Notts County F.C.

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Notts County
Notts County Logo.png
Full nameNotts County Football Club
Nickname(s)The Magpies
Founded1862; 158 years ago (1862)[1]
GroundMeadow Lane
Capacity19,841[2]
Coordinates52°56′33″N 1°8′14″W / 52.94250°N 1.13722°W / 52.94250; -1.13722Coordinates: 52°56′33″N 1°8′14″W / 52.94250°N 1.13722°W / 52.94250; -1.13722
OwnerAlexander and Christoffer Reedtz[3]
ChairmanChristoffer Reedtz[4]
ManagerNeal Ardley
LeagueNational League
2019–20National League, 3rd of 24
WebsiteClub website
Current season

Notts County Football Club is a professional association football club based in Nottingham, England. The team participates in the National League, the fifth tier of the English football league system. Founded in 1862, they are the oldest professional association football club in the world, and predate The Football Association itself. The club became one of the 12 founder members of the Football League in 1888. They are nicknamed the "Magpies" due to the black and white colour of their home strip, which inspired Italian club Juventus to adopt the colours for their kit in 1903. After playing at different home grounds during their first fifty years, including Trent Bridge, the club moved to Meadow Lane in 1910 and have remained there since. Notts County hold a local rivalry with city neighbours Nottingham Forest, as well as with other nearby clubs such as Mansfield Town.

Notts County finished third in the top flight of English football in the 1890–91 season, which remains their highest ever league position. They also reached the 1891 FA Cup Final, finishing as runners-up to Blackburn Rovers. However three years later the club won the 1894 FA Cup Final with a 4–1 victory over Bolton Wanderers. From 1897 until 1920 they played in the First Division which was then the top flight, barring the 1913–14 season when they won the Second Division immediately following relegation the previous year. They won the Second Division for a third time in the 1922–23 campaign, before suffering relegations down to the Third Division South, which they won in their first attempt in 1930–31.

The club were back in the Third Division South by World War II, but were again promoted as champions in 1949–50 and spent most of the 1950s in the second tier before successive relegations saw them drop back into the Fourth Division. County won promotion as runners-up in 1959–60. They returned to the fourth tier by 1964, but were promoted as champions in the 1970–71 season, before securing promotion out of the Third Division under the stewardship of Jimmy Sirrel in 1972–73. They made their return to the top flight by finishing as runners-up of the Second Division in 1980–81. County were relegated after a three-season stay, and ended the decade back in the third tier, before Neil Warnock masterminded play-off successes in 1990 and 1991 that saw them promoted back into the top flight. However they were immediately relegated, thus missing out on the first-ever season of Premier League football. They fell back into the basement division by 1997–98, but managed to finish the season as champions. Following a financial crisis they were relegated again in 2004, before they won the League Two title in 2009–10 amid a takeover bid from a Middle Eastern consortium that eventually fell through despite great publicity and initial expectations. County were relegated back to the bottom tier at the end of the 2014–15 season, and remained there until the end of the 2018–19 season, when they were relegated from the Football League for the first time.

History[edit]

Plaque at the George Hotel Nottingham commemorating Notts County Football Club's first meeting to elect officers and committee on 7 December 1864
Chart showing the progress of Notts County F.C. through the English football league system

Beginnings 1862–1942[edit]

Notts County is the oldest professional association football club in the world, having been formed in 1862.[1][5] The club predates The Football Association and initially played a game of its own devising, rather than association football. At the time of its formation, Notts County, like most sports teams, were considered to be a "gentlemen-only" club. Notts County are considered to be one of the pioneers of the modern game and are the oldest of the world's professional association football clubs (there are older professional clubs in other codes of football, and Sheffield F.C., an amateur club founded in 1857, are the oldest club now playing association football).[6] In November 1872, the Notts County full-back Harwood Greenhalgh played for England against Scotland in the first-ever international match, thereby becoming the club's first international player.[7] In 1888, Notts County, along with 11 other football clubs, became a founding member of The Football League.[8] They finished their first league season in 11th place, but avoided the dubious honour of the wooden spoon, which went to Midlands rivals Stoke City.[9] However, the club did achieve their highest ever league finish of third in 1890–91,[10] an achievement they repeated 10 seasons later.[11]

