If you believe what you read online, scroll through fan forums and messageboards for long enough and you’ll stumble across the name Ronald Markham, better known as 1970s illusionist ‘Romark’.
Romark earned a reputation as something of a hypnotist, and stories have emerged over time of his driving through Ilford blindfolded only to crash in a ‘psychic blindspot’, attempting to hypnotise Muhammad Ali to lose against Richard Dunn (Ali won in the fifth round) and causing an apprentice to float mid-air in Lawrie McMenemy’s office.
McMenemy, writing in the Southern Daily Echo years later, recalled: “When he came in, his eyes immediately struck me. He had peripheral vision, both eyes staring in different directions.”
Romark’s presence in the then-Southampton manager’s office, however, can be traced back to Palace and an FA Cup-based vendetta matching that forced on Derby.
In the mid-70s, Palace manager Malcolm Allison reached-out to Romark in a bid to support his squad with the sort of eccentric idea he would become famous for.