IN the first of a three-part interview with Swindon Town legend Glenn Hoddle, we discuss the now BT Sport pundit’s first memories at SN1 – and why he joined the club in the first place.

GLENN Hoddle was at Stamford Bridge preparing for a Chelsea reserves game when he took a call from then Swindon Town chief executive Peter Day.

“We’d like to offer you the job, Glenn,” said Day.

Hoddle was still working on returning to a full fitness when taking Day’s call after a knee injury ended his career at the highest level.

Even the prospect of joining Division One relegation candidates Swindon Town seemed a bridge too far for the midfielder – so he suggested a move to Wiltshire wouldn’t be appropriate.

“No, we want you as manager!”

Shortly after the above offer, Hoddle was walking out of the Stamford Bridge tunnel to play in Blues’ reserves game.

And shortly afterwards, he accepted the role at SN1 - Glenn Hoddle was Swindon Town’s new manager, taking over from Ossie Ardiles who joined Newcastle.

The club’s awkward financial position at the time wasn’t something Hoddle was greatly aware of.

Less than a year before the now 62-year-old took over, Alan McLoughlin – now academy manager – had to be sold to Southampton to balance books after the club’s promotion to the top flight was denied because of irregular payments to players.

Hoddle told the Adver: “Until I got my feet under the table, (the club’s financial position) wasn’t something I had really looked at.

“I felt very much that Swindon Town was my next port of call.

“I was out of the door to go and playing at Stamford Bridge shortly after I had that phone call (with Peter Day) – it was ironic.

“For me, it was a case of ensuring the club stayed up that year – they were struggling in Division One.”

Hoddle did what he was asked to do, Town avoided relegation by two points.

It was only in his second year at the club where financial difficulties at the County Ground hit home.

Directors put their own personal money on the line, top scorer Duncan Shearer was sold to promotion rivals Blackburn for £800,000 – it left Hoddle scratching his head.

In his opinion, promotion to the Premier League would’ve been won a year earlier had Shearer remained a red in March 1992. But who’s to say what could’ve happened had that £800,000 cash injection not been received.

Hoddle added: “We were playing so well, but suddenly we had Duncan Shearer on 31 goals at the top of the scoring chart – we were playing lovely football – and we had to sell him.

“I remember having board meetings and scratching my head. Why would the club take its best striker away at this moment?

“It was only then that they eventually said there were financial problems and directors had put their own personal money on the line.

“When I heard that, I understood everything. Losing Duncan was probably why we missed out on promotion that year.

“If he stayed, we probably would’ve gone up the first year.”

Part two of our interview will be available next week.