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Gary Megson

Gary Megson
Norwich Career: 1992-1995, 1995-1996 (54 appearances, 1 goal)
Current Club:
Date of Birth:  02/05/1959
Nationality: English

Biography

If Gary had only spent one spell at Norwich, he would have been regarded favorably by the Carrow Road crowd. Signed in July 1992 on a free transfer from Manchester City, he added grit and determination to the City midfield and played an important role in Norwich's bid for the 1992-93 Premiership which saw them finish third and gain a place in the UEFA Cup. Following the departure of Mike Walker to Everton in January 1994, he became player-coach in John Deehan's managerial set-up. The departure of Norwich City's strikers Sutton, Ekoku and Robins combined with the injury to keeper Bryan Gunn led to Norwich's struggle with relegation in the second half of the 1994-95 season. John Deehan stepped down as manager on April 9th hoping that someone else could find the magic to save Norwich from relegation. Gary Megson had five games in which to do this. However his opportunities were limited as transfer deadline day had passed and the City squad was so depleted that Megson himself had to abandon his retirement and play against Leicester on April 5th. Megson's five games were not particularly easy fixtures: home versus Notts Forest (lost 1-0), away to Tottenham (lost 1-0), home to Liverpool (lost 2-1), away to Leeds (lost 2-1) which saw the Canaries relegated and finally a meaningless 1-1 draw at home to Aston Villa. Despite the end result, Megson had tried his best with limited resources and no City fan would hold malice against him.

In June 1995, chairman Robert Chase appointed Martin O'Neill as Norwich's new manager. Megson departed Carrow Road to spend brief periods with Lincoln and Shrewsbury before he realised his playing career was over. He joined Bradford City as Assistant Manager to Chris Kamara. A return to Carrow Road came in November following Martin O'Neill's resignation. Megson however was seen as Robert Chase's cheap option and a Yes man. The Canaries quickly slid down the Division One table and relegation looked like a distinct possibility. Carrow Road witnessed significant displays of fan power as cries of "Chase Out" echoed around the stadium. I recall the Boxing Day defeat at home to Southend and the wintery post-match demonstration that could so easily have turned into a riot. Megson was manager for 27 games and won just five of them. Chase's resignation as chairman in April 1996 marked the end of Gary's Carrow Road career and he was replaced on 21st June 1996 by Mike Walker.

Gary took up the manager's position at Second Division Blackpool leading them to 7th position. In early July 1997, Gary resigned as manager of Blackpool to take up the vacant position at Stockport County whose manager David Jones had joined Southampton. Stockport's promotion to the First Division in the 1996/97 season ensured a return to Norwich for Gary Megson who will seek to prove himself to the Carrow Road faithful. Gary was sacked as Stockport manager on 25th June 1999 following a hostile meeting with chairman Brendan Elwood. Elwood claimed that Megson had applied for other jobs whilst as Stockport manager. This followed a mediocre 1998/99 season.

Gary wasn't out of work for long as he took over as Stoke City's manager on 14th July 1999. In the autumn of 1999, Stoke was purchased by an Icelandic business consortium. Despite Stoke being in 8th place in Division Two, Gary was sacked on 15th November 1999 in order to prepare the way for former Icelandic national team manager Gudjon Thordarson to take control at the Brittania Stadium. Gary warned Stoke to pay up the remaining two years on his contract stating "No-one should come out of this feeling like a victim, but I will unless I am treated honourably by the club". (The Sun 16/11/1999). The Sun later speculated on 25th November that Gary "had emerged as the front-runner to take the helm at crisis club Sheffield United. The blunted blades want the former Sheffield Wednesday manger to replace manager Adrian Heath who quit Bramall Lane after Tuesday night's shock defeat by fellow strugglers Port Vale... Megson, 40, is seen as the best candidate to revitalise the First Division outfit after his success at Stockport and Stoke." However Bury manager Neil Warnock was appointed as Heath's replacement at United. Megson was then linked with the vacancy at Gigg Lane. Gary was also been linked with the vacancy at Portsmouth following the sacking of Alan Ball although whether the fans would accept another ginger whinger as boss is another matter. Gary was viewed by many as the favourite for the Fratton park job but he ruled himself out of the race for this job, citing personal reasons for his withdrawal.