The team that won the 1894 FA Cup

On 21 March 1891, Notts County played in the FA Cup final for the first time.[12] The Magpies were defeated 3–1 by Blackburn Rovers at The Oval, despite having beaten the same side 7–1 in the league only a week earlier. County made up for this on 31 March 1894, when they won the FA Cup at Goodison Park, defeating Bolton Wanderers 4–1 in a game in which Jimmy Logan scored the second hat-trick in FA Cup final history.[1] This achievement is also memorable for Notts County becoming the first club outside the top division to win the FA Cup: Notts County finished third in Division Two that season. In 1910 they moved to Meadow Lane.[1] County were relegated in 1926 in what was to be their last season in the English top flight for over half a century.[13] The 1925–26 season was the last season that famed giant goalkeeper Albert Iremonger played for the club. Legend among Notts County supporters it has been said he had "hands like the claws of a JCB and was a seven foot tall monster".[14]

The club suspended all fixtures during the 1941–42 season after Meadow Lane was hit by enemy bombing.[15]

Two golden ages 1945–1987[edit]

In the 1946–47 season, the ground was used temporarily by Nottingham Forest after the River Trent flooded both Meadow Lane and the City Ground.[16] Forest again used Meadow Lane in 1968, after fire destroyed the main stand at the City Ground.[17] The 'golden age' of the club came just after the end of World War II.[1] County stunned the footballing world by signing Tommy Lawton from Chelsea for a then-record fee of £20,000[15] (equivalent to £788,300 in 2019).[18] Lawton's arrival increased crowds by over 10,000. One incident during this period saw 10,000 fans locked outside the ground. In the 1949–50 season, Notts County clinched the Third Division (South) championship.[19] Crowds averaged 35,000 as The Magpies held off Nottingham Forest in a thrilling championship race.[1] As the 1950s drew to a close, Nottingham Forest replaced Notts County as the city's biggest club. After the 1957–58 season, the two clubs did not play each other again in a League match for 16 years, on 26 December 1973.[20]

Jimmy Sirrel & Jack Wheeler statue at Meadow Lane

The Magpies struggled during the 1960s, being on the brink of financial ruin and striving to avoid the indignity of having to apply for re-election to the league.[citation needed] This situation continued until Jack Dunnett, a local member of parliament, took control of the club.[21] He appointed Jimmy Sirrel, a charismatic Scot who had once played for Celtic, as manager in November 1969.[21] In the 1970–71 season, County clinched the Fourth Division title in record-breaking style, remaining unbeaten at Meadow Lane.[22] Two seasons later, Notts County were again promoted, this time to Division Two.[23] Sirrel departed for Sheffield United in October 1975 but returned two years later.[citation needed] He completed the remarkable transformation of Notts County in May 1981.[citation needed] He had turned The Magpies from Fourth Division strugglers to a top division side in little over a decade, ending an absence of 55 years from the top flight.[1] This achievement was with the same chairman (Jack Dunnett) and trainer (Jack Wheeler) throughout the decade.[citation needed]

In one of the most famous moments in the club's modern history, Notts County visited newly crowned champions Aston Villa on the opening day of the season.[citation needed] The Villa team had paraded their League Championship trophy to an expectant crowd before kickoff, but against all odds, County came away with a 1–0 victory.[citation needed] After surviving relegation at the end of the season, Sirrel became the club's general manager, with his assistant Howard Wilkinson taking over as manager.[citation needed] County survived relegation a little more comfortably the following season, but Wilkinson was tempted away by the manager's job at his boyhood club, Sheffield Wednesday, and the board recruited former Wigan Athletic manager Larry Lloyd to replace him. Despite a good run to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, where they eventually lost to Everton, the club had a poor league campaign that ultimately resulted in their relegation.[citation needed] This poor form continued into the following season, resulting in Lloyd's dismissal with the club bottom of the Second Division. Richie Barker took over as manager, but failed to improve the club's fortunes, and was dismissed after less than six months in charge.[citation needed]

Jimmy Sirrel took charge of the team once again, and while the club's form improved, it came too late, and County suffered their second successive relegation.[citation needed] After two decent but unremarkable finishes in the Third Division, Sirrel finally retired in 1987, bringing to a close one of the most successful and memorable periods in Notts County's history.[citation needed]

Chasing the Premier League 1987–1995[edit]

Sirrel was replaced by John Barnwell, who nearly steered the club to automatic promotion in the season that followed, but a late stumble meant they had to settle for the play-offs, where they lost to eventual winners Walsall.[citation needed] The team failed to repeat their form the following season and instead found themselves battling relegation to the Fourth Division, resulting in Barnwell being dismissed just before Christmas.[citation needed]

In late 1988, a new manager arrived. Neil Warnock had previously led Scarborough into the Football League as champions of the Football Conference. At the end of his first full season, Warnock had led Notts County to promotion back to Division Two. The club anthem The Wheelbarrow song originated during this season, stemming from the club's historic first game at Wembley Stadium in a 2–0 win over Tranmere Rovers. A famous 1–0 victory over Manchester City in the FA Cup booked them a place in the quarter-final, which they lost to eventual winners Tottenham Hotspur. Notts County also booked their second successive visit to Wembley and their second successive promotion. The Magpies defeated Brighton & Hove Albion 3–1 in front of 60,000 spectators, 25,000 of which were Notts County fans.

