Alan MULLERY MBE (1941-)

Alan Mullery This Is Your Life

programme details...

  • Edition No: 434
  • Subject No: 431
  • Broadcast live: Wed 24 Mar 1976
  • Broadcast time: 7.00-7.30pm
  • Venue: Euston Road Studios
  • Series: 16
  • Edition: 20
  • Code name: Broadway

on the guest list...

  • Alec Stock
  • members of Fulham FC team
  • members of All Saints Eleven team
  • Mrs Lowry
  • June - wife
  • Rev Raymond Mason
  • Rosemary Mason
  • Maude - mother
  • Charles - father
  • Kathy - sister
  • Ted - brother
  • George Connors - in audience
  • John Murray
  • Colleen Murray - cousin
  • George Cohen
  • Jimmy Hill
  • Jim Langley
  • Eddie Lowe
  • Tony Barton
  • Tosh Chamberlain
  • Bobby Robson
  • Roy Bentley
  • Bill Nicholson
  • Bobby Moore
  • Samantha - daughter
  • Neal - son
  • Filmed tributes:
  • Bobby Charlton
  • Jimmy Tarbuck
  • David Hamilton
  • Jimmy Greaves
  • Frank McLintock
  • Don Revie
  • Martin Chivers
  • Steve Perryman
  • Jackie Charlton
  • Nobby Stiles
  • Gordon Banks
  • Alf Ramsey
  • Dave Mackay
  • Honor Blackman
  • Pele

production team...

  • names above in bold indicate subjects of This Is Your Life
related pages...
Alan Mullery This Is Your Life Alan Mullery This Is Your Life Alan Mullery This Is Your Life Alan Mullery This Is Your Life Alan Mullery This Is Your Life Alan Mullery This Is Your Life Alan Mullery This Is Your Life Alan Mullery This Is Your Life Alan Mullery This Is Your Life Alan Mullery This Is Your Life Alan Mullery This Is Your Life Alan Mullery This Is Your Life

Screenshots of Alan Mullery This Is Your Life

Alan Mullery's autobiography

Alan Mullery recalls his experience of This Is Your Life in his autobiography...

Life is full of surprises; it is the unexpected that you just can't plan for and I have had my share of shocks. The MBE, the sack, reading in the newspaper about my selection for Fulham and England and another jolt came my way in the most bizarre circumstances.

It began one warm summer night when a neighbour and I were out walking our dogs. It was a habit that we had got into every evening and on this particular occasion he obviously had something on his mind. 'Can I speak to you personally?' he asked and went on to reveal that he thought his wife was having an affair. He explained that when he answered the phone it went dead but a few minutes later his wife picked up the receiver and had a long conversation. He asked what I advised him to do.

It is not the kind of question you expect with the dogs sniffing flower beds and the time approaching midnight, but I thought he should hire a private detective and he seemed to think it was a good idea.

A few days later I drove past his house on my way to Fulham's training ground at Tolworth in Surrey and noticed a car following me about thirty yards behind. Every corner I turned the blue Ford Cortina followed and when I had finished training it followed me home.

The next day was the same only this time I went home a different way, put my foot down, shot into our drive, jumped out of my car and hid behind the garden fence. I felt sure that I had shaken him off but there he was, parked on the other side of the road.

That night I confronted my neighbour. 'I've got a bone to pick with you,' I said. 'I'm not having an affair with your wife, tell that private detective to get off my tail.' But my anger disappeared when he explained that he hadn't done anything about his problem yet and that he now wasn't convinced his wife was seeing another man.

That only added to my confusion. Who was this man who followed me everywhere? When I went to the London Sporting Club for dinner he was there, when I had a round of golf he was in the clubhouse; never approachable but always there. I thought of going to the police but then I suddenly believed I had got to the bottom of the mystery when Vic Railton, former Evening News football correspondent and one of the great characters of Fleet Street, rang me and asked if I had heard anything about Everton.

'What are you talking about?' I said to Vic and he explained that he had heard on the soccer grapevine that Everton were interested in me as their new manager. But be careful, he warned, 'Everton always put a private detective on your trail if they are keen on someone. If you see someone following you, don't worry, it will be Everton.'