On 9th March 2000, Gary was appointed as the new manager of West Bromwich Albion, beating former Bolton boss Colin Todd in the race to replace Brian Little who resigned on 6th March. Megson's success at West Brom saw him linked in December 2000 with West Midlands rivals Wolves following the departure of their manager Colin Lee. New chairman Jez Moxey was said to be impressed by Megson's achievements at The Hawthorns. Megson took West Brom to the Play-Offs as they finished 6th in Division One. However they were beaten at the first stage by Bolton 5-2 on aggregate. In September 2001, Gary was named as a favourite to fill the vacant manager's chair at Highfield Road following Gordon Strachan's resignation after Coventry's poor start to the new season. Gary was also linked with the vacancy at Leicester following Peter Taylor's departure and that at Hillsborough following Peter Shreeves' departure from the Sheffield Wednesday hotseat. This trend continued into the New Year with Gary linked to the vacancy at Pride Park following the sacking of Derby boss Colin Todd. The following week saw Gary linked with the vacancy at Villa Park caused by John Gregory's resignation (he later took the Derby job). It appeared that Gary was keen to move on from his Division One play-off positioned side as he spoke out against his chairman's plan to control the scouting and recruitment of players at the Hawthorns. The move to Villa didn't occur and Gary remained at the Hawthorns, leading them to second place in Division One and a place in the Premiership for the 2002/03 season.

A strong start to their Premiership campaign saw them in 9th place after 7 games. This suggests how foolish the media can be when they suggested that Megson would replace Peter Reid at struggling Sunderland. Why he would swap 9th place for 19th is a mystery to me. However their good run did not continue and Albion were relegated to Division One on April 19th 2003. With WBA riding high at the beginning of the 2003/04 season, Gary's name was linked with the vacancy at West Ham following Glenn Roeder's sacking. In the end, Gary stayed at the Hawthorns and led West Brom to promotion.

The beginning of the 2004/5 season saw Megson at odds with his chairman Jeremy Pearce with the media speculating that Megson would be ousted from his role - although other rumours said that Megson topped Manchester City's list of candidates to replace Kevin Keegan if he was removed from the Commonwealth Stadium. After Gay admitted he would not renew his contract in the summer of 2005, he was dismissed from his role as manager by chairman Pearce claiming that this statement counts as a letter of resignation which the club accepted. As such Gary lost out on half his compensation bonus. He has already been linked to Leicester City.

On 10th January 2005, he was appointed as manager of Nottingham Forest, struggling at the wrong end of the Coca Cola Championship in succession to Joe Kinnear. He signed a two and a half year contract. Unfortunately Megson could not prevent Forest from being relegated to League One on 30th April 2005. A poor run of results during 2005/6 saw Gary and Forest part company by mutual consent on 16th February 2006. The following month saw Megson linked with a return to Stoke if the Potteries club were taken over by new investors, according to the News of the World (26th March 2006)

In July 2006, Gary announced his interest in the vacancy at Wolverhampton Wanderers caused by Glenn Hoddle's resignation.

At the end of 2006, Megson was interviewed fo the vacancy at Hull City following Phil Parkinson's sacking but the post eventually went to caretaker manager Phil Brown. He was also linked by a number of sources to the vacancy at Swansea City during February 2007 but the Swans appointed Spanish player Roberto Martinez to be their new manager. In March 2007, he was named by the Daily Mirror as the favourite to become the new boss of Huddersfield after the departure of Peter Jackson.

