15/10/2010 : Yeovil Town Blog : A Tribute To Colin Lippiatt : 1942-2010
15 October 2010 : A Tribute To Colin Lippiatt : 1942-2010
Colin Lippiatt
Colin Lippiatt
© Martin Baker
We're sad to report that former Yeovil Town manager Colin Lippiatt has died this afternoon, aged 68. Colin died this afternoon at around 1.15p.m. after a long illness relating to pancreatic cancer, and we send our sincere condolences to his wife Frances and his family.

Colin was at Huish Park from November 1997 until September 1999, firstly as Assistant Manager, and then from February 1998 as Head Coach at the club. He was born in Hayes on January 1st 1942 and played at centre-half for Hayes and Wokingham in the Isthmian League, as well as Ruislip Manor and Wokingham Town. His first job in coaching was in 1978 at Windsor and Eton. Whilst there, he was part of the team that picked up two Athenian League championships and reached the quarter finals of the FA Vase.

In 1981, Colin moved to Woking - his first brush with a club where he would celebrate many successes, but on this occasion moved quickly on, heading to Farnborough just a year later. Colin also enjoyed assistant manager positions with Leatherhead and Maidenhead United during this time. 1987 saw his return to Woking, who were at that time an Isthmian League club, and during his 10 years there Woking won promotion to the Conference, took the Conference runners-up slot twice, and won the FA Trophy three times. Officially, did all of this as Geoff Chapple's assistant, but this was very much a partnership of two close friends.

When manager Geoff Chapple left Woking at the end of the 1996/97 season to join Kingstonian, Colin walked with him, but barely months later stunned those who thought Geoff and Colin were inseparable by heading west to Yeovil in November 1997, a move instigated by then manager Graham Roberts.

When Roberts departed Huish Park in February 1998, Colin took over initially in a caretaker capacity, but was subsequently appointed Head Coach in March 1998. With so many of Roberts' players at the club on a non-contract basis, he initially had to deal with a crisis, as numerous players walked with the manager, but he delved into his old club's ranks and brought in Steve Thompson as a midfielder and his new fitness coach, plus Woking captain Kevan Brown. Together they helped steady the ship.

During his first full season in charge of first-team football affairs, in 1998-99, Colin was awarded the Conference Manager Of The Month Trophy twice and guided Yeovil to the 3rd Round of the FA Cup, knocking out 2nd Division Northampton Town on the way and taking Third Division (now League Two) leaders Cardiff City to a well-deserved replay. The Glovers reached the 5th Round of the FA Trophy, went on a 14 game unbeaten run, didn't lose an away game until the end of February and went on to finish 5th in the Conference, one of the club's most successful seasons for many years, and at that time the club's highest finish since the Conference was formed.

The main thing that was holding the club back though, wasn't seen as being the club's management - it was the rise of big spending clubs such as Rushden and Diamonds, and the strength of the teams that were being relegated from the Football League, who stayed full time, and boosted their playing budgets by spending their parachute payments. The club was preparing itself for the path towards full-time football and wanted a full time manager to take that task on. Colin had a good daytime job as a Sales Manager in the Home Counties and in September 1999 decided to fall on his own sword, resigning and heading back to Kingstonian to act as Chapple's assistant again.

Colin made his third visit to Woking in March 2000, taking over the club and saving them from relegation, with an incredible finish to that season taking them from a relegation spot to 14th come the final day. Then during the 2001-02 season, with the Cards still struggling, he was reunited yet again with Chapple, becoming his assistant as the great partnership was restored. Colin eventually left Kingfield in January 2002, but was to return there as a Director of Football in the summer of 2007 before finally retiring from football in September 2008.

In between that, he was manager of Chesham United between 2002 and 2003 and St Albans City from 2004 to 2007. Arriving at St Albans midway through the 2004-05 season, he transformed a team that was heading for relegation from the Conference South division that year, into one that grabbed promotion, via the Conference South play-offs just one season later, taking St Albans up to Conference National level for the first time in the club's history. Unfortunately their stay lasted just one season, prompting Colin to take up the Directors role at Kingfield, which was to be his last major role in football.

Colin's two year stay at Huish Park was a highly successful and enjoyable one. Whilst his predecessor Graham Roberts was highly successful, his brash style was prone to controversy and people had a love/hate relationship with him. In that respect, Colin was entirely the opposite - open, friendly and his cheerful positive nature immediately endeared him to Yeovil Town supporters. He also brought a high level of team spirit amongst the playing squad, and brought back the club's tradition of being giantkillers in the FA Cup - always a good way to make yourself popular amongst Glovers fans.

Through this website, we were lucky enough to get to know Colin on a personal level. Of the managers that Yeovil Town have had over the years, he was most approachable manager we can recall over the past 11-12 years this site has been running. Not only was he a good manager and a superb coach, he was an all-round nice guy who it was always a pleasure to talk to about the game. He was someone who didn't just care about results; he cared about people, and during his time at the club he brought a real 'feel good' vibe around the place. When we bumped into him in his post-Yeovil days, mainly at Kingstonian or Woking, we were not just greeting an ex-Yeovil manager, we were greeting an old friend. He will certainly be missed by us all.

P.S. We're still in touch with the Lippiatt family, and can assure you that any messages added to this article or memories you have of Colin will be read, so please add your own personal tributes and messages as you see fit.

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Comments On This Article
Taff said ...

Wonderful article and a fitting tribute to a lovely man. He - and his trainers! - will be missed. RIP Colin.
15/10/2010 22:21:24

Mark Doyle (Woking FC) said ...

Nice tribute Ciderspace, Colin will be dearly missed at Kingfield, he once said this which I think is quite fitting:

"Every non-league club dreams of a great FA Cup run, I was lucky enough to experience some great times with both Woking and Yeovil. The whole journey is so magical, the TV cameras, the interviews, the attention. You know it won't last but it's a brilliant ride".

Colin Lippiatt 1942 - 2010.

Thanks for the ride Big Col - doylie.
16/10/2010 01:02:41

Will said ...

Great article. RIP Col.

Just one thing - 5th place finish was our second best Conference finish to that point. We came 4th in 92/93.
18/10/2010 17:10:20

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