Thanks For Everything Keith - Simon Yeo.
Simon Yeo called Vital Towers today gutted that Keith Alexander the guy who gave him his big break signing him from Hyde United had passed away.
So what`s your background with Keith Simon?
"To be honest the first time I heard his name I thought it was Crewe Alexander. When the wife gave me a message that someone Alexander had phoned my heart leapt as I had turned down a new deal at non league Hyde United and with me contract up I was looking at going to Southport. The phone then rang and I heard the dulcet tones say hello Simon you alright? Yes Dario I replied. No Simon this is Keith not Crewe he replied and we both laughed as an instant friendship grew. He realised he was getting someone who would give 100% to a gaffer who was making an ex squaddies dream come true.
Simon would never stop repaying a man who would work with him at three League sides; Simon is of course the last Imp to score over 20 goals in a season for the Imps.
"Keith was a brilliant bloke to work for and we were never short of laughs. Even though we didn`t have much money at the club he was a caring sharing gaffer except when it came to his Bourbons. Every Friday we would have the big 5-a-side game sponsored by Mars. Well Keith would bring one of those boxes of Mars bars you get at the Newsagents and he would hold them aloft while he and Simmo had their fill and say - Remember only the winners gets the Mars bars."
So what`s with the Bourbons Simon?
"Just before he disappeared on a cold January or February morning, in fact every training session rain or shine to be fair he would always say, I`m going in me office for some bourbons with a nice cup of tea. Talking of cold weather we had a night game up at Cheltenham and there`s Keith in his thermals before the game. I`ll make this short and sweet lads, it`s a beautiful day out there, enjoy yourselves. We froze in every sense of the word and lost four nil."
Was he an approachable guy?
"Yes he had a great sense of humour, well when he was in a good mood. When you said good morning gaffer and how are you and he replied, keeping me head above water as you do that meant he was in a good one. Shouting you Muppets and I`ll pay you up could be good or bad though.
"There was a pretty regular one actually, especially when we were doing alright. Right lads you`re a good team, you`re good players. You know who you are and you know what you`re about. I`m off for some bourbon biscuits and a nice cup of tea. Well that`s the tactics out the way then, we used to fall about laughing. To be fair I have only ever seen him lose it three times and that was never at Lincoln. It was twice at Peterborough and once at Macc. It was always the same I don`t care how big you think you are, I don`t care I`ll pay you up."
What about the famous yellow socks then?
You know I think they were the same pair and he took them everywhere with him, clubs, training, games away trips, everywhere. One night when we were staying away at a hotel, not a posh one mind, before a trip to Bournemouth or Torquay I think it was he still had the socks on and needed to wear some smart shoes. So he asks a couple of waiters what size shoes they wear. When he got one with the right size, he talked them in to letting him borrow them and then gave them back afterwards. Never a dull moment at the Imps, we never had the money but we had the laughs and a team spirit second to none thanks to the Gaffer and Simmo. If not he`d pay you up. Cheers Keith I owe you the lot mate!"