It all fell into shape. The man in the car was working for Everton and I was so relieved I think that I waved to him when I went training the next morning. 'I could get the Everton job because of this fella,' I thought to myself and suddenly I was happy that he was on my tail.

Then some strange things started to happen at home. I returned once and there were a couple of cigarette stubs in an ashtray. I asked June who had been smoking and she appeared confused. 'Oh, er, oh yes that's right, it was Maureen, she popped over for a cup of coffee.'

June seemed on edge another time I returned unexpectedly in the middle of the morning to collect some photographs I had forgotten. She seemed to want to get me back out of the house as quickly as possible. Then one evening she announced that she was going to a Tupperware party held by Ken Craggs' wife, Angela, and asked me to bath the kids, make my supper and not to wait up for her.

It got to about 11.15 and I decided to have an early night. I did the usual round of making sure doors were locked and noticed that one window in the downstairs loo was open. I couldn't find the key and so I rang June at Ken's to ask her where she put it. The phone was engaged, as it was ten minutes later. I tried for 45 minutes to get through before giving up and going to bed cross and confused.

June eventually returned at one o'clock in the morning and by this time I was furious. 'Where have you been?' I demanded and explained that I had been ringing all night. 'Oh, stop moaning' she replied and said that Angela had been talking on the phone. 'What, for an hour?' and I went to sleep convinced something was wrong in my life somewhere.

After training the following day another incident added to the strange happenings. Alec Stock stopped me before I drove away and asked me where I was going. He had never done that before and when I told him that I was due to do a radio quiz programme with actress Sheila Hancock, he didn't seem happy.

'We have got some kids at Craven Cottage this afternoon and I want you to be there to join in a match against them,' he said. I explained that if we got through the first round of the radio quiz that would be difficult and his answer was stunning. 'If you are not back by three o'clock I will fine you two weeks' wages.' 'That's a bit strong Alec,' I said, but he had turned his back on me and walked away.

I had no alternative but to return and play in the game. I was just about to go and get changed when a whistle blew, a certain amount of commotion broke out and a big man strode across Craven Cottage towards me.

It was Eamonn Andrews, plus his big red book, and before I realised what was happening he said to me: 'Alan Mullery, MBE, professional footballer... this is your life.'

I had always thought that This Is Your Life was a set-up job. I had watched it many times and never believed that the subject was really taken by surprise. All I can say is that I didn't have a clue and I was more than surprised, I was speechless, staggered and in a complete daze when I was whisked out of the ground and into a waiting Volvo.

I sat in the back in my football gear and Eamonn got in the front passenger's seat and refused to talk to me all the way to the television studios at Euston. I kept asking him why, how, what's happening, but he just said: 'I can't say anything.'

It was almost as if I was being kidnapped. When the car stopped, they pushed me through a side door and into a room. There was my best suit, my shoes highly polished, tie, a set of clean underclothes, razor, aftershave. 'June,' I thought, 'She has been behind all this.'

Then there was a knock on the door and in walked a face that looked familiar. It was the man who had been following me for the last four weeks in the blue Cortina. 'What the hell are you doing here?' I asked, and he explained that he was the This Is Your Life tail.

He was nothing to do with Everton, nothing to do with my neighbour, but ITV's researcher. They follow you around to check your lifestyle and if they find something they don't like they drop you as quickly as they thought of you. 'You have led me a merry dance,' he said. 'I thought I lost you a couple of times.'

Then everything fitted into place. The cigarette stubs in the ashtray had been his, June's mood the day I returned unexpectedly had been edgy because he was in the house (she had to whisk him out of the back door when she heard me returning and he hid in the back garden while I looked for the photographs).

June later explained that he was always popping in to check my life and collect pictures and bits of information. 'If you had seen him that day you would have gone beserk and ruined the whole thing,' she said.

