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David Jeffrey exclusive: Mum, dad and my sons all backed return

By Steven Beacom

Published 09/03/2016

New colours: David Jeffrey has swapped royal blue for sky blue as he gets to grips with his new surroundings at the Ballymena
New colours: David Jeffrey has swapped royal blue for sky blue as he gets to grips with his new surroundings at the Ballymena
David Jeffrey 1982.
avid Jeffrey Linfield FC Player. 6/11/84. Pacemaker.
David Jeffrey 1987. Pacemaker.
David Jeffrey in 1989.
Jeffrey in '87.
Linfield manager David Jeffrey April 2007.
Linfield manager David Jeffrey and Crusaders manager Stephen Baxter ahead of JJB Sports Irish Cup Final at Windsor Park in May 2012.
Linfield manager David Jeffrey celebrates winning the JJB Sports Irish Cup after defeating Crusaders in the final at Windsor Park in 2012. Pressye.
Linfield manager David Jeffrey celebrates winning the JJB Sports Irish Cup after defeating Crusaders in the final at Windsor Park in 2012.
Linfield manager David Jeffrey celebrates winning the JJB Sports Irish Cup after defeating Crusaders in the final at Windsor Park in 2012. Presseye
Linfield manager David Jeffrey walks up the tunnel with the JJB Sports Irish Cup after defeating Crusaders in the final at Windsor Park in May 2012. PressEye.
Linfield manager David Jeffrey celebrates winning the JJB Sports Irish Cup after defeating Crusaders in the final at Windsor Park in 2012.
David Jeffrey at Seaview in 2012.
Jeffrey after a 4-0 win over Coagh United in 2012.
February 2012.
November 2011.
Linfield v Portadown 2011.
Linfield v Portadown. 2011. Pressye
October 2011. Pressye.
Linfield manager David Jeffrey reads the riot act.
Linfield manager David Jeffrey is congratulated by Portadown counterpart Ronnie McFall in 2010.
Lisburn Distillery v Linfield. 2011. Presseye.
Linfield's manager David Jeffrey celebrates victory over Glenavon during 2011 Carling Premiership game at Mourneview Park.
Linfield manager David Jeffrey during at the City Stadium in Borisov, Belarus ahead of the Champions League second qualifying round second leg game against FC BATE in 2011.
Pre-season friendly Linfield v Rangers at Windsor Park Belfast. 2011 Pressye.
Linfield Football Club Manager David Jeffrey 2011. Presseye
JJB Sports Irish Cup Final - Linfield v Crusaders in 2011. Presseye.
JJB Sports Irish Cup Final - Linfield v Crusaders, 2011. Presseye.
JJB Sports Irish Cup Final - Linfield v Crusaders, 2011. Presseye
John Barnes and David Jeffrey at the Linfield FC 125th Anniversary Dinner - City Hall Belfast 27th May 2011. Presseye.
JJB Sports Irish Cup Final at Windsor Park, 2008. Presseye.
Carnegie Premier League - Crusaders v Linfield, 2008. Presseye
Setanta Sports Cup, Richmond Park 2008. INPHO/Donall Farmer
Setanta Sports Cup, Windsor Park_Linfield v Drogheda United April 2007. Presseye
David Jeffrey, manager of the Irish League Select side, at the announcement of the Irish League squad to play the Conference select in 2006.
UEFA Champions League Q1 - Dinamo Zagreb vs Linfield. 2008.
UEFA Champions League Q1 - Dinamo Zagreb vs Linfield. 2008.
Linfield's David Jeffrey in the dressing room celebrates lifting the JJB Sports Irish Cup and complete a hat-trick of doubles after defeating Coleraine in 2008.
Linfield's coaches Brian McLaughlin and Alfie Wylie celebrate David Jeffrey's 31st trophy success as manager. Linfield beat Crusaders in the County Antrim Shield in 2014. Pacemaker.
Manager David Jeffrey with the manager of the year award and he also picked up Player of the year for his centre half William Murphy in 2007. Pacemaker.
David Jeffrey celebrates the achievement of a triple double in 2008. Pacemaker.
Linfield v Crusaders Irish Cup Final. 2011. Pacemaker.
Linfield's manager David Jeffrey is held high by the fans after clinching the title in 2006. Pacemaker
While his team are out celebrating the championship manager David Jeffrey takes time to reflect on his long season with a puff on his pipe in 2006. Pacemaker
Linfield's Glenn Ferguson and manager David Jeffrey crack the bubbly as they celebrate after clinching the title in 2006.
Jeffrey celebrates a win over Glenavon in 2007. Pacemaker
Linfield manager David Jeffrey relaxes in the boot room with the Irish Cup in 2006. Pacemaker
V for Victory - 2006. Pacemaker.
A Happy Chappie" Linfield manager strides to the changing room with three points in his pocket and a place booked in the CIS quarterfinals in 2006.
Jeffrey holds back the tears after his final match in charge of Linfield in 2014.
Jeffrey holds back the tears after his final match in charge of Linfield in 2014.
Jeffrey holds back the tears after his final match in charge of Linfield. Pacemaker.
Blues boss David Jeffrey waves a farewell to Linfield fans in 2014. Pacemaker.
Jeffrey in his final match in charge of Linfield holds the hands of his god children as he is given a guard of honour in 2014. Pacemaker
New colours: David Jeffrey has swapped royal blue for sky blue as he gets to grips with his new surroundings at the Ballymena

David Jeffrey's dad was lying in a hospital bed. Visiting hours were over and David was about to leave, but not before Ken had a few parting words.

"Go and get it sorted out," Mr Jeffrey told his boy.

David knew exactly what that meant. Offered the Ballymena United job last week, this was his dad's blessing to take it.

Throughout his 53 years when faced with every big life changing decision, Jeffrey has consulted his mum Isobel and dad Ken.

The advice has always been sound, though on this occasion things were different with his dad poorly having fallen down stairs while spending time with relatives in England.

Read more:

David Jeffrey exclusive: Ronnie McFall's welcome back call meant a lot

Ballymena United boss David Jeffrey: I thought my days in a dug-out were over  

With his father suffering haematoma, Jeffrey's talks with Ballymena were put on hold while he rushed to comfort both of his parents.

"When visiting relatives in England, my poor father fell down 12 stairs and had to go to hospital," said Jeffrey.

"He was most unwell but of course as always he was asking me how I was doing.

"I obviously had talked to both dad and my mum about the Ballymena job.

"From his hospital bed when I was leaving his last words to me were 'go and get it sorted out'. His words were very clear to me."

Jeffrey added: "All significant family members were consulted and the job was discussed with everyone. I got full backing from everybody which I really appreciated."

That included his sons Gareth and Thomas, who used to travel to Linfield games as children when their dad was in charge at Windsor Park. Now adults, their dad admitted that the conversation with them about making a return to Irish League management was a serious one.

"Gareth and Thomas were very supportive," said Jeffrey.

"Their questions were probably more exacting than anyone else's and gave me great clarity to think why wouldn't I return and work as Ballymena United's manager," he added.

When Jeffrey makes his comeback, football fans across the country will see a slimmer person prowling the touchline than before.

He revealed: "That is about listening to my doctor and having the time to get my health and wellbeing sorted out.

"Even now that I am going back into management I intend to keep that going."

Belfast Telegraph

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