‘Hot Toddy’: Son of my Father (Part 8)

Colin and Andy Todd

An Interview with Steve Zocek
Signing on for Everton, Colin pictured with manager Gordon Lee

Colin Todd made his Everton bow at the age of thirty. It’s only fair to say that his best days were behind him when he arrived at Goodison. Colin’s stay on Merseyside was a brief thirty-two games, scoring one goal in a 3-1 away victory, against what would be his next club, Birmingham City.

Playing 661 career games in the Football League, and winning twenty seven England caps, tells its own story of Colin.

Andy Todd was the son of Colin, and in the family tradition, he also made a career in football. Andy played for thirteen clubs, playing over 300 career games.

This is what Andy told me:

Our house in Allestree, Derby, backed onto a park, and from the age of seven or eight upwards, me and my brother were both obsessed with football, and a lot of time my dad would join in. I was selected for my school team, and then it all went on from there.

When my dad retired from football, we moved back up to the north east where he originated from. I was playing for a Sunday league team called Hilda Park. The team was run by a man called Ronnie Bone, the academy manager at Middlesbrough, who spent thirty years with the club. I ended up signing for Middlesbrough on a Youth Training Scheme, and later played first team football, achieving promotion in 1994/95 under Bryan Robson.

At the age of eighteen, I went out on loan to Swindon Town under Steve McMahon, where I appeared in thirteen games before returning to Middlesbrough at the end of that season. At Boro, we had a very good squad, Nigel Pearson, Paul Wilkinson, John Hendrie, Robbie Mustoe, Neil Cox, goalkeeper Alan Miller and Bryan Robson was still playing too. 

The next move for me was when I signed for Bolton Wanderers, where my dad and Bruce Rioch had formed a managerial partnership. Bruce left to join Arsenal, with Roy McFarland stepping in to his shoes as joint manager with my dad. I had played against Roy when he was at Derby and I was on loan at Swindon, and it was Roy who talked my dad in to buying me for Bolton. It was the club’s first season in the Premier League, but we ended up being relegated nine months later.

We bounced back into the top flight the following season, after earning a record ninety-nine points in the Championship. I scored two goals in a four year period, before heading south to The Valley and Charlton Athletic, teaming up with Alan Curbishley. Charlton were promoted the season I joined.

After a loan spell at Grimsby in 2002, I then moved back to Lancashire with Blackburn Rovers under Graeme Souness. Mark Hughes was one of the senior players and I captained the club. We played in Europe during my five years at Ewood Park, and also reached the semi-finals of both the League Cup and FA Cup.  I felt that the time at Rovers was my best period in football.

My next move was to Derby County with Billy Davies in the top flight. I also played under Paul Jewell, then later Nigel Clough in my two years there.

At the age of thirty two, I fancied a change from English football, and flew out to Australia joining Perth Glory, with whom I spent two seasons. The manager there was Dave Mitchell who played for Swindon Town and Millwall as a centre forward in his playing days in England. Dave later brought in the ex-Glasgow Rangers player Ian Ferguson on to the coaching staff. Looking back, I should have stayed and finished my career there, but decided to return to England, where I had a short stay with Oldham Athletic in League One under Paul Dickov, who was a team mate of mine at Blackburn Rovers. I finished the end of that season at Boundary Park.

My time playing was coming to an end but I tried to steal another year, which took me to Hereford, but after one month we realised my time was up.  

I then found my way into coaching, attending Loughborough University, then Derby University, before joining Linfield in Northern Ireland as assistant manager. 

I took on the same role at a number of clubs: Newport County, Blackpool, where we got promoted beating Exeter City in the play-off final, Northampton Town under Dean Austin, which was brief as it didn’t work out and finally, Bradford City until they were relegated.

I had a spell in Bulgaria too with FC Piron with Warren Feeney, an ex-Northern Ireland International, then decided to come home.

By Steve Zocek

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