(Every Friday we raid the Cutter archives to bring you stories from football’s strange and wonderful past. This was first published in April 1981)

Ex-Sunderland manager Bob Stokoe has been credited with spawning a mod and rude-boy revival and initiating the recent ska craze, by wearing his signature porkpie hat during games.

Two-Tone upstart Jerry Dammers admitted to us, ‘Bob was a huge sartorial influence on myself and the whole two-tone movement. Wearing that hat, man. Cool yeah. He is an inspiration’.

The Specials keyboardist, speaking to us backstage at some gig or other, and clearly inebriated on Skol, continued, ‘From the very beginning the music came naturally to us but we struggled to find a distinctive ‘look’ to call our own. We delved back in time, to the original ska guys from Jamaica, and a lot of those guys dug those really cool hats. But we were just a bunch of kids from Coventry and thought they’d look a bit silly on us.

Then someone mentioned Bob and how he always managed to pull it off and appeared proper dapper in the process. So we went to Woolworths en masse and bought out their entire stock’.

Soon the hat took off in two-tone circles and it became the de rigueur choice of head warmer for rude boys everywhere.

Lee Thompson, that bloke from Madness who jumps into the swimming pool playing a saxophone in the It Must Be Love video, goes further in stressing Stokoe’s importance to the scene.

‘Not many people know this but in our very early days Madness were a Slade covers band, but trying to scream like Noddy Holder was shredding Suggs’ vocal cords to bits and we knew we had to change direction’.

‘We were sitting in a greasy spoon one day and there was a small telly on the wall showing clips from the 1973 Cup Final. There was Bob, racing onto the pitch to embrace his keeper, wearing a plastic red-and-white porkpie hat and long mac. He looked the business. ‘That man is a prince’ someone said in undisguised awe. We headed into town and bought some felt versions and the very next time we rehearsed the sound just appeared from nowhere. Suddenly there was a walking bass line with rhythms on the upbeat’.

‘We decided to pay tribute to Bob with our first attempt at a song. Everyone thinks ‘The Prince’ is aimed at Prince Buster but now you know different.’

The ever genial Stokoe, currently bossing Carlisle in a promotion bid, is said to be surprised and baffled by the affection showered upon him.

‘I was just hiding my comb-over’ he commented bashfully.

'Do you remember the good old days before the ghost town?'