A LIFELONG Saints fan and memorabilia collector has launched a petition aiming to get a legendary manager “properly recognised” by the club.

Richard Becheley believes the club’s 1976 FA Cup winning manager Lawrie McMenemy should have a statue or stand named after him at St Mary’s.

The 44-year-old says there is nothing currently at the stadium to recognise the ex-Saints boss, who he describes as “without doubt the club’s most successful manager”.

The father-of-three, who “idolised” the former Saints boss as a boy and now knows him through memorabilia collecting, has now launched a petition aiming to get him recognised at St Mary’s.

The petition was launched last week and already has more than 700 signatures.

Mr Becheley, a builder by trade, said: “Lawrie is such a massive part of the club’s history.

"He’s the only manager to win the FA Cup in the club’s history and he’s without doubt the club’s most successful manager.

Daily Echo:

“At the moment there isn’t anything at the stadium. Other clubs have done things for their ex-managers or players.

“I know a lot of people feel the same way and that’s why I started this petition.”

He added: “I’m not criticising the club, I am a supporter. I just think the club need to sit back and realise we should do something.

“I think someone like Lawrie, who has put that much of his life into the club, needs to be around to see it.”

Mr McMenemy famously managed Saints to the club's only FA Cup win in 1976, beating Tommy Docherty’s Manchester United side 1-0 at Wembley.

During his 12 year stint as manager, he also guided Saints to second place in the First Division in 1984 – the club’s highest ever top flight finish.

Daily Echo:

Mr McMenemy also signed a number of top names while in charge of Saints including Alan Ball, then-serving England captain Kevin Keegan and legendary goalkeeper Peter Shilton.

If he was to be honoured at Saints, the 83-year-old would be one of a number of club legends to be honoured by their respective teams while alive.

Manchester United renamed the North Stand at Old Trafford the Sir Alex Ferguson Stand in 2011, in recognition of his 25 years as manager.

Arsenal stars Tony Adams and Thierry Henry were honoured with bronze statues in 2011 as part of the club’s 125th anniversary celebrations.

Chelsea legend Peter Osgood, who also played for Saints under Mr McMenemy, was posthumously given a statue outside Stamford Bridge in 2010.

Saints posthumously honoured former player, manager, director and president Ted Bates MBE with a statue in 2007 – which was replaced by a new statue of him the following year.

Mr McMenemy said he was “flattered” by the petition but did not wish to comment, while Saints did not respond to a request for comment.