Thrybergh Ravenfield Dalton

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MICHAEL HENNIGAN

A Tribute by John Doxey

Foreword

Growing up in Thrybergh meant that you were surrounded by a multitude of football players, all who could play better than yours truly [ John ]. Amongst the many I knew back then the Hennigan brothers were excellent players, and when the older brother Michael gained a position with Huddersfield I used to see him often, returning home with his kit, always with a smile on his face.  I haven't seen Michael since that period in the early 1960's.

If ever a story exemplified the advice "Follow that dream" this one certainly does.

John Doxey


 1942

 

At a time when England was still "Fighting them on the Beaches" and surviving on war time rations Michael Hennigan entered this World, the son of Frank and Kath Hennigan,  a younger brother and sister , respectively Peter and Katherine making up the complete family who eventually moved to St Leonard's Ave Thrybergh around 1955.

 

Michael attended St. Gerard's School at Thrybergh where he developed his passion for football becoming quite a talented player.

 

A REMARKABLE CAREER

 

 

Michael Hennigan 2002

 

Shortly after leaving school Michael was approached by Huddersfield Town who offered him a position with their Juniors, backed 100% percent by his parents he accepted the position, thus began his remarkable career, a career that would prove his worth and finally reach acclaim by his peers.

He didn't remain long at Huddersfield and next made an appearance with Rotherham United Juniors, and in a pattern of changes that was to be somewhat of a trademark he shortly left Rotherham to join Sheffield Wednesday juniors and progressed to appearing in the reserve team. Michael at this time was aged under 19

 

In the1963/64 season our roving local hero was transferred to Southampton as a centre half, playing firstly for the reserves and then made three appearances in the first team, at the time Tony Knapp was a leading player for Southampton but was out due to injury. Michaels debut game in the first division was against  Newcastle United at St James Park.

In another quick transfer Michael turned up playing for Brighton and Hove Albion, however before he had time to slap some Dubbin on his boots at Brighton playing just four games in the 64/65 season our Thrybergh lad received an offer from Durban United  in South Africa to play as centre half , so he packed his gear at Brighton and departed boot's and all.

In less than twelve months an unsettled Michael possibly finding his new surroundings plus the political climate in South Africa a bit to much to handle, removed himself from Durban and returned to England.

 

 For a period Michael went through several trials back on home turf, and perhaps was wondering how to get back into the game, once again fate intervened and he received an offer from an overseas club, and if you think South Africa was a bit far to move, well Michael obviously didn't because his next club was Sydney Marconi in Sydney N. S. W. Australia.

This would have been in the late 1960's and bearing in mind that Australia can be a bit of a culture shock even today, Michael would have also found the standard of football well below that of Europe and South America at that time, as you will have guessed by now it wasn't long before he kissed Skippy goodbye and hopped on a plane surprisingly back to Durban.

 

Now Michael didn't stay long on his previous venture with Durban and not surprisingly he once again transferred but what is  surprising he went to another South African Club, which was Bloemfontein a city of central South Africa east-southeast of Kimberley. It is unofficially called the judicial capital of the country because the appellate division of the national supreme court sits here. Just to throw in a bit more trivia here the writer J. R. R. Tolkien was born in the city on January 3 1892.

Had Tolkien ever met our Thrybergh lad I'm sure he would have included him in "The Lord of the Rings" because Michael disappeared from Bloemfontein just as quickly as Bilbo and Frodo Baggins did once they slipped on the ring, only Michael just packed his gear, slipped on his coat possibly uttering the ancient immortal mystical words "A'l sithi " and reappeared back in Thrybergh leaving the Bloemfontein club thinking it was a " Bloemin mystery".

 

Now many a lesser person would have thought "Well that's it" not Michael Hennigan he still had the dream, and still had the drive to succeed in the game he loved.

A t some stage he joined Sligo Rovers in Ireland where he found that the senior player was a lad from Maltby, Kevin Fallon. Now legend has it and I'm informed from a very good source that Sligo let him go because he sang Clancy Brothers Irish rebel songs in the dressing room at half time. So once again our wandering footballer returned to his roots.

 

Locally the Silverwood Miners Welfare club benefited from his return and Michael became a player coach there and thus started a new career in the game that was his life. He also played for the Joker F. C at Bramley on Sundays as he continued playing for Silverwood Miners Welfare on Saturdays.

 

A COACH IS BORN

 

  If ever a career could be summed up in one word then that of football coach could surely be under the sub title of "Uncertainty" it is not for the faint hearted, when a club fails the first heads to roll are that of the Manager and coach. With that in mind we begin to realise the inner strength of Michael Hennigan.

