Dave Serella Interview.

Dave Serella was born in Kings Lynn on September 24th, 1952. He arrived at the City Ground thanks to a few trials. There was a somewhat unusual delay when on Saturday 24th August ,

1968, on arriving at the City Ground he arrived to chaos when the main stand was on fire during a game with Leeds United. Dave recalled, "In all the commotion going on and fire engines all over the place I had to return home. Then a couple of weeks later a letter arrived stating there was an apprenticeship waiting for me at the club. I stayed in digs right next to the ground so there was never any excuse for being late!"

After his two year apprenticeship he was taken on as a pro in August, 1970 and in his time at Nottingham Forest made 76 appearances. Team mates in his time there included the likes of Martin O'Neill, John Robertson and a trio who met up at Walsall a few years later, Doug Fraser, Miah Dennehy and Alan Buckley.

"All was going well then Brian Clough became manager. He didn't like me and I wasn't too keen on him. One day he sent a young apprentice to find me to get me to go to his office. I ignored the request and kept out the way. to avoid him. When he did find me he took me into his office and told me he wanted me out and had the release papers on his desk for me to sign. I told him I was going nowhere. I had a wife and young family to support and told him its not happening. For punishment he had me training morning and afternoons training with the kids but I showed him that it didn't bother me."

"My old Forest team mate Doug Fraser was in charge at Walsall and I was happy to sign for him. We had some right laughs driving in to work each day . Four of us still lived in the Nottingham area, ,Doug, Buck, Miah and myself so we would go in one car. Tony Macken later joined us in the car and we would even pick Mick Bates up who lived on the outskirts of Walsall. Poor Miah had to go in the boot!"

"We'd have so much fun and we would come and do our training have a few laughs and on match days have a drink or two . We didn't really care . We had some very good players and characters in my seven years at the club. The likes of Alun Evans and Mick Bates in midfield were excellent. Alan Buckley was a terrific goal scorer , if not the fastest in pace, he knew how to finish. Younger players like Don Penn, Alan Birch and Brian Caswell were very good as were keepers like Ron Green and Mick Kearns.."

"I'd not been at Walsall long when I had cartilage trouble and needed an operation and was out of action for some time. This coincided with the excellent FA Cup run of 1974-5 when we beat Manchester United and Newcastle United. However I did play in the FA Cup games against Leicester City and Arsenal in 1977-8."

Dave played in 42 games in the 1979-80 promotion winning season and was ever present in what was to be his final season of 1981-2 and many of us where a bit dismayed when he was allowed to leave at the end of that season. Here's why, "Ken Wheldon wanted to make cuts to the budget and being as Tony Macken and myself were the two highest wage earners we had to go. Alan Buckley asked me where I was going and I said I'd accepted an offer from Sam Ellis at Blackpool. He said you have to go because of wages and I said if I'd have been asked I would have taken a pay cut to stay. Buck seemed a bit surprised by this and asked if it was too late to get me to stay and I said it was as I'd given Sam my word. So that was the end of my stay at Walsall."

"I signed a two year deal with Blackpool but I developed a reoccurrence of knee trouble , that had caused me so much pain before. In that half season they had signed Colin Greenall so I knew my place was under threat. I left and joined Altrincham who were managed by John King who was hard and it was reflected in the training. I knew I couldn't continue playing so that was that. "

I stayed in the area and I became a milkman. I loved it, starting work at 2am and did that for the next 20 years to the end of my working life. Towards the end I'd be in discomfort at times getting in and out of my van but I enjoyed the job. I did bits of coaching locally with just kids . I kept in the game a little by doing scouting work for my old mate Martin O'Neill at some of his clubs like Celtic and Aston Villa and sometimes I'd scout abroad for him. So looking back I had a great working life both in football and on the milk.

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