Silkmen Legends: Eric Campbell

In the latest in our series of articles looking at Silkmen Legends, we are privileged to feature the one and only Eric Campbell.

Eric was more than just the club’s physiotherapist – he exemplified everything which is great about our beloved club.

Despite his stature which elicited the loving nickname of “Little Eric”, he was a larger than life character who was an integral part of the club for over twenty years.

Eric came to the Moss Rose in 1985, shortly after Peter Wragg had been installed as Manager.

Eric Campbell KW

The much loved Eric Campbell (Pic courtesy of Keith Wilson).

The Silkmen were in the Northern Premier League when Eric joined the club and as young boy in those days, I still have vivid memories of some of his “conversations” with Wraggy – which usually centred on a particular player’s fitness to carry on after taking a knock!

A former Account Manager with the Thompson Newspaper Group based in Manchester, Eric would join The Silkmen on a full time basis on his retirement and was renowned for deliberately giving wrong decisions in training just for the banter.

As John Askey told the Macclesfield Express –

He used to referee the matches in training sometimes and deliberately make dodgy decisions to wind the players up.

Once he wound Richie Barker up so much he lost it and was effing and jeffing at Eric.

But the next day Richie brought him in a bottle of whiskey to apologise.”

John Askey. Speaking to the Macclesfield Express in 2006.

Eric saw it all in his time at the Moss Rose – two FA Trophy Finals, three promotions and a fair few County Cup triumphs thrown in for good measure

Yet he remained a very humble and friendly man, whose undoubted gift for making people laugh will never be surpassed.

Eric Campbell SA

Eric attends to Marc Coates in his normal cheery style during the 1996 FA Trophy Final (Pic courtesy of Silkmen Archives).

John recalls another classic Eric anecdote –

I’d been made Manager but around the January time we were struggling in the League and Eric came up to me and said I’ve got you down for an OBE John.

I said “That’s very kind of you but what do you mean?”

He replied “Out By Easter!”

John Askey. Speaking to the Macclesfield Express in 2006

Twelve years have passed since Eric passed, yet he will forever remain in the hearts of everyone privileged enough to have met him.

God bless you Eric – a true Silkmen Legend.


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