Peter Kitchen paid tribute to his former teammate, Glenn Roeder after it was confirmed that the 65-year-old had died following a long battle with a brain tumour.
Roeder – a stylish defender during his playing career, notably with Orient, Queen’s Park Rangers, Newcastle United – was a part of the O’s side which reached the FA Cup semi-final in 1978 as well as the QPR team beaten in the final by Tottenham four years later.
After his playing career, Roeder managed several clubs, including West Ham United. However, Kitchen’s memories largely centred on their time together at Brisbane Road.
“I was very saddened to learn the news about Glenn’s passing,” the former frontman told Yellow Sport.
“Hewas a superb footballer and an integral, vital part of our Orient team that did so well in 1978.
“He perfected his unique step over shuffle, similar in technical brilliance to the ‘Cruyff turn’ – which never failed to send opposition defenders the wrong way.
Glenn was a model professional. A very skilful footballer for a defender, who could play out from the back. He went on to have a superb career as both a player and manager, representing several top clubs including Norwich, Newcastle and West Ham and he also had two spells with the O’s.”
Kitchen continued: “Off the field, Glenn was one of the guys who helped me settle when I first moved south to the O’s from Doncaster Rovers in 1977.
“I remember he loved dog racing. He took me for a first-ever visit to the greyhounds at Southend. He had a few decent tips and won a few bob that night.
“I last saw Glenn about four years ago at the Lamex Stadium, Stevenage. I was a guest of my former club, Doncaster. Glenn was Director of Football at Stevenage. Along with the club owner, Phil Wallace – a huge O’s fan – we reminisced the 78 cup run.
“Glenn was an all-round nice guy and a gentleman and I’m proud to have been a teammate of his at the O’s. My condolences go out to Glenn’s family and close friends.”