Michael became a frequent visitor to Lillishall National training centre and worked hard at gaining coaching qualifications long before it became fashionable or even necessary to have recognised coaching qualifications. At this point he was beginning to get ahead of the game. He took regular employment with Yorkshire Electricity Board as a labourer driver. Michael was about 26 or 27 and for the next 10 to 12 years he spent out of the game but continued building up his contacts in the game he loved and he continued to add to his coaching qualifications.

 

In the years to follow Michael built up his coaching techniques, and many a local player would benefit from his encouragements

It was at Matlock Town that Michaels coaching skills were now  being recognised,  Matlock had a good side during the time Michael was there. Ken Boden a Thrybergh lad at Michaels suggestion went with him to Matlock where they met the three Fenoughty brothers of Dalton who were the backbone of Matlock Town, they were amazing and they were better players than Matlock Town standard.  Tom of course had played with distinction for Sheffield United but the other two brothers were also gifted players.


Twelve Months after his arrival at Matlock Michael was offered a coaching job with Gainsbrough and once again Ken Boden moved with him, however the pair did not remain at Gainsbrough for long due to Michael  losing his position as coach.

 

Next we find Michael at Sutton Town (near Mansfield) as Coach where he was reasonably successful he signed on Carl Shutt from Rotherham United. Carl Shutt went on to play for one of his former clubs, Sheffield Wednesday and then Leeds United, it is more than likely that Michael Hennigan was a big help to Carl's career.

 

 

Following Sutton Town his career as a coach began to expand when he accepted the job at Sheffield Wednesday as Youth Team coach under Howard Wilkinson.  A position that enabled him to pull the plug with his then current job with Yorkshire Electricity Board.   and move back into full time involvement with a football club. During his time at Wednesday Michael  made progress within the coaching structure at the club. Fortunately or unfortunately Howard Wilkinson was not the most popular Manager Sheffield Wednesday ever had  and amidst rumours that all was not well Wilkinson accepted the post of Manager at neighbouring Leeds United with whom he had a degree of success.

Several of the coaches were invited by Wilkinson to join him at Leeds but they all rejected the move, notably Peter Eustace, who went on the manage the club.  Ultimately, Michael accepted the post of Assistant Manager at Leeds United under Wilkinson and between them they had success in winning a premiership title, finishing ahead of  Manchester United.

Unfortunately, the success was not sustainable and during the following seasons Leeds United just avoided relegation and Wilkinson and  Michael were sacked.

 

LEEDS UTD. AND MICHAEL

 

Michaels coaching career at Leeds was during the following seasons

1989/90

1990/91

1991/92 Champions

1992-93

1993/94

1995/96

1996/97

 

Some of the many players who Michael coached at Leeds were:-

Andy Williams, John Pearson, Neil Aspin, Mervyn Day, Mark Aizlewood, Peter Swan, Brendan Ormsby.  John Sheridan, Noel Blake, Peter Haddock, David Rennie, Ronnie Sinclair, Gary Williams, Bob Taylor, Bobby Davison,  Mickey Adams, Vince Hilaire, David Batty,  Glynn Snodin  , Ian Baird, John Stiles. Chris O'Donnell, Chris Kamara, Vinnie Jones,   Lee Chapman, John McClelland,  ,    Gary McAllister, Simon Grayson, Dylan Kerr, John Lukic,  Chris Whyte, Mike Whitlow, Mel Sterland,    Chris Fairclough, Gary Speed,   Gordon Strachan, Jim Beglin, Imre Varadi,  Jon Newsome,  John Lukic,   Carl Shutt, Eric Cantona, John McClelland, Peter Haddock, Rod Wallace, Tony Dorigo,   Gary Speed, Gary McAllister, Steve Hodge, Chris Whyte  Mervyn Day,  David Wetherall. Mel Sterland,   David Rocastle,    Scott Sellars, Gary Speed,  and Rod Wallace.

 

Glynn Snowdin above was also a Thrybergh lad.

 

ENTER MIKE PRATT.

 

Whilst at Leeds Michael met Mike Pratt who is now a World recognised strength and conditioning coach, a position he held at Leeds. The two men were very impressed by each others techniques and shared views regarding the training of sportsmen. At this time Michael was already described as a man of vast experience and renowned internationally for his achievements in football, bearing in mind Leeds was amongst the biggest and most famous clubs in England and Europe, and he was training a few million quid's worth of talent.
 

