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Sam Allardyce

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Title: Sam Allardyce  
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Subject: Premier League Manager of the Month, List of Premier League managers, Notts County F.C., Abdoulaye Faye, Phil Brown (footballer, born 1959)
Collection: 1954 Births, Alumni of the University of Bolton, Association Football Central Defenders, Blackburn Rovers F.C. Managers, Blackpool F.C. Managers, Bolton Wanderers F.C. Managers, Bolton Wanderers F.C. Players, British Association Football Commentators, British Expatriate Sportspeople in the United States, Coventry City F.C. Players, English Expatriate Footballers, English Expatriates in Ireland, English Expatriates in the United States, English Football Managers, English Footballers, Expatriate Association Footballers in the Republic of Ireland, Expatriate Soccer Players in the United States, Huddersfield Town A.F.C. Players, League of Ireland Managers, League of Ireland Players, Limerick F.C. Managers, Limerick F.C. Players, Living People, Millwall F.C. Players, Newcastle United F.C. Managers, North American Soccer League (1968–84) Players, Notts County F.C. Managers, People from Dudley, Premier League Managers, Preston North End F.C. Managers, Preston North End F.C. Players, Sunderland A.F.C. Managers, Sunderland A.F.C. Non-Playing Staff, Sunderland A.F.C. Players, Tampa Bay Rowdies (1975–93) Players, The Football League Managers, The Football League Players, Uefa Pro Licence Holders, West Bromwich Albion F.C. Non-Playing Staff, West Bromwich Albion F.C. Players, West Ham United F.C. Managers
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Sam Allardyce

Sam Allardyce
Allardyce at the Boleyn Ground in 2015
Personal information
Full name Samuel Allardyce
Date of birth (1954-10-19) 19 October 1954
Place of birth Dudley, West Midlands, England
Height 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)[1]
Playing position Defender
Club information
Current team
Sunderland (manager)
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1973–1980 Bolton Wanderers 184 (21)
1980–1981 Sunderland 25 (2)
1981–1983 Millwall 63 (2)
1983 Tampa Bay Rowdies[2] 11 (1)
1983–1984 Coventry City 28 (1)
1984–1985 Huddersfield Town 37 (0)
1985–1986 Bolton Wanderers 14 (0)
1986–1989 Preston North End 90 (2)
1989–1991 West Bromwich Albion 1 (0)
1991–1992 Limerick 23 (3)
1992 Preston North End 3 (0)
Total 479 (32)
Teams managed
1989–1991 West Bromwich Albion (assistant)
1991–1992 Limerick (player/manager)
1992 Preston North End (caretaker)
1994–1996 Blackpool
1997–1999 Notts County
1999–2007 Bolton Wanderers
2007–2008 Newcastle United
2008–2010 Blackburn Rovers
2011–2015 West Ham United
2015– Sunderland

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

† Appearances (goals)

Samuel "Sam" Allardyce () (born 19 October 1954), known as "Big Sam", is an English football manager and former professional player who is currently manager of Sunderland.[3]

As a footballer, Allardyce made over 400 appearances and played for Bolton Wanderers, Sunderland, Millwall, Tampa Bay Rowdies, Coventry City, Huddersfield Town, Preston North End, West Bromwich Albion and Limerick. Moving into management he took charge of Limerick, Blackpool and Notts County before managing Bolton Wanderers from 1999 to 2007.[4] He led Bolton to a League Cup final as well as guiding them to UEFA Cup qualification for the first time in their history.

Following a spell at Newcastle United from 2007 to 2008, Allardyce managed Blackburn Rovers from 2008 until 13 December 2010.[5] He also managed West Ham United between 2011 and 2015.


  • Early life 1
  • Playing career 2
  • Managerial career 3
    • West Bromwich Albion 3.1
    • Limerick 3.2
    • Preston North End 3.3
    • Blackpool 3.4
    • Notts County 3.5
    • Bolton Wanderers 3.6
    • Newcastle United 3.7
    • Blackburn Rovers 3.8
    • West Ham United 3.9
    • Sunderland 3.10
  • Controversies 4
  • Managerial statistics 5
  • Honours 6
  • Notes 7
  • External links 8

Early life

Allardyce was born in 1954 in a council house on the Old Park Farm Estate, Dudley, the son of Robert Allardyce (1916–1989)[6] and Mary Agnes Allardyce (1918–1991).[7] His father was a police sergeant.[8] He has an older brother, Robert junior, born in 1951.[9]

Allardyce was educated at Sycamore Green Primary School and later at Mons Hill School. As a child, he supported Wolves and dreamed that one day he would play at and manage the club.[10]

Playing career

Allardyce joined Bolton Wanderers as a centre-half in 1973 and was part of the side which won the Second Division title in 1977–78 to secure promotion to the First Division.

