Brian Horton was most recently assistant manager of Doncaster Rovers having been appointed on June 26, 2013. On July 1 2015, it was announced that Horton would leave his role as assistant to Paul Dickov.
Horton has taken charge of teams in each division of English football and is a member of the LMA Hall of fame - 1000 club.
Brian was born in Hednesford in Staffordshire where he played for Staffordshire schools. On leaving school he played non-League football for Hednesford Town before joining Port Vale as a professional. He played 236 League games for Port Vale and scored 37 goals (13 from the penalty spot) before Peter Taylor signed him for Brighton in March 1976. He played 252 games in all competitions for Brighton and scored 41 goals helping them to promotion from Division Three in 1977 and two years later to Division One. In the summer of 1981, Brian was transferred to Luton Town where he went on to play 118 games again earning promotion as skipper in his first year, taking them to Division One.
He became player-manager at Hull City in May and led them to promotion to Division Two in his first season. He was sacked in April 1988, to the surprise of many, and moved to Oxford United as assistant to Mark Lawrenson. He took over the managerial hotseat a mere six months later - a job that to last for 5 years. It was a fairly uneventful period in charge before a move into the big league as he was appointed Manchester City manager in August 1993 taking over from Peter Reid. It was a fraught start as they narrowly missed relegation, thanks in part to his signing of Uwe Rösler, Paul Walsh and Peter Beagrie. The following season Horton went for it playing with two out and out wingers (Peter Beagrie and Nicky Summerbee), leading to Rösler, Walsh and Quinn scoring 47 goals between them. At turn of the year the club were in 6th position and hopes high for a much-awaited return to European football, but it was inconsistency that cost in the end as they only won only four of their remaining 25 league games, finishing just four points clear of relegation. Horton was sacked by Francis Lee in April 1995.
It didn't take long for a return to the game, as he was appointed as manager of Huddersfield Town (who had just won promotion to Division One via the Division Two playoffs under Neil Warnock). Again he began well, as they reached the fifth round of the FA Cup, narrowly suffering a replay defeat at home to Wimbledon. But the season ended in disappointment when Huddersfield's league form slumped and they finished eighth, just missing out on a playoff place. Despite the club record £1.2million signing of Bristol Rovers striker Marcus Stewart, Huddersfield were unable to make a mark on Division One in 1996-97 and they finished 20th - just two places ahead of the relegation zone. Horton was sacked in September 1997 after a poor start to the season.
He then moved back to his old club Brighton as manager where he proved to be popular with both fans and players, while getting results on pitch. He helped prevent The Seagull's relegation from the Football League as they finished 23rd in Division Three for the second year in a row. Brian left Brighton to return home to Port Vale in February 1999 with the statement:
With a truly 'Valiant' effort, he kept the club in Division One by a whisker, on goals scored, but unfortunately he was unable to prevent Vale's relegation to Division Two the following year. Success came in 2001 with victory at the Millennium Stadium in the LDV Vans Trophy however, as Vale staged a late comeback to beat Brentford in Cardiff. Brian was unable to take them back up, missing out on the play-offs by a whisker in 2003, but it came as something of a surprise when he parted company with the club on February 12th 2004, with the team lying seventh in Division Two at the time, just a point outside the play-off positions. Brian's contract at Vale Park was due to expire in the summer and the decision, which was taken by both parties, was said to allow the club to plan for the immediate and long-term future.
Horton celebrated his 1000th game as a manager on 3 November 2004, as Macclesfield beat Mansfield 4–0 in the LDV Vans Trophy – and thus earned himself entry to the exclusive LMA 1000 Club. Though it was expected that Macclesfield would be relegated, he once again proved his managerial nous by keeping them in the top 7 of the league almost all season. It was much the same for the following season and by late September 2006 he was relieved of his duties at Macclesfield Town in after his team failed to win any of their opening twelve League games, leaving them bottom of the Football League.
On May 23, 2007, Horton returned to Hull City as assistant manager to Phil Brown – a mere 19 years after he resigned as Hull manager. The combination with Brown seems a recipe for success as the club reached the top flight for the first time in the club's history. After this triumph, Horton helped Hull retain their Barclays Premier League status in 2008/09.
After the departure of Phil Brown in March 2010, Horton took caretaker charge of Hull City with Steve Parkin before parting company with the club after the appointment of Iain Dowie.
More recently, Brian was the assistant manager of Preston North End before he took over at Moss Rose towards the end of the 2011/12 season.