Our Thrybergh lad approached the powers that be within the club and recommended that  Mike Pratt should be allowed to develop a strength training program devised from Mike's ideas and knowledge. Leeds's Utd. thus gained a gym that would be the envy of any club, designed by Mike Pratt which has been used from that time to this by every player within the club.  Mike Pratt made his exit from Leeds along with Michael and Manager Ron Wilkinson, all three went on to greater things within the world of football, Mike now is working for the football association, and is still called upon by Michael Hennigan.

 



Following his departure from Leeds Michael made his way to Blackpool as Assistant Manager to Nigel Worthington ex Sheffield Wednesday full back.  Blackpool were in a lot of debt and supporters were restless and after two seasons our Thrybergh lad was on the move again, going to Bury as Youth team coach, then Harrogate Town as Manager, and finally
Rotherham United coaching juniors and  Kit Manager.


 

MICHAEL IN THE NEWS

 

2002 TRINIDAD The FA - CONCACAF agreement has already seen two workshops conducted in the region this year. FA coaches Henry Millington and Mike Hennigan delivered the FA International Coaching Licence Course in March whilst The FA's Head of Referees, John Baker, led a FA Referee Instructors/Assessors Course in April.

 

The course was organized by the English F.A. and the FC and held at the Dr. Joăo Havelange Centre of Excellence in Tunapuna, Trinidad. The course, which is staged annually in England, was, for the first time ever, brought to this part of the world. The response to the course was so strong that the F.A. has agreed to stage it again at the Centre later this year. Following the closing ceremony, participants praised F.A. instructors Henry Millington and Michael Hennigan and expressed their gratitude to the FC for organizing such a high-quality programme.

Mexican coach Edmundo Chavez Puente also praised the course: “This was one of the best coaching courses that I have ever attended and the facilities were great; I am sure it will help me a lot in my coaching career.”

 

Thursday, 13 March 2003.
FA coaches Stephen Rutter and Michael Hennigan will kick off the second FA International Coaching Licence Course for the CONCACAF region at the Joăo Havelange Centre of Excellence in Port of Spain, Trinidad, today. The course comprises an intensive 10-day programme that covers a diverse range of subjects from fitness and nutrition to strategies and tactics, as well as issues on pre-match preparation.The FA course is set for 13 – 22 March 2003 and will be conducted by two leading FA instructors, Michael Hennigan and Steve Rutter. Both men have had extensive experience at the national and international level and they are also certified UEFA ‘A’ license coaches.

13th-22nd March 2003.
Former National Under 15 Coach Steve Rutter, and Michael Hennigan the current Youth Coach at Rotherham

 

 2005

Aubrey Sumbuleta
BBC Sport, Blantyre  

Michael Hennigan, a Football Association instructor, has been appointed as Malawi’s new coach in a caretaker capacity for the next two matches. Hennigan, who works as youth team coach at Rotherham United, will take charge of Malawi’s two remaining World Cup qualifiers away against Guinea next month and at hoe to Kenya in October. Malawi have failed to win any of their eight matches in African qualifying zone Group Five to date and dismissed coach Yasine Osman after their last game, a surprise 3-1 home defeat by Botswana. Hennigan is the second coach in three years sent to Malawi by the FA. Alan Gillet helped Malawi to reach the 2003 Cosafa Castle Cup final.

 

 

Hennigan out to re-ignite Malawi  

Malawi's caretaker coach Michael Hennigan is aiming high [August 2005]
Malawi's new caretaker coach Michael Hennigan says his first task is to try and put right the problems the side has had in international competitions.
The English coach, who arrived in the country on Monday, told BBC Sport that he has a lot to offer the Flames even though they are bottom of their World Cup qualifying group.
"I know people are expecting a lot and that's what exactly I want to do," the 62-year-old said. "I always try to be in an excuse-free zone because I don't like excuses. If we don't do well, I will take the blame."  I've won and lost in the past but failure is not my main ingredient

Michael Hennigan
Hennigan is in Malawi to look after the side as caretaker for the next four months but he is already hoping to stay longer than that. "People want to see me working and bring them results and for sure if I bring the results, they will obviously want me to stay longer," he says. He however admits that he does not know much about Malawian football but added that he is determined to succeed.
As well as trying to win games Hennigan says he will also look at some of the problems facing Malawian football such as the condition of training pitches as well as identifying new talent for the national side.
The caretaker coach took charge of his first training session less than 24 hours after arriving in Malawi as the Flames prepare for their next 2006 World Cup qualifier in Guinea on 4 September.
Before leaving England for Malawi Hennigan had been one of the FA's leading instructors, conducting coaching developmental programmes for the organisation.
He was also the youth coach for Rotherham United, a lower league side in England.

