Terry McPhillips pays tribute to Billy Ayre on 17th anniversary of former Blackpool manager's death

Billy Ayre
Billy Ayre
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Terry McPhillips has paid tribute to former Blackpool manager Billy Ayre, who passed away on this week 17 years ago.

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McPhillips played under Ayre at Halifax Town, where he was signed from Liverpool in 1987.

He went on to enjoy his most prolific season at The Shay under Ayre's management.

“Billy was a great man," McPhillips said.

“He scouted me for Halifax all those years ago when I was a Liverpool apprentice at the time.

“I had my best season for him and scored 25 goals, but I’ve got to put all that down to Billy for giving me the chance.

“What a man, what a legend here and I said to the fans here on Saturday: all the players who played for him would run through brick walls for him.

“You’d be damned if you nutmegged him in training though. You’d have to run fast because if he caught you he’d have your guts for garters. But what a great man.”

Ayre, who managed Blackpool from 1990 to 1994, guiding the club to Division Four play-off triumph in 1991/92, died in 2002 after a battle with cancer.