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REJECT; Arsenal, Chelsea, Everton, Fulham, Ipswich, West Bromwich, Palace, Preston North End and England..

Byline: STEPHEN MOYES

ARSENAL turned him down. Preston North End snubbed him. And even England looked elsewhere.

But Raj Tunvor, unsuccessful applicant for the manager's job at 68 football clubs, won't give in.

Soccer nut Raj gets his kicks writing applications for vacant managerial posts.

His CV isn't inspiring: No previous experience in the job. Couldn't organise a decent card school. British Midland worker at Heathrow airport - knows more about 747s than 4-4-2.

But bachelor Raj, 38, has a superb collection of rejection letters which keep him going.

There's one from Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood, who curiously chose Arsene Wenger ahead of him.

Another arrived at his home in Heston, Middlesex, from FA chief David Davies when Raj had a crack at the England job after Euro 96 and the departure of Terry Venables.

Then there's Chelsea, Fulham, Ipswich, Crystal Palace and scores more. Raj loves it.

He beamed: "Football fans collect scarves and programmes, but they're all the same. I'm doing something totally different.""

The no-hope applications first became a hobby in 1994, when a managerial vacancy arose at West Brom.

Raj said: "I told some friends I could do just as good a job as some of their previous managers. One of my mates told me I should apply - so I did.

"I received a polite letter on headed paper from the West Brom chairman informing me that I'd been beaten to the post by Alan Buckley.

"It was great and encouraged me to try again." Noes from Everton, Preston Ipswich and Crystal Palace spurred Raj on.

He said: "I was delighted. I was having great fun by now."

Then it seemed his luck might have changed when Ipswich replied saying his application was being processed for the shortlist. Fortunately for Town fans he soon got another letter saying he hadn't got the job.

But he soon realised it was time for a tactical switch.

He signed his application for the Dumbarton post Raj MacTunvor. When Fulham were looking for a coach in 1998 he wrote to chairman Mohamed Al Fayed using the Muslim-style name Mr R. Hasitunvo.

And appreciating Chelsea chairman Ken Bates' love of Italian football, he signed his application Raj Tunvori. He is currently waiting to hear from Bradford City about their new vacancy. Raj said: "My friends and family think I'm mad. But I'll keep applying for vacancies because I love getting letters back from club chairmen.

"To be fair, I do actually think I could do a great job as coach - all I need is a break."

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DEAR RAJ: His letters of rejection
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Nov 11, 2000
Words:432
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