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Mel Machin

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Title: Mel Machin  
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Subject: A.F.C. Bournemouth, John Benson (footballer), Andy Ritchie (English footballer), History of Manchester City F.C. (1965–2001), 1993–94 in English football
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Mel Machin

Mel Machin
Personal information
Full name Melvyn Machin
Date of birth (1945-04-16) 16 April 1945
Place of birth Newcastle-under-Lyme, England
Playing position Midfielder
Youth career
Port Vale
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1962–1966 Port Vale 30 (6)
1966–1971 Gillingham 156 (11)
1971–1974 Bournemouth 110 (7)
1974–1978 Norwich City 96 (4)
1977 Seattle Sounders (loan) 19 (0)
Total 392 (28)
Teams managed
1987–1989 Manchester City
1989–1993 Barnsley
1994–2000 Bournemouth
2000–2002 Bournemouth (Director of football)
2003 Huddersfield Town (caretaker manager)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

† Appearances (goals)

Melvyn "Mel" Machin (born 16 April 1945) is an English former footballer and manager.

A midfielder, he started his career at Port Vale in 1962, before he moved on to Gillingham four years later. He made his name at the club from 1966 to 1971, before he transferred to Bournemouth for a three-year spell. In 1974 he signed with Norwich City, also playing on loan at American club Seattle Sounders, before he retired in 1978 – he was later voted into Norwich City's Hall of Fame in 2002.

Appointed manager of Manchester City in 1987, he won them promotion out of the Second Division in 1988–89, before he left to take up the reins at Barnsley. In September 1994 he was appointed manager at Bournemouth, where he would remain for the next six years, managing them to a Football League Trophy final in 1998. He later served Bournemouth as Director of football between 2000 and 2002, before briefly managing Huddersfield Town in 2003.


  • Playing career 1
  • Coaching and management career 2
    • Managerial statistics 2.1
  • Honours 3
    • Playing career 3.1
    • Managerial career 3.2
  • References 4
  • External links 5

Playing career

Despite being a Stoke City fan,[1] Machin started his playing career at nearby Port Vale, signing professional forms in July 1962. He made the odd appearance from October 1962 and 1964, after which point he started to appear rather more frequently. He was not a favourite with Stanley Matthews or trainer Lol Hamlett as he had a habit of talking back to the pair, so he put in a transfer request in 1966.[2] In all competitions he made 32 appearances, scoring 6 goals, being utilised mostly as an inside-forward.[3]

In July 1966 he joined Gillingham, where he attained regular first team football. After 156 league matches and 11 goals, Machin was signed in 1970 by Bournemouth & Boscombe Athletic, at the time managed by John Bond.[4]

His spell at Bournemouth ended after 110 appearances in December 1973, when he followed Bond to Norwich City, despite interest from Tottenham Hotspur and Crystal Palace.[4] Converted to a full-back role, Machin played 117 appearances and scored four times for the club. He conceded a penalty in the 1975 League Cup Final defeat to Aston Villa at Wembley Stadium.[4] After problems with injuries he finished his career in 1978, following a brief spell in the NASL with Seattle Sounders.

Coaching and management career

After retiring as a player, Norwich then invited him to join their coaching set-up. He worked as youth team and reserve team coach, and then was promoted to chief coach before being appointed as assistant to manager Ken Brown. The partnership finished in May 1987, when he accepted an offer to manage Manchester City.[4]

After two seasons in charge, he got the club promoted to Division One with a young and promising squad. In the first season in the top-flight, his team beat local rivals Manchester United by 5–1 on 23 September 1989, in what Alex Ferguson described as the lowest point of his career.[5] Despite the victory, two months later, on 27 November, Machin was sacked by chairman Peter Swales as the club was bottom of the division. He became Barnsley manager on 29 December but resigned on 5 May 1993, as he was disillusioned with the club policy of selling their best players to make ends meet.[4]

Machin then worked as a scout for West Ham United, Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool before he was appointed manager of Bournemouth in September 1994. In his first season at the helm he managed to keep the club in the Second Division despite a start with seven consecutive defeats and a serious financial crisis, this feat later became known as "The Great Escape".[6] In 1998, Bournemouth lost to Grimsby Town in the Auto Windscreens Shield final in their first ever Wembley appearance. In August 2000, he became director of football role[7] and later retired on 29 August 2002,[1] having had his testimonial match the previous month. It was in his testimonial – a 3–2 victory for Manchester United,[8] that United's £29.3 million signing Rio Ferdinand made his debut.[9] In October 2002 he was linked to the vacant management position at Swindon Town.[10]

On 28 January 2003, Machin came out of retirement to assist Mick Wadsworth at the helm of Huddersfield Town.[11] Two months later he was promoted to the manager role as Wadsworth was sacked.[12] Machin and Huddersfield parted ways at the end of the season as he failed to avoid relegation to the Third Division.[13]

Managerial statistics

Team From To Record[14]
G W D L Win %
Manchester City 1 May 1987 30 November 1989 129 58 43 28 44.96
Barnsley 1 December 1989 5 May 1993 185 64 72 49 34.59
Bournemouth 1 September 1994 19 August 2000 322 119 121 82 36.96
Huddersfield Town 26 March 2003 6 May 2003 7 2 3 2 28.57
Total 643 243 239 161 37.79


Playing career

with Norwich City

Managerial career

with Manchester City
with Bournemouth


  1. ^ a b Mitchener, Mark (30 August 2002). "Machin quits Cherries". BBC Sport. Retrieved 17 June 2009. 
  2. ^ Kent, Jeff (December 1991). Port Vale Tales: A Collection Of Stories, Anecdotes And Memories. Witan Books. p. 31.  
  3. ^ Kent, Jeff (1996). Port Vale Personalities. Witan Books. p. 180.  
  4. ^ a b c d e "Flown the Nest". Retrieved 17 June 2009. 
  5. ^ "Machin's magical derby memories". BBC Sport. 14 November 2000. Retrieved 17 June 2009. 
  6. ^ "Five memorable Dean Court games". BBC Sport. 8 November 2001. Retrieved 17 June 2009. 
  7. ^ "Machin moves upstairs". BBC Sport. 19 August 2000. Retrieved 17 June 2009. 
  8. ^ "Rio in Man Utd bow". BBC Sport. 27 July 2002. Retrieved 17 June 2009. 
  9. ^ "Rio raring to go". BBC Sport. 28 July 2002. Retrieved 17 June 2009. 
  10. ^ "Machin poised for Robins post". BBC Sport. 18 October 2002. Retrieved 17 June 2009. 
  11. ^ "Terriers snap up Machin". BBC Sport. 28 January 2003. Retrieved 17 June 2009. 
  12. ^ "Huddersfield sack Wadsworth". BBC Sport. 26 March 2003. Retrieved 17 June 2009. 
  13. ^ "Machin leaves Huddersfield". BBC Sport. 6 May 2003. Retrieved 17 June 2009. 
  14. ^ Includes all Premier League, Football League, FA Cup, League Cup and Football League Trophy games.

External links

  • Mel Machin management career statistics at Soccerbase
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