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Gary McCallister

Nationality: Scottish
Date of Birth: 25/12/1964


Gary McAllister was named as Coventry City manager on April 24 2002 and is set to take charge of the club on May 12 after finishing his last season with Liverpool.

McAllister returns to Highfield Road two years after leaving to join the Merseyside club with whom he won three major trophies in a two-year spell, at a time when many believed his career was all but finished.

McAllister's professional career began in his homeland of Scotland with Motherwell in 1981 but he was brought to England in 1985 by Leicester City manager Gordon Milne.

After five years at Filbert Street, having made over 200 appearances for the Foxes, the midfielder joined Leeds United for 1million.

Helping Howard Wilkinson's newly promoted side to fourth place in the old First Division in his first season at Elland Road, McAllister was part of the formidable midfield quartet - also comprising Gordon Strachan, Gary Speed and David Batty - that drove the West Yorkshire side to the Championship.

He remained with Leeds until 1996 when he began his association with Coventry City, having played nearly 300 times for United.

Ron Atkinson recruited Gary to Highfield Road, having already signed his Leeds and former Scotland team-mate Strachan two-seasons earlier. Having previously captained McAllister at Elland Road, Strachan became 'Mac's' boss in November that year after Atkinson moved into the position of Director of Football and the dry-witted Scot was given his first managerial position.

McAllister captained the Sky Blues for four seasons and played some of the best football of his career before being tempted away from the club by an offer he simply couldn't refuse.

Able to leave on a free transfer, McAllister, aged 36, was invited to join Liverpool by Gerard Houllier. It proved to be a shrewd move on the part of both men as 'SuperMac' had an incredible impact on the Merseyside team.

He was used sparingly throughout the season by the Frenchman but really came into his own during the final stages of The Reds amazing cup and league campaigns.

Defying his age and benefiting perhaps from Houllier's rotation policy, the veteran midfielder scored some crucial goals as Liverpool claimed their famous cup treble and secured a place in the Champions League by clinching third place in the Premiership.

He scored the winner, a freekick from almost 40 yards, against Everton in a 3-2 win at Goodison that helped keep The Reds' league campaign on course.

He then kept his cool to score a penalty against Barcelona to put Liverpool in UEFA Cup final where he set up two goals, scored another penalty and delivered the freekick that an Alaves player headed into his own net to give Houllier's side a 4-3 victory and complete their cup treble.

McAllister had already played in the FA Cup final, after coming on as a substitute, and helped turn round a 1-0 deficit against Arsenal.

An intelligent and creative yet hard-working and combative midfielder with an eye for a pass, and for goal, McAllister has enjoyed tremendous success in his career in English football and is hoping to take his experiences into management as he nears the end of his playing career.

His intention is to carry on playing, at least for another season, as he tackles the dual role at Highfield Road.

McAllister takes over at Coventry with the aim of returning them to the top flight but he is fully aware of the severe financial restrictions he will be working under and it will not be an easy introduction to management by any means.

On the day of his appointment he said: "My task will be to get the club into the play-offs, or perhaps even the top two in the table.

"I am privileged to be asked to come here and honoured and excited.

"I will be player-manager at least for one season and then I will look at my playing side at the end of next season.

"I left here on good terms when they were in the Premier League and I had four successful years here.

"It will take time to get my ideas over to the players but hopefully we'll hit the ground running."


(Info as at 01/10/03)

Reproduced under permission from the League Managers Association.
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