Allardyce was signed by Ken Knighton to play for Sunderland for whom he played 25 times during the 1980–81 season. He went on to play for Huddersfield Town, Coventry City, Millwall, and Preston North End whom he captained to promotion from the Fourth Division in 1986–87.

He played in the North American Soccer League for the Tampa Bay Rowdies. The football team shared facilities with the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Allardyce subsequently applied in his managerial career many practices of American football with regards to training, player management and tactics.[11]

Managerial career

West Bromwich Albion

Sam Allardyce was named assistant manager (player/coach) to Brian Talbot at West Bromwich Albion in February 1989, one of his childhood club, Wolverhampton Wanderers', fiercest rivals.[12] On the playing side, Allardyce appeared in only one game for Albion, coming on as a substitute against Newcastle United in November 1989. After two years at the Hawthorns, he and Talbot were sacked as the club slid towards relegation to the Third Division for the first time in their history.


Allardyce then took up the role of player/manager of Limerick, making his League of Ireland debut on 6 October 1991, and guided the team to promotion by topping the First Division with a number of points to spare in 1991–92 in his only season at the club.

Preston North End

After his season in Ireland, Allardyce returned to England and to Preston North End, for the start of the 1992–93 season to take up the role of coach/assistant manager under Les Chapman.

Ten games into the season, however, Chapman was sacked and Allardyce was appointed caretaker manager. His short spell in charge saw Preston putting in some "fine" performances, and picking up some much needed league points along the way. The club's board, though, felt that Allardyce's managerial inexperience at league level worked against him and opted in December 1992 to appoint the more experienced John Beck, who in turn appointed Gary Peters as his assistant. Allardyce carried on with the club in his original coaching capacity for another 18 months, but his disappointment at missing out on the Preston job was apparent and, when in July 1994 arch rivals Blackpool offered him the manager's job after sacking Billy Ayre, Allardyce accepted their invitation.

Allardyce had played his final game in 1992 for Preston, ending a playing career which had spanned over 20 years.


Allardyce's spell at Bloomfield Road included his leading the club, in 1995–96, to their most successful season in years. Chairman Owen Oyston, while he was in a prison cell, sacked Allardyce[13] on 29 May 1996, at the end of the campaign, after Allardyce failed to secure promotion to Division One. Blackpool finished third, missing out on automatic promotion on the last day of the season, and were beaten in the play-off semi-finals by Bradford City. They had won 2–0 away at Valley Parade, only to lose 3–0 in the return leg on home soil.[14] In matches in the Football League, Allardyce still has the highest win percentage (44.57%) of any Blackpool manager.[15]

Five years after his sacking, Allardyce stated that he still had no idea why Blackpool relieved him of his position.[16] "We had missed promotion to the First Division by a point," Allardyce told the Daily Mail. "Yet it had all been done on next-to-nothing, and during the months leading towards the end of the season, I hardly ever saw Owen Oyston. But he always assured me that, no matter what, my job would be safe. I turned up for that meeting having been told it was to discuss new terms. Instead, I was told that I was being sacked. It was cold, calculated, pre-planned, whatever. I walked out of there with ₤10,000, no job, and desperately worried that my reputation would be damaged forever."[17] Allardyce then had a brief spell on the coaching staff under Peter Reid at Sunderland A.F.C..[18]

Notts County

In January 1997, Sam Allardyce made his return to football as manager of the struggling, Division Two club Notts County. He arrived too late to save them from relegation, but they won promotion at the first attempt by finishing top of Division Three at the end of the next, 1997–98 season. Notts County broke several club and national records, winning the title by a 19-point margin and becoming the first post-war side to win promotion in March. Allardyce remained in charge at Meadow Lane until 19 October 1999, when he returned to Bolton Wanderers in Division One and became their new manager.

Bolton Wanderers

Allardyce in 2007

Following Allardyce's appointment, and despite being in the bottom half of the table when he took over (they were in ninth position), Bolton reached the 1999–2000 Division One playoffs, losing to Ipswich Town, and had an eventful run to the League Cup before being beaten 4–0 on aggregate by Tranmere Rovers,[19] and FA Cup semi-finals.