The following season was disappointing, seeing Notts County relegated from the top flight after just one season back there. Their first game of that season was a visit to Manchester United at Old Trafford, where they lost 2–0. However, they did manage to hold Manchester United to a 1–1 draw in the return game at Meadow Lane just after the turn of the year, as United began a dismal second half of the season which ultimately cost them the league title. County's relegation came shortly after the sale of strikers Paul Rideout and Tommy Johnson, which raked in nearly £2million in total and contributed towards a £5million stadium revamp which saw Meadow Lane rebuilt on three sides shortly afterwards.[24] With the introduction of the Premier League, County were relegated from the old Division One to the new Division One. Warnock was dismissed in January 1993 and was succeeded by Mick Walker. Walker successfully averted a second consecutive relegation.[citation needed]

The Magpies narrowly missed the play-offs for promotion to the Premiership.[citation needed] The season is most remembered for a 2–1 victory over archrivals Nottingham Forest in which Charlie Palmer scored the winning goal with just four minutes remaining. Notts had led for much of the game, until Forest got a free kick from which they equalised. Notts fans were reluctantly resigning themselves to a draw, when Palmer headed in the winner. This was all the more remarkable because he only scored 4 goals in his whole career. The game has become a celebrated event among Notts County fans, who have dubbed 12 February (the anniversary of the game) Sir Charlie Palmer Day, and Charlie Palmer has been referred to as "Sir Charlie" by Notts fans ever since.[25] In March 1994, Notts County lost the Anglo-Italian Cup final to Brescia.[26]

Walker was surprisingly sacked in September 1994.[citation needed] This event triggered a dramatic decline in the club's fortunes that has persisted to the present. Notts won the Anglo-Italian Cup at Wembley in March 1995, but ended the season relegated to Division Two, with Walker, Russell Slade, Howard Kendall and Steve Nicol each taking control of the team at different times throughout the season, before the club appointed yet another manager, Colin Murphy after the season ended.[27]

Mixed fortunes 1995–2008[edit]

County made another visit to Wembley Stadium in the 1996 play-off final, but missed the chance of a return to Division One with a 2–0 defeat to Bradford City.[28] The following season ranks among the club's worst, as they managed just seven victories all season and finished in the bottom position of the league table.[29] Relegation to the league's basement division happened just six years after promotion to the top flight. However, success followed relegation under Sam Allardyce.[30] The Magpies secured the Division Three title in March 1998 by a record margin of seventeen points.[31] They became the first side since World War II to win promotion in mid-March, with six games still remaining.[32]

Logo used from 2002 to 2009

Allardyce left in October 1999 to join his old team Bolton Wanderers.[33] In September 2003, Notts County faced the real possibility of dissolution.[34] Crippling debts and an increasingly impatient Football League board combined to leave the future of the league's oldest club in doubt.[34] However, the considerable efforts of a group of local businessmen and the club's supporters helped save the club from extinction.[35] But despite new ownership, the club were unable to avoid relegation back to the bottom division in 2004.[36] In a similar circumstance as their relegation in 1992, due to the rebranding of the Football League, County went from Division Two to League Two.[citation needed]

Ian Richardson replaced Gary Mills as manager in November 2004.[37] Richardson managed to guide the club away from the relegation zone and held the manager's job until the end of the season when Gudjon Thordarson became the club's sixth manager in five years.[38] The 2005–06 season began well for the Magpies: they won or drew their first seven league games and were top of the table in September.[39] But their form dropped and they escaped relegation only on the final day of the season with a 2–2 draw against Bury, whilst Oxford United lost and went down.[40] The Magpies' 21st place in League Two, and 89th place overall, was the lowest position the club had ever finished, and at the end of the season both the chairman and the manager left, a long-standing youth squad programme was ended, and many of the first-team players were out-of-contract or nearing contract maturity.[citation needed]

