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Terry Curran On Sheffield Wednesday And Playing Under Brian Clough, Jack Charlton & Howard Kendall

Terry Curran On Sheffield Wednesday And Playing Under Brian Clough, Jack Charlton & Howard Kendall

An interview with Terry Curran, by Callum McFadden for WFi.

You started your professional career at Doncaster Rovers in 1973. What was it like to become a pro at the club?

“Doncaster was my first start within the professional ranks and the club means a lot to me because if it was not for Doncaster then I would not have achieved what I wanted to as a player. They gave me the chance I needed.

“Thankfully, I was able to take my opportunity as a young player and play well when I broke into the team that led to teams scouting me and taking an interest in signing me.”

You swapped Doncaster for Brian Clough’s Nottingham Forest in 1975. Was that an easy decision to make at the time?

“Absolutely. Brian Clough was one of a kind and when a manager like him wants to buy you as a young player then you listen.

”He called me the best young player he had worked with at the time, which made me proud and determined to succeed for him and for Forest.

“Unfortunately, I got an ACL injury at a time when I was in strong form and ruled me out for six months.

“The team then went on to achieve great things but it was a shame that I could not be a full part of it.

”Despite that, I have great memories of playing for who I believe to be the most iconic manager in the game.”

You signed for Southampton in 1978 under Lawrie McMenemy and lost in the League Cup final to Forest in your only season at the club. How much of a disappointment was that?

“The final was a disappointment in terms of the end result that saw Forest lift the trophy but it was an honour to grace Wembley in a cup final.

“That is the dream for any young player and I was no different.

”In terms of Lawrie, he was a good manager. He spoke well and he did terrific for Southampton but I did not have my best time under him.

”He was a manager that I felt disappointed in, to be honest, because he managed through fear and was not my cup of tea.”

After a single season at Southampton, you went on to establish yourself as a key player at Sheffield Wednesday. You must have great memories from your time at Hillsborough under Jack Charlton.

“Sheffield Wednesday is the team I support so it was the highlight of my career to play for the club. Make no mistake about that.

”I loved playing under Jack. He was a great person. He led us to promotion during his time in charge. I have to say that beating Sheffield United 4-0 under Jack was another real highlight for me as a fan of the club.

“That game is still talked about to this day and is named the Boxing Day massacre. The attendance that day was 49,309 which was a record attendance in the third tier of English football at that time.

”The derby matches were great to play in because they were always ferocious so to win in such convincing fashion and be on the scoresheet was an amazing moment for me.

“I will never forget playing in that game. One of the best days I had in football.”

Everton signed you under Howard Kendall during the height of their success in the 1980s. How frustrating was it to suffer another serious injury after you made that move?

“Deeply frustrating as you can imagine. When I signed for Everton, the club were second bottom of the league.

“They could not win a game. I was out for six months and I was rushed back for the semi-final of the FA Cup before breaking down again.

“I got injured then the team go on to win things. Typical me. You could not write luck like that.

“Trevor Steven who came in for me when I was out injured went on to have a great career and took his chance in the team.

”It was annoying to miss out but I was delighted for my teammates and for the club when we had success. That is what football is all about.

”Working with Howard Kendall was a privilege just as it was when I worked with Clough. Both were similar in the sense that they did not worry about the opposition.

”They put their best players in their correct position and kept things simple.

”I put Howard as the second-best manager I worked with after Brian Clough. Just second as well, because he was so impressive.

”Both of them treated me well and kept in contact with me during my injuries. I have a lot to thank them for.

“In the end, I only left Everton because other clubs wanted to sign me.”

Last but not least, Terry, you played in Swedish and Greek football during your career. Was going abroad always a part of your career plan?

”I would not say that it was part of a career plan as such.

“Going to Sweden was a good experience. It was a loan move and it helped me in my development as a player.

”Moving to Greece, on the other hand, ended my career. I did not get paid out there which was a horrible experience.

”No matter who I played with or which country I played in, I always gave my best for every club that I played for.

”I look back on my career with no regrets. I played for the club that I supported as a boy, in Sheffield Wednesday, and I was signed by two of the most iconic managers in the history of the game. It is not a bad career that, is it?”