Blue Square Bet
Published 26th May 2012
.....at Edgeley Park after their legendary manager Danny Bergara.
The little Uruguayan, who joined the club as manager towards the end of the 1988/89 season, was seen as many to be a gamble by then Chairman Brendan Elwood.
Bergara had little managerial experience, having had only two games as caretaker manager of Sheffield United and ten months in charge at Rochdale before he took up the reins at Edgeley Park.
His six years at Edgeley Park were seen by many as the best in the clubs history. Having taken the Hatters to the play-offs for the first time in their history in his first full season, Bergara went one better in his second as County were promoted for the first time in almost 30 years, finishing runners-up on the last day of the 1990/91 season.
Having arrived in Division Three for the 1991/92 season, Bergara’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 as his team played Stoke City in the Autoglass Trophy Final. Amazingly a little over a week later he proudly led his side out at the same venue again, in the ‘play-off’ final against Peterborough United.
He was to lead his team out twice more at the World's most famous stadium over the next two seasons, once in each of the Autoglass Trophy and ‘play-off’ Finals. And although 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.
During his time at Edgeley Park, Bergara had shown an uncanny knack of unearthing a player for little or no money and transforming them into outstanding players. 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 of whom; gave years of great service to the club and in many cases moved on for much larger ‘fees’ than they had arrived for.
County director Spencer Fearn, himself a Bergara protégé whilst a young player at Sheffield United, said: "having played under the great man, I know first-hand how inspirational he was and it is a natural thing for the club to do to honour him in this way"
Bergara's wife Jan said: "It never ceases to amaze me how highly the club and supporters hold Danny in their esteem. My family and I are absolutely thrilled at the prospect of the main stand at Edgeley Park being known as the 'Danny Bergara Stand' and I would like to pass on our thanks to all involved in making this happen."