On 14th September 2007, Gary was appointed as manager of Leicester City following the sacking of Martin Allen by chairman Milan Mandaric. This was not met with much pleasure by Leicester fans with one comment on the BBC's 606 messageboards saying Milan had "Got rid of good ones and bring in mediocre ones". His first game in charge was a 1-1 home draw with QPR, his second was a replayed Carling Cup game against megson's previous club Notts Forest which Leicester won 3-2, giving them a passage into the third round where they will face Martin O'Neill's Aston Villa

Following the sacking of Sammy Lee as Bolton's manager in mid-October 2007, Bolton asked Leicester for permission to speak to Megson about the vacancy at the Reebok Stadium. Although Leicester twice denied permission, Megson wanted to talk to Bolton and so left the club. He was appointed Bolton manager on October 25th 2007, signing a two and a half year contract. He inherits a side bottom of the table with just five points from their first 10 games. Leicester chairman Milan Mandaric said that he had agreed a compensation package with Bolton - thought to be about £300,000.

On 30th December 2009, Megson was sacked by Bolton with the Trotters in the relegation zone following a draw with Hull that was marred by fans booing Megson. After the game the former West Brom boss voiced his frustration with the jeering. "It has started now to have an impact," Megson told BBC Radio 5 live. "It's difficult for the players to be playing in that atmosphere." Perhaps the most telling moment of Megson's post-match interview came when he was asked if he thought it was impossible for him to win over the Bolton fans. A despondent Megson simply replied: "Yes."

Following Roy Keane's sacking in early January 2011, Megson was linked with the Ipswich managerial position and was the first to be offered the £375,000 per year position. According to the Daily Mail, he rejected the offer because Ipswich chairman Marcus Evans would not sanction his proposed backroom staff. Ipswich instead appointed former Bradford and Wigan manager Paul Jewell. Megson had also been linked to the managerial vacacny at Preston.

Megson eventually returned to management on 4th February 2011, suceeding the sacked Alan Irvine at Sheffield Wednesday, Wednesday's new Chairman Milan Mandaric had worked with Megson at Leicester.

Gary was sacked by Wednesday on 29th February 2012, despite winning the Steel City derby four days previously and with Wednesday in third place in League One. Chairman Milan Mandaric said he took the decision to give the club the "best chance of achieving our key aim of promotion". "This was a very difficult decision but one that has been taken with the best interests of Sheffield Wednesday at heart. We have 13 games to go of what is a critical season for our club, and this decision has been taken because I believe we have a better chance of achieving our key aim of promotion by making the change. I fully understand this may not be the most popular decision amongst our supporters but I ask them to trust me, as they have done so whole-heartedly during the time I have been at the club. Whilst we won what was a huge game last Sunday, I have looked at results before that to reach the conclusion which I believe is the right one for now and the future of Sheffield Wednesday." Mandaric has, nine days earlier, been forced to refute rumours that Megson had quit the club. Megson was replaced by Dave Jones, the former Wolves and Cardiff manager.

In January 2013, Megson was reportedly shortlisted for the vacant manager's position at Barnsley, following their sacking of Keith Hill.

The Sunday People reported on 10th February 2013 that Megson was so willing to get back into football management that he had told managerless Huddersfield that he would work for a minimal salary.

The Early Days
Gary began his footballing career in August 1975 as an apprentice with Plymouth Argyle turning professional in May 1977. He made his debut the following October and made 78 appearances for the Pilgrims. Everton manger Gordon Lee paid £250,000 for him in February 1980 and he played 22 games for the Merseysiders before joining Sheffield Wednesday in August 1981. He made 123 league appearances for Wednesday, following in the footsteps of his father Don who had captained the Owls. Nottingham Forest signed him in August 1984 but he did not see eye to eye with Brian Clough and failed to make a single appearance. In November 1984, he joined Newcastle and made 24 appearances on Tyneside. In December 1985, he rejoined Sheffield Wednesday and played another 110 league games for them before joining Manchester City in January 1989. 82 matches followed before he was granted a free transfer and joined Norwich City as Mike Walker's first signing.


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