 

 Malawians select caretaker coach 
By Aubrey Sumbuleta
BBC Sport, Blantyre 
 Kinnah Phiri was one of the two coaches sacked last month
The Football Association of Malawi (Fam) has named England's Michael Hennigan as caretaker coach for the national team.
This appointment lasts until a permanent national coach is found for the Flames.
Hennigan will be assisted by two former Malawi internationals, Young Chimodzi and Ernest Mtawali. The decision follows the firing of former local coaches Yassin Osman and Kinnah Phiri last month.
Fam president Walter Nyamirandu Manda said his association selected Hennigan after receiving recommendations from England's FA.
"He is an impressive coach after working with the FA for a long time," Manda told BBC Sport.

 

Free Journal Four - $25.00 Value http://www.worldclasscoaching.com/bestofferever.asp
Malawi National Team Journal - Mick Hennigan

This journal contains the training sessions from the Malawi National Team's training camp as they prepared for their World Cup qualifier against Kenya.  Head Coach, Mick Hennigan, conducted a variety of sessions with the Malawi team that led to their first victory in their World Cup qualifying campaign. 

Guinea 3-1 Malawi:

Malawi, playing their first match under caretaker English coach Michael Hennigan, pulled a goal back within 60 seconds through Noel Mkhandawire but Guinea made sure of the win with a goal in the second half from Sambegou Bangoura.

 

 

 

 

From  http://www.noticias.info/archivo/2005/200510/20051012/20051012_107839.shtm

Hot seat
The bottom team in Group 3, Benin did the most hiring and firing with five changes of coach. The west African country started with Ghanaian legend Cecil Jones Attuquayefio in charge and ended with one of their own long-standing coaching stalwarts, Edme Codjo. In between, Wabi Gomez and two Frenchmen, Herve Revelli and Serge Devez, also tried their hand at the skipper's rudder. Malawi went through five coaches too, although technically John Kaputa and Kinnah Phiri shared the job before passing on the reins to Alan Gillet, Yasin Osman and lastly Michael Hennigan.

 

http://www.footbally.nl/mainframe.php?nav=usa&page=usa

KANSAS CITY, MO - February 29, 2006 – Coaches from 41 different states as well as Canada, Cameroon, England and the Caribbean attended the WORLD CLASS COACHING International Coaching Seminar at the Arrowhead stadium indoor facility this past weekend, (February 24 - 26) making it the most widely attended soccer seminar in the region.

Frans Hoek wowed the attending coaches with three incredible sessions showing an attention to detail that boggles the mind.  David Platt had the audience furiously scribbling notes as he outlined tactical information on how to beat various systems of play.  Bob Gansler, Mick Hennigan, Barry Gorman and Mark Francis all contributed great sessions giving the attending coaches lots of great sessions/drills to take and use with their teams for the upcoming seasons.
 



Player
Huddersfield Town Junior
Rotherham United Junior
Sheffield Wednesday Junior / Professional
Southampton Professional
Brighton and Hove Albion Professional
Sligo Rovers Part time professional
Durban City Part time professional
Sydney Marconi Part time professional
Durban City again Part time professional
Bloemfontein Part time professional
Silverwood Miners Welfare Amateur
Joker F.C Amateur


Coach
Gainsboro' Part time Coach
Matlock Town Part time coach
Sutton United Part time coach
Sheffield Wednesday Youth team coach
Leeds United Assistant Manager
Blackpool Assistant Manager
Bury Town Youth team coach
Rotherham United Youth coach / kit manager
Malawi Coach

 

 

At the beginning of Michaels story I wrote "At a time when England was still "Fighting them on the Beaches" and surviving on war time rations Michael Hennigan entered this World" Reading Michaels story I can't help but be reminded of what a very famous Prime Minister at the time of Michaels kick off in life said. "Never give up, never give up, never give up." Michael Hennigan did not give up, he strived for achievement throughout some very hard knocks, always moved forward, never looked back, used the experience he gained from those hard knocks, never afraid to take on a new venture, always ready to promote local talent, and is now a very highly regarded football coach on an international level.

 Somehow I don't think our Thrybergh Lad will ever hear the final whistle, for him the game is never over.

 

John Doxey

 

Send in your memory of Michael

 

©OPYRIGHT:

News section above B.B.C. News and various sources as stated

Text and formatting this page John Doxey

 

Additional information Peter Hennigan

 

 

 

 

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This site is the result of over 7 years research, and compilation, should you wish to use any of the content for publication of literature please contact me. The poetry and life of James Ross, the story of St. Leonard's Cross, and other items on this site were compiled, and first published on this site in their present context as a study of Thrybergh. If you use this site as a source, out of courtesy, please give credit where it is due as I have done on this site where appropriate.
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