Bolton went one better in 2000–01 by reaching the play-off final where they beat Preston North End 3–0 to achieve promotion to the Premiership after a three-year absence. Allardyce said he planned to walk away from football at the end of his 10-year contract at Bolton Wanderers, when he would have been 56.[20]

Bolton went top of the Premiership after gaining ten points from the first four games of the 2001–02 campaign. However, the Bolton squad was not strong enough to mount a sustained challenge and their safety was not ensured until the penultimate game of the season. They continued to struggle in 2002–03, avoiding relegation by just two points and one place.[21]

After two years in the bottom half of the table, Bolton substantially improved, and established themselves in the Premiership. The 2003–04 season saw Allardyce's side finish eighth and reach the League Cup final, losing 2–1 to Middlesbrough.

2004–05 saw Allardyce and Bolton finish sixth to win qualification in the UEFA Cup for the first time in the club's history, equal on points with 2005 UEFA Champions League victors Liverpool. In the early months of 2005–06, Allardyce once again took Bolton into the top half of the Premiership and also steered them into the knockout rounds of the UEFA Cup. Bolton eventually finished eighth that season.

In early 2006, it was confirmed that Sven-Göran Eriksson would leave the England manager's job after the 2006 FIFA World Cup, and as a successful English manager, Allardyce was touted as a major candidate for the post. Bolton confirmed that they would let him talk to the FA if the Association approached him. However, he was not offered the job, which eventually went to Steve McClaren.

Speculation arose on 28 April 2007 that Allardyce would quit as Bolton manager at the end of the 2006–07 season, a move that the board initially denied. However, Bolton announced on the next day that Allardyce was to leave the club after eight years, effective immediately.[22] Sammy Lee was announced as his replacement the following day.[23]

Allardyce told the Mail on Sunday on 12 May 2007 that part of his reason for leaving Bolton was because he wanted to win silverware. Allardyce said, "I have had praise for what I've done, but there's nothing at the end of it. I want silverware. I'm determined to get it before my days are over."[24]

On 16 June 2010, Allardyce was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Bolton, having maintained close ties to the town.[25]

Newcastle United

Allardyce during his career as Newcastle manager. Photographed at Graz Airport.

After the resignation of Glenn Roeder, manager of Newcastle United, on 6 May 2007, Allardyce immediately became the leading contender with bookmakers and the media for the resulting vacancy, and it was confirmed that Allardyce had held a meeting with Newcastle chairman Freddy Shepherd in London.[26] On 15 May 2007, Newcastle United announced that Allardyce had signed a three-year contract to manage the club.[27] On 21 May 2007, Allardyce had already axed six players from Newcastle United before the 2007–08 season had started. They included Olivier Bernard, Craig Moore, Oguchi Onyewu, Titus Bramble, Pavel Srníček and Antoine Sibierski.[28]

Allardyce made his first signing as Newcastle United manager on 7 June 2007, with Australian international striker Mark Viduka from local rivals Middlesbrough on a free transfer. He later signed utility man Alan Smith from Manchester United, defenders David Rozehnal from Paris Saint-Germain, Caçapa from Olympique Lyonnais, Geremi from Chelsea, José Enrique from Villarreal CF and midfielder Joey Barton from Manchester City.[29][30] He concluded his summer business with a late swoop for defender Abdoulaye Faye from his old club Bolton.

Despite building what looked to be a promising squad, and the team enjoying a good start to the season, after a series of disappointing results in the run-up to Christmas, and after gaining only one point from a possible six from bottom-of-the-table Wigan and Derby,[31][32] there was speculation that Allardyce's tenure at Newcastle could be under threat,[33] with fan protests seeing him unpopular for poor results and poor football.[34]

On 9 January 2008, Sam Allardyce parted company with Newcastle United by mutual agreement.[35]

Blackburn Rovers

Allardyce (top) managing Blackburn in 2009

He was appointed as manager of Blackburn Rovers on a three-year contract. His first game in charge was a 3–0 victory over Stoke City at Ewood Park three days later. This was the first game of a nine-game unbeaten run, until a 2–0 defeat at the hands of Aston Villa. He led the team to seven more wins, including a 2–1 away win at Fulham. The team only won two away games, but won five games, drew four and lost just one at Ewood Park. Allardyce finished his first season in charge with a 0–0 draw with West Bromwich Albion and a final league position of 15th.[36][37]

In the 2009–10 season he helped Blackburn into the League Cup semi-final against Aston Villa, but lost over two legs.[38] Under Allardyce, Blackburn remained mid-table for the duration of the season. This home record also contributed to Rovers going unbeaten against the so-called 'big four' at Ewood Park for the first time in 14 years, drawing 0–0 with Liverpool and Manchester United, 1–1 with Chelsea and a 2–1 victory over Arsenal. In his first full season in charge, Rovers finished 10th with a final day victory away at Aston Villa.[39][40]