Former assistant manager Steve Thompson was appointed as manager and he led the team to a 13th place division finish in 2006–07.[citation needed] The following season started with poor results, including early exits from the League Cup and the EFL Trophy, and Thompson was sacked in October 2007, to be replaced by Ian 'Charlie' McParland.[citation needed] However, the team's poor form continued and safety from relegation was only secured in the penultimate match of the season.[citation needed]

The 2009–10 season[edit]

The logo used during the 2009–10 season

In June 2009, it was announced that County were in talks on a takeover by Munto Finance, a Middle Eastern consortium owned by Qadbak Investments and represented by Nathan and Peter Willett. Speculated by the British media and supported in part by various press releases, the club were believed to be given multimillion-pound backing, and were linked during the takeover's initial planning stages with the Qatari royal family by British tabloids. However, the latter claim was denied by the family.[41] The supporters' trust, which owned the majority 60% share in the club, voted in favour of the takeover.[42] On 14 July 2009, the takeover was confirmed, with Peter Trembling being appointed as executive chairman.[43] A week later, former England manager Sven-Göran Eriksson was announced as the club's new director of football,[1][44] having been persuaded by convicted fraudster Russell King to join Notts County.[45] On 28 July 2009, the club unveiled a new logo.[46]

The biggest headlines of the summer were made with the signings of England international defender Sol Campbell, and of goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel. Schmeichel, a future Denmark international and Premier League winner, had just been released by Manchester City, and dropped a full three divisions to accept a five-year contract with County. Campbell, 34, moved from Premier League Portsmouth where he had been an FA Cup winner just eight months previously, but played only one game for County before walking out citing false promises.[47] Schmeichel remained for the whole season, travelling with the squad to away games by private jet, but was never paid by the club, claiming in hindsight "it was all a farce" and "I knew something was wrong but I didn’t care because I just wanted to play football".[48]

On 20 October 2009, the League announced that County's owners had met its "fit and proper persons" regulations, and that while their structure was "complicated" and featured "both offshore entities and discretionary trusts", it had provided "extensive disclosure" to the League on their ownership structure.[49] The League also stated that public disclosure of their ownership structure was a "matter for the club".[49] McParland parted company with the club in October 2009 with Notts fifth in League Two and 4 points from the top of the table; youth team manager Michael Johnson and assistant manager Dave Kevan were installed as joint caretaker managers.[citation needed].

On 27 November 2009, The Guardian revealed that the league had reopened inquiries into the ownership of Notts County.[50] The League chairman, Brian Mawhinney, confirmed the club had been sent a series of questions relating to its ownership structure.[50] On 12 December 2009, Peter Trembling purchased the club from Munto Finance for a nominal fee.[51] Hans Backe, Eriksson's former assistant at Manchester City, was given the job of manager in October 2009. He signed a three-year deal and stated his intent to get the club promoted to League One, but resigned two months later after just nine games in charge.[52]

Ray Trew bought the club in February 2010,[53] after it had been served with two winding up petitions from HM Revenue and Customs due to demands for a late PAYE payment of around £500,000.[54] After two months without a permanent manager, Steve Cotterill was given the Notts County job until the end of the 2009–2010 season in February 2010.[55][56] Cotterill led the club to the League Two title after a 5–0 away win against the already-relegated Darlington,[57] becoming the third club to win the fourth tier of English football three times. A month after winning the title, Cotterill stated that he would not be renewing his contract at Meadow Lane.

Falling out of the Football League 2010–[edit]

A succession of short-term managers were able to keep the club afloat in League One. Ex-Notts County player Craig Short replaced Cotterill as Manager but was relieved of duties on 24 October 2010.[58] Paul Ince took over in October 2010,[59] then Martin Allen in April 2011,[60] Keith Curle in February 2012, Chris Kiwomya in March 2013 after a short caretaker spell,[61] and Shaun Derry in November 2013.[62] Derry was able to turn the team's fortunes around and avoid relegation thanks to a 1–1 draw away at Oldham Athletic on the final day of the 2013–14 season.[63]

County's luck ran out in March 2015, when Derry and assistant manager Greg Abbott were sacked with the team relegated to League Two.[64] Ricardo Moniz joined on a three-year contract,[65] but lasted only until 29 December 2015.[66] Jamie Fullarton's reign was even shorter; appointed in January 2016 on a three-and-a-half year contract,[67] but sacked in March after 12 games,[68] during which time Ray Trew stepped down as chairman. Mark Cooper was Fullarton's temporary replacement, with the contract to be made permanent if a certain, undisclosed, points total was achieved,[69] but on 7 May Cooper left the club of his own volition.[70]

Later that month John Sheridan left Oldham Athletic to become manager on a three-year contract.[71] Sheridan was sacked in January 2017 for gross misconduct, following his verbal assaults and threats against match officials during the club's 2–0 home defeat by Wycombe in December.[72][73] On 7 January 2017, Notts County set a new club record of 10 successive defeats.

