Doctor To The World Champions
This book is a true story of how a boy, from a small mining village in Wales and a cricket fanatic, ended up as doctor to the England World Cup Football Team and on the balcony, when England won the World Cup in 1966. It begins with his life in Tredegar and details the defining moments and experiences that led to his qualification as a doctor, despite having no proper qualifications to enter university. It charts his pssion for cricket and his excitement at playing with Glamorgan in his youth and his move from being a passionate cricketer to a director at MIddlesbrough Football Club. He was both the Club's Medical Officer; a Director of the club and an Honorary Team Physician to the England team. The book takes you behind the scenes at Middlebrough F.C. during their most successful years and charts their rise into a championship team, despite the political in fighting. It details his experiences both medical and political as Doctor to the England Football Team throughout 1966, 1970 and 1974 world cup competitions and what really happened when Sir Alf Ramsey left the England setup. It was with England that the special relationship developed with Jack Charlton enabling his introduction as Manager of Middlesbrough Football Club. It is a remarkable story, one that the author is as surprised, as you will be, to read the twists of fate that determine life's journey and the path it takes. It will appeal not only to football fans who remember what football was like before big money took over, but also non-football lovers who enjoy a strange, surprising autobiography. It is a story about football when it was still the beautiful game-well almost-and about an unusual life.
Neil, or rather Ugo Neil, was born, in 1932. The younger son of two teachers, his early years were spent in the small mining town of Tredegar, South Wales. Educated locally at Earl Street School and Lewis' School Pengam, he showed, at an early age, a great aptitude for all sports, especially cricket and rugby. Although he eventually became a "Sports MedicineDoctor", his first introduction to the specialty was as a patient. Aged seventeen, he sustained a severe head injury while playing rugby for his school's first fifteen. After months of recuperation, the injury ended his playing of rugby, but excused him from sitting his Higher School Certificate examination. It is reported he was admitted to Sheffield University Medical School because of the unfortunate injury and because he was good at sport. At university, his academic life flourished. He was a regular member of the University's cricket team, being awarded five blues and was elected President of the University's Athletic Council. His standard of wicket keeping was such that the then Yorkshire County Cricket Captain, Norman Yardley, recommended him to Glamorgan. He played briefly for the Glamorgan Club and Ground eleven, before his clinical studies prevented his commitment to a professional cricket career. On qualifying as a doctor, aged twenty-three, Neil became House Surgeon in the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals. There he worked for Sheffield's senior consultant surgeon, Blacow Yates, who was also Chairman of Sheffield United Football Club. Two years National Service followed at Catterick where his medical profession was forgotten. He became a full time cricketer in the summer and a rugby referee in the winter. In 1959, he entered General Practice at Redcar in North Yorkshire. Fortuitously, two years later, he met the then England Manager, Walter Winterbottom. Impressed by his attitude to Sports Medicine, Winterbottom quickly involved him in the medical aspects of The Football Association. Aged thirty-one, Neil was appointed a director of Middlesbrough Football Club and the Club's Medical Officer. When Alf Ramsey was appointed England Manager, he appointed Neil as an Honorary Team Physician to the England Football Teams. Involved with England in their winning of the World Cup in 1966, Neil remained as Team Physician throughout Sir Alf's reign as England Manager, including the 1970 World Cup in Mexico. Having completed over one hundred internationals and representative League matches, he resigned from his post following Sir Alf's sacking. He continued as a director at Middlesbrough F.C. and was appointed their Vice-Chairman and Director of Football in 1974, a position he held throughout Jack Charlton's management at the Club. He left North Yorkshire in 1977 to take up an appointment in Worcestershire.
In 1986, Neil retired from clinical work on his appointment as Manager of the Community National Health Services in South Worcestershire,. With the formation of N.H.S. Trusts, Neil was appointed Chief Executive of the South Worcestershire Trust, a post he held until his retirement. Three years later, he was appointed National Chairman of The Women's League of Health and Beauty, now called The Fitness League. He presently lives in Malvern, Worcestershire with his wife Margaret. They have three children, Shelagh, Ann and Michael.
Perfect Bound Softcover