When then-England manager Fabio Capello came under fire after England's disappointing showing at the 2010 World Cup, Allardyce once again expressed his desire to become the new England manager if Capello left.[41]

On 17 September 2010, Allardyce claimed that he and Fulham manager Mark Hughes had not had enough experience at bigger clubs. Allardyce went on to claim that if he was manager of Inter, Real Madrid, Chelsea or Manchester United, clubs he claimed to be "better suited" to managing, that he would win multiple trophies every season. This was interpreted to be an attack on Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger continuing on from an unconnected row earlier in the week,[42] and an attempt to promote himself with regard to the England job. However, the statement and the prospect of Allardyce managing at such a high level was met with doubt by some members of the British press.[43][44]

On 13 December 2010, Allardyce was sacked by Blackburn following a 2–1 defeat to his former club Bolton Wanderers, with Rovers lying 13th in the league.[45][46] Sir Alex Ferguson called the decision "absolutely ridiculous", while the Rovers players were taken completely by surprise by the sacking.[47]

West Ham United

Allardyce in front of the West Ham United bench, August 2012

Allardyce was appointed as manager of then-recently relegated West Ham United on 1 June 2011, signing a two-year contract.[48][49] Allardyce vowed to play "attractive football" in getting West Ham back to the Premier League, according to the "traditions of the club," and rejected the claims that he played dull, long-ball football at previous clubs.[50]

He signed Sunderland on a season-long loan,[57] strikers Sam Baldock from MK Dons[58] and midfielder Papa Bouba Diop on a free transfer.[59] He concluded his summer business with late swoops on deadline day for midfielders David Bentley from Tottenham Hotspur and Henri Lansbury from Arsenal,[60] both on season-long loans and utility man Guy Demel from Hamburg for an undisclosed fee making him Allardyce's 12th purchase of the 2011 summer transfer window.[61] Nicky Maynard,[62] Ricardo Vaz Tê[63] and Ravel Morrison[64] followed in the 2011 winter transfer window.

Allardyce in 2011

In March 2012, despite standing in third place in the Championship, Allardyce's style of football was again questioned as at his previous club Newcastle United. Fans called for more passing of the ball and football played on the pitch and not in the air.[65] In May 2012, West Ham were promoted back to the Premier League after only one season in The Championship after winning the 2012 Football League Championship play-off Final. Allardyce described this promotion as his best ever achievement.[66]

A busy transfer window for the summer of 2012 saw Sam Allardyce bring in eleven players, including Jussi Jääskeläinen,[67] Mohamed Diamé,[68] Modibo Maïga,[69] James Collins,[70] Alou Diarra,[71] Matt Jarvis,[72] Andy Carroll[73] and Yossi Benayoun.[74] Allardyce's first Premier League game in charge of West Ham came on 18 August 2012, a 1–0 victory over Aston Villa.[75] Allardyce renewed his contract at West Ham on 11 May 2013 by signing a new two-year deal, scheduled to run until the end of the 2014–15 season. This renewal came as West Ham sat in 10th place in the Premier League where they finished at the end of the season.[76][77]

Some pundits claim that despite Allardyce's promise to play "attractive football,"[50] on returning to the Premier League he reverted to "long-ball" football.[78] His long-ball tactics brought criticism from fans,[79] the media[80] as well as other managers. Allardyce disputed the claims, stating that his West Ham side were "more than a long-ball team".[81] In January 2014, following a 0–0 draw at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea manager, José Mourinho criticised West Ham's football, likening it to "football from the 19th century,"[82] words that the next season he would dismiss and label as "silly," commenting that he acknowledges the Allardyce team's need to avoid relegation.[83] Following the goalless draw against Chelsea, West Ham won all four of their next Premier League games and Allardyce was awarded the Premier League Manager of the Month for February 2014.[84] In April 2014, during an away game against West Bromwich Albion, a section of West Ham fans expressed their distaste at the style of football played under Allardyce by displaying a banner which read "Fat Sam Out, killing WHU".[85] In May 2014, some supporters hung a banner bearing the legend "Fat Sam Out" outside the mansion owned by club chairman, David Sullivan, in Theydon Bois, Essex.[86] Despite protests, on 20 May 2014, the club announced that Allardyce would remain at the club but also that he would be given the use of an attacking coach for the 2014-15 season to "ensure the team provides more entertainment".[87] In May 2014, former West Ham player, Teddy Sheringham was appointed to "improve the club's goal tally".[88]

Allardyce signing autographs prior to West Ham's victory over Queens Park Rangers in 2014