On 12 January 2017, Alan Hardy completed the takeover of the club from Ray Trew[74] and appointed Kevin Nolan as manager, followed in August 2018 by Harry Kewell.[75] On 13 November 2018, Kewell left the club to be replaced by Neal Ardley.[76][77] On 27 January 2019 with County bottom of League Two, Hardy officially put the club up for sale,[78] though not before attracting the attention of the FA for accidentally including a picture of his penis in a screenshot posted to Twitter.[79] On 4 May 2019 following a 3–1 defeat away at Swindon Town, Notts County were relegated from the English Football League for the first time in their 157-year history. The club was sold in the summer to Danish businessmen Alexander and Christoffer Reedtz.[80]

Notts County came within 90 minutes of regaining their Football League status at the first attempt, losing 3–1 to Harrogate Town on 2 August 2020 in the National League promotion play-off final behind closed doors at Wembley Stadium.[81]

Kit and badge[edit]

Notts County's first known colours were amber and black hooped shirts, dating from the 1870s. This was followed by short spells playing in amber, then chocolate and blue halves. In 1890, the club adopted black and white striped shirts, and have played in these colours for most of the rest of their history.[82]

Juventus F.C. shirts[edit]

The Italian football club Juventus F.C. derived its famous black-and-white striped kits from Notts County. Juventus have played in black and white striped shirts, and with white or sometimes black shorts, since 1903. Originally, they played in pink shirts with a black tie, which only occurred due to the wrong shirts being sent to them, the father of one of the players made the earliest shirts, but continual washing faded the colour so much that in 1903 the club sought to replace them.[83] Juventus asked one of their team members, Englishman John Savage, if he had any contacts in England who could supply new shirts in a colour that would better withstand the elements. He had a friend who lived in Nottingham, who being a Notts County supporter, shipped out the black and white striped shirts to Turin.[84]

Juve have worn the shirts ever since, considering the colours to be aggressive and powerful.[84]

On 8 September 2011 to mark the opening of the new Stadium in Turin, Juventus invited Notts County for an historic exhibition match. After a spectacular opening ceremony referencing Juve's history, the game ended 1–1 with goals from Luca Toni and Lee Hughes both coming in the second half.[85][86]

Stadium[edit]

The club initially played at Park Hollow in the grounds of the old Nottingham Castle.[87] In December 1864, the decision was made to play games against outside opposition, and it was decided that the club needed to find a bigger venue. After playing at several grounds, including the Castle Ground, the Magpies settled at Trent Bridge Cricket Ground in 1883.[87] However, when Trent Bridge was in use for cricket, Notts played matches at the Castle Ground or Nottingham Forest's Town Ground.[87] The club moved to their current ground, Meadow Lane, in 1910. It currently has an all-seated capacity of 19,841 for Football League games. The record attendance is 47,310, who watched Notts lose 1–0 to York City in the FA Cup Sixth Round on 12 March 1955.[88]

Supporters and rivalries[edit]

The Notts County Supporters Trust were the majority shareholders in the club between 2006 and 2009. When the club went into administration in 2003, and looked to be going out of business, the money to keep the club in business was only found a week before the Football League's deadline. During this time, the supporters decided to form a supporters trust. In 2006 the trust eventually took control of Notts County Football Club, buying the club from Haydn Green. In 2009, members of the trust voted to accept a takeover bid from Munto Finance, with Peter Trembling named as Chairman. The group saw Sven-Göran Eriksson come in as Director of Football and Sol Campbell as a player. The club has a very large overseas following, with a large number of overseas fans mostly from Italy and Hungary, despite its relative lack of silverware; it was reported the number was one of the highest in The Football League[89][90]

Famous supporters include television and theatre writer William Ivory,[91] musician Jake Bugg who sponsored the club in 2017,[92] MP Kenneth Clarke[93] (although he supports Forest as well) and infamously mass-murderer serial killer Harold Shipman.[94][93][95]

Notts County view their main rivals as neighbours Nottingham Forest. However, during recent stints in the lower levels of the Football League, rivalry has increased with Nottinghamshire neighbours Mansfield Town. Other clubs sharing local rivalries with Notts County are Derby County, Leicester City, Lincoln City and Chesterfield.

