David Jeffrey: I left Blues, I was not pushed, says former Linfield boss

David Jeffrey with the Irish Cup in 2012 - one of 31 trophies he won as Linfield manager
David Jeffrey with the Irish Cup in 2012 - one of 31 trophies he won as Linfield manager

David Jeffrey denies he "went before he was pushed" when he brought his 17-year reign as Linfield boss to an end in 2014.

Jeffrey, who is now manager at Ballymena United, won 31 trophies at Windsor Park before stepping down.

His departure came after an Irish Cup exit and when a video, showing him singing a song about a Glentoran player, was posted on social media.

Jeffrey said it was "absolutely not" the case he left before being fired.

The 57-year-old apologised to Glens fans after he was heard singing "thank you very much for Jimmy Callacher" and "thank you Glentoran" at a private function in December.

Callacher was set to leave Glentoran at the time, after turning down a new contract, and he signed for Linfield a month later.

David Jeffrey celebrating was a familiar sight during his long reign as Blues boss
David Jeffrey celebrating was a familiar sight during his long reign as Blues boss

It was followed in February by a 2-1 home defeat by Ballymena United in the sixth round of the Irish Cup.

"The video was so innocent, so harmless, but there were those at Linfield who took a different view," Jeffrey told the Irish League Behaviour podcast.

"I went through a process which wasn't very pleasant - a disciplinary procedure and at the end of the process I was facing gross misconduct for singing on a video.

"If you park that - after the defeat by Ballymena I went to a board meeting that night and some on the board berated me and asked if I understood what it was like for a Linfield fan to be out of the Irish Cup.

"At that stage we had won six doubles in seven years and I grew up supporting Linfield. So I said back 'do you have any idea what it is like for me, I'm bitterly disappointed'."

Decision time

Jeffrey discussed his future with family and friends before announcing on 15 February 2014 that he would leave Linfield at the end of season.

"At that stage I needed to take stock, I wasn't enjoying my time then," he said.

"We had a family meeting, I prayed long and hard and I had long conversations with my best mate Gary Eccles.

"At that stage we were in a very good position in the league but I said this is my last year - enough is now enough.

"I met with the chairman and other officers of the club and told them my thoughts and that I would like the disciplinary matter to be dropped. They agreed to that and that was fine.

"There is a time to go but it was a sad time."

This week's Irish League Behaviour also includes Scott Young reflecting on his time as Glentoran manager and there's a look ahead to the Boxing Day matches.

Click here to listen to the special Christmas edition.

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