In October 2014, pundits like BBC's Robbie Savage were commenting about the team's "more attractive and attacking playing style"[89] or "the statistics [that] show the progress that West Ham have made in the last few months."[89][90] In the same month, Allardyce claimed his reputation for playing long ball football was "not founded in fact" and had been used as an excuse by opposing managers such as Arsène Wenger, David O'Leary, Graeme Souness and Rafa Benitez following defeats by sides managed by Allardyce.[8] In November 2014, Allardyce was awarded the Premier League Manager of the Month for October 2014 after three wins for West Ham out of four games played in the month.[91]

Allardyce left West Ham on 24 May 2015, the final day of the season, after his contract was not renewed.[92] Informed of the club's decision not to renew his contract on 22 May 2015, Allardyce said that he had already decided not to renew saying, "I didn't want to stay. I suppose you could say it was mutual if they didn't want me to stay either". [93] His West Ham side had finished 12th in the 2014–15 season, one place higher than in the 2013–2014 season, but after a promising start to the 2014–15 season poor results meant supporters had turned against him.[94]


On 9 October 2015, Allardyce was named the new Sunderland manager, replacing Dick Advocaat.[95] When Allardyce was appointed, Sunderland sat 19th in the Premier League table with three points from their first eight games of the season. Signing a two-year contract, he became the first manager to have managed both Newcastle United and Sunderland.[96]On 25 October 2015, in his second game as manager, he guided Sunderland to a 3-0 win against rivals and his former club Newcastle United.[97]


On 19 September 2006, Allardyce, and his son, Craig, were implicated in a BBC Panorama documentary for taking "bungs" (bribes) from agents for signing certain players. Two agents, Teni Yerima and Peter Harrison, were secretly filmed, each separately claiming that they had paid Allardyce through his son. Allardyce denies ever taking, or asking for, a "bung".[98]

The then Bolton manager was implicated in an exposé of the football transfer market. The programme, called Undercover: Football's Dirty Secrets, was aired on the same night that Bolton beat Walsall 3–1 in the Football League Cup, so he missed the original showing. As a result of the allegation, Allardyce refused to speak to the BBC.[99] While he also stated he was going to sue the broadcaster in order to clear his name,[100] Allardyce failed to issue libel proceedings, allowing the year-long window following the show's broadcast to expire.

The final report of the Stevens inquiry published in June 2007 expressed concerns regarding the involvement of Craig Allardyce in a number of transactions. "The inquiry remains concerned at the conflict of interest that it believes existed between Craig Allardyce, his father Sam Allardyce—the then manager at Bolton—and the club itself."[101]

In January 2013, Allardyce received "substantial", but undisclosed, damages from former Blackburn Rovers manager Steve Kean. In 2011, Kean had been recorded in a bar in Hong Kong falsely alleging that Allardyce had been sacked from his post at Blackburn Rovers because he was a crook.[102]

In February 2014, Daniel Taylor, chief football writer for The Guardian and The Observer, wrote that West Ham player and England prospect Ravel Morrison felt he had come "under considerable pressure" from Allardyce to sign up with football agent Mark Curtis, who represents Allardyce himself and a number of other West Ham players, e.g. Kevin Nolan, James Tomkins, Jack Collison, Matt Jarvis, Andy Carroll, Jussi Jääskeläinen.[103] Agent Curtis had been charged and eventually cleared by the Football Association during the 2008 investigation into Luton Town's illegal transfer dealings.[103]

Curtis responded to the allegations by saying it is "nonsense", while Allardyce talked of Morrison complaining about "a groin injury" while the club's medical staff could find "no problem,"[103] and made a reference to the player's "disciplinary issues in the past."[104] Morrison was eventually loaned out to 2nd-tier side Queens Park Rangers for the remainder of the 2013–14 season.[105]

Managerial statistics

Allardyce in 2014
As of 1 November 2015[106]
Team Nat From To Record
G W D L Win %
Preston North End[107] 30 September 1992 30 November 1992 12 3 4 5 25.00
Blackpool 19 July 1994 29 May 1996 102 44 23 35 43.14
Notts County 16 January 1997 14 October 1999 145 56 39 50 38.62
Bolton Wanderers 19 October 1999 29 April 2007 371 153 104 114 41.24
Newcastle United 15 May 2007 9 January 2008 24 8 6 10 33.33
Blackburn Rovers 17 December 2008 13 December 2010 86 30 23 33 34.88
West Ham United 1 June 2011 24 May 2015 181 68 46 67 37.57
Sunderland 9 October 2015 present 3 1 0 2 33.33
Total 922 361 245 316 39.15



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External links

  • Sam Allardyce management career statistics at Soccerbase
  • Allardyce's NASL statistics from
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