Players | Managers | Clubs | Grounds | National Teams | Leagues & Cups
    The Beautiful Game
    Football Stories


Hanging up the Boots

For the first time in my life I didn't know what I was doing. I hadn't planned for retirement and hadn't even taken a coaching badge. I rested for another three months and then decided to tickle the Achilles and see how it went. I then got a call from Shrewsbury and Oldham. Andy Ritchie was managing the latics and he invited me over to train and take it from there. The family were settled in Bolton and Oldham's not far away, I had nothing to lose. The training went well and I managed to get a few games in. Although I didn't know it at the time, my last game was an F.A. Cup tie at Brentford. The game went out live on Sky and went into extra time, we ended up winning 2-0, I scored and was also made man of the match - not a bad way to go out!

A position came up in the States, and in May 2000 I signed a three-year contract as player-coach with Cincinnati Riverhawks . Again I was enjoying life. The standard of football was poor, with the players quite naïve, lacking flare although very methodological. The dressing room banter was virtually non-existent and I began to miss home. The role wasn't made easier in having the Chairman as Head Coach! Just around the end of the season my mum was diagnosed with breast cancer, and this made my mind up, I was coming home.

We'd rented out our home on a three-year contract, so we had to find somewhere to live. It was late spring 2002 when we moved back to Bolton, and by then I was now into the next stage of my football career.

On returning to England I'd fancied a crack at management. In December 2000 I joined Gressley Rovers from the Dr. Martens League. We picked up a few points and managed to save the club from relegation. After assessing the playing staff at the South Derbyshire club, I moved on twenty players. I also brought in two guys who had knowledge of the non-league seen; Andy Mason (my assistant manager) and Stuart Connor (my coach). We're a team, we each have a role and we work well together.
The following season the club went up to 5th in league, but due to Gressley's financial situation, I hadn't been offered a contract. If a contract had been signed, I'd probably still be there.

In March 2001 Ilkeston Town came in for me. Also in Derbyshire, Ilkeston were in the Dr. Martens Premier division and as such, they offered a new challenge at a higher level and the resources to make improvements. Again we managed to turn things around and we avoided relegation, losing only one of the last ten games. I' moved on quite a few players, re-structured the playing contracts to award those who contribute to the club, and brought in some new faces. However the results didn’t go our way, and I left the club in November 2002.

Since then I’ve been working in the media, particularly with match day commentary for Tower FM. I’m still looking to get back into football, although it has to be the right opportunity for me.