An Interview with Gary Higgins – Coleshill Town Manager 2001-2002.
Coleshill Town Football Club: Gary, tell us a bit about your playing career?
Gary Higgins: I played in goal for Tividale as a 15 year old and Birmingham County Under 18’s. Then Nottingham Forest Youth team and then Southend United Youths and also a loan spell at Southampton.
CTFC: What was your best moment in football during your playing days?
GH: In the summer of 1976 playing in a charity game and walking into the dressing room and having a conversation with super star players like Tony Currie, Terry Venables etc is something I will never forget!
CTFC: Do some name dropping, which players have you played with and which Managers have you met or played for?
GH: Managers played for include Brian Clough, Joe Mercer, Lawrie McMenemy and the great late Arthur Rowley. Players I’ve played with include Tony Currie, Terry Venables, Alan Mullary, Brynn Gunn, Alan Little, Steve Williams, Jeff Salmons. I also met and became great friends with Jimmy Montgomery the Sunderland goalkeeper.
CTFC: Tell us a tale from your playing days!
GH: I was asked to go out on loan to Southampton to help them with shortage of cover for their youth and reserves. I was only there 2 weeks when the F.A. got involved and told me I had to return to Southend as an apprentice could not go out on loan. On checking the F.A. said that it was the first time that had happened and the last time! (maybe I should be in Guinness record book?)
CTFC: What about your coaching/management career?
GH: I started coaching at age of 22 with North Warwick Boys in the Castle Vale League then I went to Castlehurts Colts coaching boys teams and was with them for 20 years and even became Chairman. I also coached and managed at Sutton Town Youths. I then came to Coleshill as Assistant Manager to Colin Strong but took over as Manager with Mark Styche as my assistant. I then moved on to Castle Vale and was with them for 10 years, again ending up Chairman. I currently Manage Inter Volante in the Central Warwick Premier League.
CTFC: Why did you come to Coleshill?
GH: I was asked by Colin Strong to become Assistant Manager and I wanted to have a different challenge at a higher level in management.
CTFC: Which players did you bring to Coleshill?
GH: Dave Wilson, Stuart Howard, Christian Crisp, Malcolm Power, Anthony Bowater, Chris Kavanagh to name but a few!
CTFC: Who were the characters at the club whilst you were there?
GH: Scanna (Ray Scandrett), Burnsey (Paul Burns), Greg Allen.
CTFC: Who was the Best player at Coleshill Town during your time here?
GH: The Best player for me without a doubt was a player who was a manager’s dream! He never let you down on the field, always gave 100% on match day and training. May not have been the best technical player in the squad but the most reliable and honest player I have ever worked with.
CTFC: Was there players that you wanted to bring in but couldn’t for whatever reason?
GH: Nathan Moran from Sutton Coldfield Town!
CTFC: While at C.T.F.C what needed to change for the club to progress?
GH: The Club needed change at the very top, they finally got their wish!
CTFC: Would you have done anything different if you could turn back time?
GH: I would have stayed longer to put my stamp on the club.
CTFC: Why did you leave?
GH: I left with the promise of a big future, big budget and big support at Castle Vale K.H.
CTFC: Any regrets?
GH: Yes and No! Yes because I think we left too early. No because I had 10 fantastic years at Castle Vale achieving many highs and making so many great friends of which many are for life.
CTFC: What do you think of Coleshill Town now 11 years on?
GH: The club has progressed enormously over the last 11 years.
CTFC: Where do you think Coleshill could be in another 10 years?
GH: With the right backing, they could go on to a much higher level.
CTFC: If you had one wish in football, what would it be?
GH: To have had a longer injury free playing career.
CTFC: If you could have anyone (dead or alive) round for dinner, who would it be?
GH: Without a doubt David Bowie.
CTFC: Is there anything else you would like to say to our readers?
GH: If you’re reading this article in the programme then you are a real football supporter because you follow your local non league club. I would like to thank you on behalf of all the hard working people behind the scenes at every non league club for your continued support. Thank you, keep coming, we all need you!
CTFC: Thank you very much Gary Higgins.
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