SUPPORTERS GROUPS MOVE TO HONOUR LEGENDARY MANAGER
Occasionally you come across a person who is `larger than life` and Danny Bergara was definitely one of those people. ‘The Man from Uruguay’, as he has become affectionately known, was a man whose warmth and talent transformed Stockport County`s performances on the field of play beyond recognition in the 1990s.
In the two decades prior to his arrival at Edgeley Park in 1989, The Hatters had never won more games than they had lost, never scored more goals than they conceded, and never finished above 11th position in the basement division. The following six seasons would see the club’s supporters enjoy a constant feast of ‘play-offs’, promotions and Wembley Finals.
In his first full season Danny led his team to their first ever ‘play-off’ experience, which ultimately ended in disappointment, but placed in true context of the club’s achievements over the previous twenty years, it was to prove to be the beginning of a massive turnaround masterminded by the Uruguayan.
The 1990/91 season saw Danny Bergara’s Stockport County promoted as runners up in the Fourth Division, his team being made up of a mixture of free transfers and bargain buys.
Having arrived in Division Three for the 1991/92 season, Danny’s team proved to be inspirational, starting as they meant to continue, with an opening day five-goal thrashing of Swansea City. The club finished the campaign in fifth place and gained a place in the end of season ‘play-offs’.
At the end of that season Bergara became the first County boss in history to lead a team out at Wembley Stadium when the team faced Stoke City in the Autoglass Final, in doing so he became the first manager born outside the UK, to lead an English club side out at The National Stadium.
Amazingly the following weekend saw him proudly lead his side out at the same venue again, in the Play-off Final against Peterborough United. Bergara was to lead his team out twice more at the World’s most famous stadium over the next two seasons, once each in the Autoglass Trophy and play-off finals.
Despite the fact that the team were to suffer defeat in all four of their visits to the capital, the little Uruguayan had transformed Stockport County from a ‘music hall’ joke into a team that any football supporter could be proud of. Danny had made a massive impact on County supporters and changed the direction of the Club utilising his personal brand of magic!
During his time at Edgeley Park he showed an uncanny knack of unearthing a player for little or no money and transforming them into outstanding performers. He brought in the likes of Chris Beaumont, David Frain, Neil Edwards, Jim Gannon, Mike Flynn, Andy Preece, Kevin Francis, Lee Todd, Alun Armstrong, Tony Dinning, Sean Connolly, Peter Ward, Paul R Williams and Paul A Williams; all gave years of great service to the club and in many cases moved on for much larger ‘fees’ than they had arrived for.
It was all this and more that persuaded the Stockport County Supporters Cooperative to join forces with Help the Hatters and work out a way to honour Danny`s name, and we felt a bronze statue sited outside Edgeley Park would be the appropriate tribute to a great man, and Stockport County were pleased to endorse this venture!
Consequently we have set up a fund to help us raise £50,000 to enable a statue to be commissioned, along with a ring fenced bank account, linked to our Just Giving account, and both the Supporters Cooperative and Help the Hatters have agreed to donate £2,000 each to start the statue fund on its way.
We hope you will join us in this venture to honour one of Stockport County`s finest!
Stockport County Supporters Cooperative and Help the Hatters