Honours and achievements[edit]

FA Cup[96]

Second Division (1892–1992), First Division (1992–2004), The Championship (2004–present)[96]

Third Division (1958–92), Second Division (1992–2004), League One (2004–present)[96]

Third Division South (1921–58)[96]

Fourth Division (1958–92), Third Division (1992–2004), League Two (2004–present)[96]

Anglo-Scottish Cup

Anglo-Italian Cup[96]

Club records[edit]

Highest Attendance 47,310 vs York City, FA Cup 6th Round, 12 March 1955
Highest Gate Receipts £277,781.25 vs Manchester City, FA Cup 4th Round, 30 January 2011
Record League Victory 11–1 vs Newport County, Division Three South, 15 January 1949
Record Cup Victory 15–0 vs Rotherham Town, FA Cup 1st Round, 24 October 1885
Most League Points (2 for a win) 69, Division Four 1970–71
Most League Points (3 for a win) 99, Division Three 1997–98
Most League Goals 107, Division Four 1959–60
Highest Scorer in One Season Tom Keetley, 39, Division Three South 1930–31
All Time Top Scorer (League) Les Bradd, 125, 1967–78
Fastest Goal 6 seconds, Barrie Jones, 31 March 1962
All Time Most Appearances (League) Albert Iremonger, 564, 1904–26
Youngest player (League) Tony Bircumshaw, 16 years and 54 days, 3 April 1961
Most consecutive away league games without defeat 19, 28 February 2012 – 26 December 2012

As of the 2018–19 season, Notts County had played more league games (4,986) than any other English team, although following relegation to the National League this has subsequently been superseded by Preston North End.[97][98]

League history[edit]

L1 = Level 1 of the football league system; L2 = Level 2 of the football league system; L3 = Level 3 of the football league system; L4 = Level 4 of the football league system; L5 = Level 5 of the football league system.

  • Seasons spent at Level 1 of the football league system: 30
  • Seasons spent at Level 2 of the football league system: 37
  • Seasons spent at Level 3 of the football league system: 34
  • Seasons spent at Level 4 of the football league system: 18
  • Seasons spent at Level 5 of the football league system: 1

With a total of 13 promotions and 17 relegations,[99] no club has moved between the divisions of the Football League on more occasions than Notts County.

Promotion years: 1897 1914 1923 1931 1950 1960 1971 1973 1981 1990 1991 1998 2010

Relegation years: 1893 1913 1920 1926 1930 1935 1958 1959 1964 1984 1985 1992 1995 1997 2004 2015 2019

Most appearances[edit]

Name Career Appearances
1 England Albert Iremonger 1904–26 601
2 England Brian Stubbs 1968–80 486
3 England Pedro Richards 1974–86 485
4 England David Needham 1965–77 471
5 Scotland Don Masson 1968–82 455
6 England Les Bradd 1967–78 442
7 England Percy Mills 1927–39 434
8= England Billy Flint 1908–26 408
8= England David Hunt 1977–87 408
10 England Dean Yates 1985–95 394

Most goals[edit]

Name Career Goals
1 England Les Bradd 1967–78 137
2 England Tony Hateley 1958–63, 1970–72 114
3 England Jackie Sewell 1946–51 104
4 England Tommy Lawton 1947–52 103
5 England Tom Keetley 1929–33 98
6 Scotland Don Masson 1968–82 97
7 Scotland Tom Johnston 1948–57 93
8 Scotland Ian McParland 1980–89 90
9 England Harry Daft 1885–95 81
10= England Mark Stallard 1999–2004, 2005 79
10= England Trevor Christie 1979–84 79
10= England Gary Lund 1987–95 79

Players[edit]

Current squad[edit]

As of 11 September 2020[100]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
1 GK England ENG Sam Slocombe
2 DF England ENG Richard Brindley
3 DF England ENG Sam Graham (on loan from Sheffield United)
4 MF England ENG Jake Reeves
5 DF England ENG Ben Turner
6 MF Republic of Ireland IRL Jim O'Brien
7 FW England ENG Wes Thomas
8 MF Republic of Ireland IRL Michael Doyle (captain)
9 FW England ENG Kyle Wootton
10 FW England ENG Cal Roberts
11 FW Netherlands NED Enzio Boldewijn
No. Pos. Nation Player
13 DF Wales WAL Connell Rawlinson
14 DF Republic of Ireland IRL Damien McCrory
16 DF England ENG Dion Kelly-Evans
18 FW England ENG Jimmy Knowles (on loan from Mansfield Town)
19 FW Belgium BEL Elisha Sam
20 FW Portugal POR Rúben Rodrigues
22 GK England ENG Tiernan Brooks
23 DF Zimbabwe ZIM Adam Chicksen
24 DF England ENG Alex Lacey
25 GK Wales WAL Luke Pilling
30 GK England ENG Jake Kean (player-coach)
MF England ENG Tom Walker (on loan from Harrogate Town)

