IT is hard to imagine any of today’s money-centred footballers signing a blank contract, saying they will trust the manager to insert the figures.
Today’s footballers are, by all accounts, out for all they can get. But Paul Madeley came from a different, more innocent era.
He was the unassuming lad from Leeds who won virtually every honour in the game as part of Don Revie’s all-conquering United side of the 1960s and 1970s.
Now Madeley – who has died at 73 – prompted tributes and kind words from all who knew him, and all who watched him from the terraces during United’s hey day.
He was unique, even then. He was likened to a Rolls-Royce for the way he played and renowned for his versatility in filling every shirt bar the goalkeeper’s at one time or another.
Former colleagues told how never drank, never smoked, said very little and looked after himself perfectly. United fanzine The Square Ball said Paul was one of those stars of the past who are “spoken of in reverential terms with their names passed down the generations”.
Tributes also came from the wider football world, with BBC TV presenter Dan Walker saying: “If you don’t know much about him he’s well worth looking up.”
Leeds – and football in general – will miss Paul.