Who Was Bert Loxley?
Bert Loxley was a former player, physio and manager of Lincoln City who passed away in 2008 at the age of 74 following a long illness.
Bert was born in Bonser starting his playing career with the local village school scoring thirty-seven goals in six games. From school football he graduated to the Rowsley and District League, before having trials with Coventry City, Derby CountyandYork City. Notts County won the race signing him as a professional after a storming display in a trial reserves match against Mansfield Town. Army service, then intervened before Bert made his league debut at the end of the 1955 season against Ipswich Town.
He said: ‘It’s a match I will always remember as I played with that great centre-half Leon Leuty.’
In 1966, after 12 years and 245 games for Notts County, Bert thought he had hung up his boots, when he joined The Mighty Imps as a member of the training staff. However at the beginning of the 1966-67 season an injury crisis saw him play seven times at number 5, partnering the legendary Jimmy Grummett in the centre of defence. A dislocated elbow in the home game against Wrexham in November finally brought his playing career to a close. He was a loyal servant of the club for 20 years, mainly as trainer/coach and physiotherapist, before leaving as part of the reshuffle after the relegation to the Conference in 1987. He was even honoured with a testimonial in 1979/80,
Bert was even given the job of manager- coach in the summer of 1970, and between July 1970-March 1971, City won 11 of his 31 matches in charge. Taking over from talent spotter supreme Ron Gray. Quite how Chairman Dove could sack a man who took us from bottom to just off promotion, beggars belief. Gray’s talent spotting would be appreciated by Ipswich and Bobby Robson over the next decade as they were promoted, won the league and conqueredEurope. It would be Bert, however, who unearthed the great Percy Freeman. Having seen Percy play forWest Bromreserves he wasn’t so much taken by his skill…….
“He didn’t look a great player but what really impressed me was his build. I saw his physique and thought ‘by golly’. “
He also signed Derek Trevis for £6,000 and the two gelled instantly. We reached the third round of both cup competitions before erratic displays saw him replaced by Herd. Said Bert afterwards.
“I had known within two or three months that it wasn’t my cup of tea. I like training and physio work but I hated making the tough decisions like telling a player he was not good enough. I had a good set of players under me and we did ok but I was glad to be replaced. I think I was a bit too nice to be a manager.”
I think that sums Bert Loxley up really. A true gentleman of the game.