Players of the season[edit]

As voted for by supporters of the club.[101]
Year Winner
1965 England George Smith
1966 England Brian Bates
1967 Scotland Alex Gibson
1968 England Keith Smith
1969 Scotland Don Masson
1970 England David Needham
1971 England Brian Stubbs
1972 England Les Bradd
1973 England Roy Brown
1974 Scotland Don Masson
1975 England Bill Brindley
1976 Republic of Ireland Ray O'Brien
1977 Scotland Arthur Mann
1978 England Mick Vinter
1979 Northern Ireland Eric McManus
Year Winner
1980 England David Hunt
1981 Scotland Don Masson
1982 Scotland Iain McCulloch
1983 Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Radojko Avramović
1984 Nigeria John Chiedozie
England Trevor Christie
1985 England Pedro Richards
1986 Saint Kitts Tristan Benjamin
1987 England Dean Yates
1988 England Geoff Pike
1989 England Chris Withe
1990 England Phil Turner
1991 England Craig Short
1992 England Steve Cherry
1993 England Dave Smith
Year Winner
1994 England Phil Turner
1995 Australia Shaun Murphy
1996 Australia Shaun Murphy
1997 England Matt Redmile
1998 England Gary Jones
1999 England Ian Richardson
England Darren Ward
2000 England Alex Dyer
2001 England Mark Stallard
2002 Australia Danny Allsopp
2003 England Mark Stallard
2004 England Ian Richardson
2005 England Ian Richardson
2006 Wales David Pipe
2007 England Mike Edwards
Year Winner
2008 England Kevin Pilkington
2009 England Matt Hamshaw
2010 England Neal Bishop
2011 Wales Ben Davies
2012 Republic of Ireland Alan Judge
2013 England Gary Liddle
2014 Republic of Ireland Alan Sheehan
2015 Northern Ireland Roy Carroll
2016 England Jon Stead
2017 England Robert Milsom
2018 England Matthew Tootle
2019 England Kane Hemmings
2020 Wales Connell Rawlinson[102]

Club management[edit]

Coaching staff[edit]

Position Staff
Manager Neal Ardley
Assistant Manager Greg Abbott
Goalkeeping Coach Jake Kean
Academy Manager Dave Plant
Performance Analyst Jimmy Redfern

Last updated: 21 August 2020
Source: Staff directory

Managerial history[edit]

