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Chris Coleman

Nationality: Welsh
Date of Birth: 06/10/1970


Chris Coleman was named as the permanent successor to Jean Tigana at Fulham on May 15, 2003, having impressed during his short spell as caretaker boss in the final few games of the season.

The Cottagers turned to Coleman after dismissing Tigana in April with the club still short of safety in the Barclaycard Premiership.

Following the announcement that the Frenchman's contract would not be renewed at the end of the season, the Cottagers suffered a number of significant defeats and it was decided that an immediate change in management was necessary to enable the players' to focus their attentions on the task ahead and secure the club top-flight status.

The board decided that Chris should be appointed as caretaker manager for the remaining five games of the campaign, with the support of Academy Director and Reserve Team coach Steve Kean. It proved a wise choice as the former Wales international steered Fulham away from the danger zone with three wins and a draw - a record that encouraged both him and the club to make the appointment permanent.

Chris showed the same determination in his brief spell in management as he had done as player.

He joined Fulham in November 1997 from Blackburn Rovers for what was then a club record fee. He captained the side through its ascent into the top flight until a disastrous car crash in January 2001, in which he sustained serious leg injuries.

After a brave fight back to fitness, Chris was forced to retire from the game in October 2002 and joined the squad management team as a coach under the guidance of Jean Tigana, Christian Damiano and Academy Director and Reserve Team coach Steve Kean, before taking charge of the club, at the tender age of 32.

Chris's career began at Manchester City as a junior before making a name for himself in his hometown of Swansea.

Nicknamed Cookie, he left Maine Road in 1987, joining The Swans for three seasons making over 150 appearances. It was only a matter of time before a bigger club came in for the talented youngster and in 1990 Crystal Palace decided Coleman was the man for them.

After four enjoyable years at Palace he moved to Blackburn for a brief spell before joining the Cottagers for 2.1m.

During his international career for Wales Chris won 32 caps and scored 4 goals.

After being named as the new manager of Fulham, Chris vowed to do things his way and stated that he would continue with his coaching courses as he aimed to qualify for the various UEFA coaching badges.

His lack of experience - having only had six months of coaching and five games as manager prior to his appointment - had initially caused him to rule himself out of the running for the position as the permanent boss. But his success in the five games as caretaker and his enjoyment of that brief spell led him to throw his hat in the ring.

Fulham chairman Mohammed Al Fayed was impressed with the way Chris had taken to the role and was delighted to hand him the opportunity to continue.

A popular figure at the club, amongst players and supporters alike, he will be hoping to help establish Fulham as a long-term fixture in the top flight as The Cottagers look to come through a difficult period in their history.


(info as at 01/10/03)

Reproduced under permission from the League Managers Association.
For more information, please visit their website. 2 articles