Sad news as former boss Ashurst passes away

Former Wednesday boss Len Ashurst has passed away, aged 82.

Len, third right in the photo, joined Wednesday during the 1975-76 season with the team struggling in the old division three but, after last-game survival against Southend, began to turn around our fortunes, the side finishing eighth in the following campaign.

He also brought in players such as Jeff Johnson, Tommy Tynan, Paul Bradshaw, Ian Porterfield and Dennis Leman who all played a big part in the revival, along with giving promising youngsters such as Chris Turner and Rodger Wylde the opportunity to develop with the first team.

However, a poor start to the 1977-78 season with no wins in the first 10 league games and the team at the foot of the table, saw Len replaced by Jack Charlton.

He never really got the praise he deserved for laying those foundations, paving the way for more successful days under ‘Big Jack’ and with several of Ashurst’s side forming an important part of Charlton’s squad.

As manager, he also brought in John Harris as chief scout, the latter going on to work with both Charlton and Howard Wilkinson, and he appointed Tony Toms as fitness coach, Toms, pictured far right, passing away just a few days ago.

Len went on to manage at Newport, Cardiff, Sunderland and Weymouth after leaving S6 and had coaching spells in Qatar, Kuwait and Malaysia.

The thoughts and sympathies of the London Owls are with Len’s family at this sad time.

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