New England Soccer Today

Former Tea Men Assistant Viollet Subject of Soccer Documentary

Former New England Tea Men assistant coach Dennis Viollet is the subject of a recently-released soccer documentary about his heralded soccer career.

Viollet, who served as an assistant to Tea Men manager and former Manchester United teammate Noel Cantwell from 1978-80, had his prolific soccer career documented in the motion picture Dennis Viollet: A United Man, which was directed by his daughter Rachel Viollet.

The Manchester-born forward was a member of the legendary “Busby Babes,” which led United to prominence during the 1950s. During his stellar 10 seasons with the Red Devils, he scored 159 goals in 259 matches. In 1960, he scored a then-club record 32 goals in 36 games.

He also survived the 1958 Munich air disaster, which claimed the lives of 23 passengers as the club was returning from a European Cup match in the former Yugoslavia.

After a six-season stay with Stoke City in which he scored 59 goals in 182 appearances, the English international journeyed to the U.S. where he starred for the Baltimore Bays from 1967-68. He played in the first NASL Championship game in 1967.

He briefly returned to England to suit up for Witton Albion and Linfield before returning to the States for good in 1973. With his playing days over, Viollet spent three seasons as head coach of the Washington Diplomats before joining the Tea Men in 1978, the same year he became an American citizen.

During his three seasons in New England, the Tea Men went 49-43, and clinched postseason berths in 1978 and 1980.

Viollet later became the head coach of the Jacksonville Tea Men and Richmond Kickers, who won the double in 1995 as USISL and U.S. Open Cup champions.

Viollet died in 1999 at age 65 in Jacksonville, Fla.

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