped, however the recapture of Alan Mayes and the signing of Dave Hockaday helped to paper over the cracks.

The result of all this was an inevitable slide down the table, eventually finishing 17th with 58 points, some 24 points off promoted Bristol City, our lowest ever league finish. Just to rub salt into our wounds Oxford United won the Division Three championship.

Despite the gloom in the League, an excellent cup run to the FA Cup 4th Round lifts Ken in these standings. A 7-0 victory at Kettering was followed by a cracking win away at Millwall, then another victory over Division Two Carlisle United in a replay. Town then led a home 4th Round tie with Division Two Blackburn Rovers 1-0 with a Jimmy Quinn finish until 2 late Rovers goals put a valiant Town out.

Ken left at the end of the season as new sponsors demanded a big-name manager in Lou Macari, a change which is perhaps the greatest single decision in our history.

Good, Bad or Ugly? – Bad – Yet another manager with his hands tied with our poor finances, his only saviour was the magnificent FA Cup run.

  • Leagues: 2 seasons in Division Four
  • FA Cup: 4 ties | Best 4th Round 1983/84
  • League Cup: 1 tie | 1st Round 1983/84
  • Achievements: None
League Pld Won Drn Lst For Agg League Pts P/G League Score FAC Score FLC Score
58 20 16 22 75 73 76 1.3 131.03 83.75 0
TOTAL SCORE: 214.8

No.21 | Andy King (1) | Manager November 2000 to July 2001 | Score 229.6

King joined as Colin Todd’s assistant and as Todd’s short reign came to an end, Terry Brady was sufficently impressed with King’s brief caretaker spell to hand him the role perminantly. Although it wasn’t long until Town sank into the relegation zone and a second sucessive relegation looked more and more likely.

King didn’t just make do with Todd’s assorted bunch of misfits, another 9 players joined before the end of the season, with Woan, Heywood, Reddy and Robinson contributing well. He changed it on the pitch as well with players out of position including centre backs Alan Reeves and Van der Linden playing upfront. Fortunately this desparate attempt to try everything possible to stave off relegation worked. It’s always my regret I missed the Peterborough United victory and Danny Invincible’s stunning volley in the last minute. This win ensured Town had enough points to stay up after Rovers cocked up by lossing 2 of their 3 games remaining.

Further Boardroom changes in the summer with the departure of Terry Brady meant King’s future was in doubt. Danny Doneghan took his time and after King had already signed 3 players for 2001/2002, he was sacked just two weeks before the first league game and replaced with former Liverpool boss Roy Evans.

King’s League record was patchy at least and if you’re looking for a comparible then he performed slightly better than Maurice Malpas.

Good, Bad or Ugly? – Good – King’s first spell divided supporters with his eratic management and selections, however he took over Town and had one task only to keep Town in Division Two. He achieved this, albeit just about, and for that it was job done.

  • Leagues: 1 season in Division Two
  • FA Cup: 3 ties | Best 3rd Round
  • League Cup:  Not entered
  • Achievements: None
League Pld Won Drn Lst For Agg League Pts P/G League Score FAC Score FLC Score
30 9 9 12 31 37 36 1.2 159.60 70.00 0.00
TOTAL SCORE: 229.6

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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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