I would imagine that it’s pretty rare for a blogger to put out a piece a couple of days before a big relegation six pointer in praise of the opposition manager but Chris Hargreaves is worthy of that sort of exception. Things could have been so different had we jumped a little faster into the managerial appointment process and Hargreaves could well have been leading the Cobblers, and not Torquay, into Saturday’s game.
As it is, we can only look with some envy as the Gulls look to continue their renaissance under a man who will forever be a legend at Northampton Town. Hargreaves the player gets plaudits from every single fan of a club he’s played for and that’s a sign of what he was like on the pitch. He was a midfielder that embodied a spirit and will to win that made it seem like he was a lifelong fan of the team he was turning out for. It’s a sad irony that he would be exactly the sort of player that the Cobblers need in our current predicament.
Of course, after leaving Town, Hargreaves still had some unfinished business in the game and went on to earn legendary status at Oxford United and Torquay United, winning promotion from the Conference with both clubs before calling it a day in 2010. He’s been pretty busy since hanging up his boots as well with a successful sports shop opening in 2011 and the completion of “Where’s Your Caravan?” a hugely popular book with lower league football fans. Recently he’s joined up with Eddie Howe at AFC Bournemouth, gaining plenty of experience en route to Plainmoor.
Hargreaves comes across as a genuinely good guy as well and you can’t begrudge him a position near to his family home and business. I honestly hope that he goes on to make a fantastic living for himself as a football manager as well – his blood, sweat and tears playing for the Cobblers proved that you don’t always have to blessed with silky skills to be considered a legend and you’d struggle to find any Town fan that wouldn’t wish him well.
I’m left like many others in just wishing it was at Sixfields that he decided to kick off that managerial career. Maybe one day…