How she and the rest of the family kept it secret I will never know. The previous evening June hadn't really gone to Ken and Angela's. She had raced out and with my entire family and closest friends had gone to the television studios for a dress rehearsal. They had to take the phone off the hook in case I rang! So while I ranted and raved my entire family were plotting the ultimate secret.

All this went through my mind as I showered and changed. As soon as I was ready the This Is Your Life theme tune began to play, Eamonn and I stepped through another door and there I stood, in front of hundreds of people with my life read out in front of me.

The amount of research they had done was fantastic. All my family were there, including my father who was like a dog with two tails. Everyone had known for weeks, and how they kept it from me I shall never know. Alec Stock, hence his threat to fine me, knew, the Fulham team, John Murray, and they even brought a friend over from America who we had met on holiday.

It was a superb experience. Half an hour of absolute pleasure, not only for me but for people like my parents who could never have dreamt of appearing on television. They were terribly proud and I was delighted for them.

My overriding feeling was that I was so lucky. Fortunate to have been a professional footballer and thankful for the memories.

Alan Mullery This Is Your Life
Alan Mullery's autobiography

Alan Mullery recalls his experience of This Is Your Life in his updated autobiography...

In the March of that final season, I had a brief break from my problems at the club. A TV crew came to the ground one afternoon to film a fun game between Fulham and a bunch of kids from All Saints School. I was told it was all for a future children's television programme.

I was enjoying the game and didn't realise I was being set up until I felt someone tapping on my shoulder, as I was about to take a throw-in. I turned round and there was Eamonn Andrews with his famous red book.

'Alan Mullery... This Is Your Life'

I was amazed. How June and my family managed to keep it all from me, I'll never know. But it turned into a really enjoyable night of laughter and nostalgia. I received tributes from many great players including Pele, Bobby Moore, Bobby Charlton, George Cohen, Tosh Chamberlain, Roy Bentley, Bill Nicholson, Dave Mackay, Jimmy Greaves, Martin Chivers, Gordon Banks, Nobby Stiles and Sir Alf Ramsey.

My mates Jimmy Tarbuck and England wicketkeeper John Murray were there too. But glamorous Avengers star Honor Blackman got the biggest laugh of the night when she told Eamonn, 'The best thing about supporting Fulham is seeing Alan Mullery's legs!'

It was a lovely evening for June and me. Neal and Samantha enjoyed being on TV too. My mum and dad were there, along with my brother Ted and sister Kathy. My father was seriously ill with lung cancer at the time and died later that summer. I'm just so glad he was well enough to share that very special night with us all.

An extract from Sky Sports website 22 April 2020

Fulham: Martin Tyler shares his favourite memories of Craven Cottage

At a time when football grounds have closed their doors, we've asked Martin Tyler to share some of his favourite facts and memories of the homes of clubs around the world.

This week, Sky Sports' Voice of Football is looking at the top five clubs in the Sky Bet Championship and takes us on a virtual visit to Fulham's Craven Cottage.

My memories of the ground

One unforgettable occasion was being asked to be part of a set-up at Craven Cottage for the very popular This Is Your Life programme. It was around the time Fulham reached the FA Cup Final in 1975.

The Fulham first team were playing a local school in an event specially arranged for this "trap". I was ostensibly the ITV reporter with a camera crew covering the game seemingly at face value.

The host of the biographical programme, Eamonn Andrews, tucked in behind us with his famous red book as I led the camera crew out on to the pitch to get some close ups during what was of course a very low-key football match. All the players were in on the secret except the Fulham number four.

Eamonn was hidden behind the camera until the last moment when he jumped out and declared: "Alan Mullery, This Is Your Life!"

Series 16 subjects

Ronnie Dukes | Ray Milland | Mike Hailwood | Frank Windsor | Magnus Pyke | Bill Tidy | Gladys Mills | Andy Stewart
Windsor Davies | Ray Reardon | Patrick Mower | Alberto Remedios | Susan Masham | Betty Driver | Henry Davies
Gwen Berryman | Vince Hill | Arnold Ridley | Beryl Reid | Alan Mullery | Percy Thrower | Gareth Edwards
June Whitfield | Terry Fincher | Richard Dunn | Norman Croucher