SPIREITES RETRO: Jim McGuigan puts Charlie Bell through his paces in 1968
Working mostly with the squad he inherited, Scot Jim McGuigan turned a team of fourth division under-achievers into champions over the course of three seasons.
Three significant additions were made in the summer of 1969 and the title was won the following April, but success came about just as much through improving what he had.
Charlie Bell’s case was typical; Sheffield United didn’t quite know where best to play him when he joined Chesterfield in the summer of 1968 but McGuigan saw the centre-half in him and set about building that up.
Our photos show McGuigan putting Bell through training routines in the makeshift gym that existed in the gloom under the Saltergate wing stand.
When he emerged into the sunlight the club had a lynch-pin who was powerful, tenacious and mobile, and who had the vision to lead his defence to keep 21 clean sheets in the championship season.