As of 10 October 2020
Name Nat From To Days in
Charge
Record
P W D L Win %
by committee[103] England 1862 1913
Albert Fisher (secretary – manager) England 1913 1927
R.C.White (Fisher's absence due to WW1) England 1917 1919
Horace Henshall (secretary – manager) England 1927 1934
Charlie Jones Wales 1934 1935
David Pratt Scotland 1935 1935
Percy Smith England 1935 1936
Jimmy McMullan Scotland 1936 1937
Harry Parkes England 1938 1938
J.R. `Tony`Towers England 1939 1942
Frank Womack England 1942 1943
Frank Buckley England 1944 1946
Arthur Stollery England 1946 1949
Eric Houghton England 1949 1953
George Poyser England 1953 1957
Frank Broome (Caretaker) England 1957 1957
Tommy Lawton England 7 May 1957 1 July 1958 44 13 6 25 029.55
Ernie Coleman (Caretaker) England 1958 1958
Frank Hill Scotland 1958 1961
Ernie Coleman England 1961 1963
Eddie Lowe England 1963 1965
Tim Coleman England 1965 1965
Jack Burkitt England 1966 1967
Andy Beattie Scotland February 1967 September 1967 22 5 3 14 022.73
Billy Gray England 1967 1968
Jack Wheeler England 1968 1969
Jimmy Sirrel Scotland 1969 1975 291 139 72 80 047.77
Ronnie Fenton England 1975 1977 90 35 24 31 038.89
Jimmy Sirrel Scotland 1977 1982 180 61 57 62 033.89
Howard Wilkinson England 1982 1983 49 19 8 22 038.78
Larry Lloyd England 1983 1984 66 19 15 32 028.79
Richie Barker England 1984 1985 27 5 6 16 018.52
Jimmy Sirrel Scotland 1985 1987 110 46 32 32 041.82
John Barnwell England 1987 1988 74 28 23 23 037.84
Neil Warnock England 5 January 1989 14 January 1993 1,470 205 90 45 70 043.90
Mick Walker England 14 January 1993 14 September 1994 608 82 31 19 32 037.80
Russell Slade England September 1994 January 1995 23 6 5 12 026.09
Howard Kendall England 12 January 1995 1 April 1995 79 15 4 4 7 026.67
Steve Nicol Scotland 20 January 1995 5 June 1995 136 20 4 7 9 020.00
Colin Murphy England 5 June 1995 23 December 1996 567 83 33 24 26 039.76
Sam Allardyce England 16 January 1997 19 October 1999 1,006 145 56 39 50 038.62
Gary Brazil England 23 October 1999 June 2000 34 10 9 15 029.41
Jocky Scott Scotland 28 June 2000 10 October 2001 469 71 28 19 24 039.44
Gary Brazil England 10 October 2001 7 January 2002 89 20 4 6 10 020.00
Billy Dearden England 7 January 2002 6 January 2004 730 103 30 27 46 029.13
Gary Mills England 9 January 2004 4 November 2004 301 40 10 11 19 025.00
Ian Richardson (Caretaker) England 4 November 2004 17 May 2005 194 34 11 9 14 032.35
Gudjon Thordarson Iceland 17 May 2005 12 June 2006 391 50 13 16 21 026.00
Steve Thompson England 12 June 2006 16 October 2007 491 65 21 19 25 032.31
Ian McParland Scotland 18 October 2007 12 October 2009 725 103 28 31 44 027.18
Dave Kevan /
Michael Johnson (Caretakers)
Scotland
Jamaica
13 October 2009 27 October 2009 14 2 1 1 0 050.00
Hans Backe Sweden 27 October 2009 15 December 2009 49 7 2 3 2 028.57
Dave Kevan (Caretaker) Scotland 15 December 2009 23 February 2010 70 11 6 3 2 054.55
Steve Cotterill England 23 February 2010 27 May 2010 93 18 14 3 1 077.78
Craig Short England 1 July 2010 24 October 2010 115 18 8 1 9 044.44
Paul Ince England 27 October 2010 3 April 2011 158 29 10 6 13 034.48
Carl Heggs (Caretaker) England 3 April 2011 11 April 2011 8 2 0 0 2 000.00
Martin Allen England 11 April 2011 18 February 2012 313 43 16 10 17 037.21
Keith Curle England 20 February 2012 2 February 2013 348 51 23 14 14 045.10
Chris Kiwomya England 2 February 2013 27 October 2013 267 34 9 9 16 026.47
Steve Hodge (Caretaker) England 27 October 2013 6 November 2013 10 2 1 0 1 050.00
Shaun Derry England 6 November 2013 23 March 2015 502 77 26 14 37 033.77
Paul Hart /
Mick Halsall (Caretakers)
England
England
23 March 2015 7 April 2015 15 3 0 3 0 000.00
Ricardo Moniz Netherlands 7 April 2015 29 December 2015 266 34 11 8 15 032.35
Mick Halsall /
Richard Dryden (Caretakers)
England
England
29 December 2015 10 January 2016 12 1 0 0 1 000.00
Jamie Fullarton Scotland 10 January 2016 19 March 2016 69 12 3 1 8 025.00
Mark Cooper England 20 March 2016 7 May 2016 48 10 3 2 5 030.00
John Sheridan England 27 May 2016 2 January 2017 220 32 8 6 18 025.00
Alan Smith (Caretaker) England 3 January 2017 12 January 2017 10 1 0 0 1 000.00
Kevin Nolan England 12 January 2017 26 August 2018 591 84 35 23 26 041.67
Steve Chettle /
Mark Crossley (Caretakers)
England
England
26 August 2018 1 September 2018 6 1 0 0 1 000.00
Harry Kewell Australia 31 August 2018 13 November 2018 74 14 3 4 7 021.43
Steve Chettle (Caretaker) England 13 November 2018 27 November 2018 15 4 1 2 1 025.00
Neal Ardley[104] England 28 November 2018 Present 473 80 32 21 27 040.00

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External links[edit]