Gordon Milne, a former Chief Executive of the LMA, is one of the first English managers to achieve consistent playing success whilst managing abroad.
Born in Preston, he was the son of the famous Preston North End player and manager Jimmy Milne, and played for North End before transferring to Liverpool in September 1960.
Milne was a regular in the Anfield side for seven seasons, playing over 250 games and winning two League Championship medals (1964 and 1966) but missing the 1965 FA Cup final and European Cup semi finals through injury. A polished wing-half, who would be called a box-to-box player these days, he won the first of 14 England caps in 1963, against Brazil, and was a member of the England squad for the 1966 World Cup.
In May 1967 he was released by Liverpool and spent two years at Blackpool before becoming player-manager at non-league Wigan Athletic. Milne guided them to the Northern Premier League title and an FA Cup run that ended with a narrow defeat at Maine Road. He also became part-time manager of the England Youth team in 1972, helping them to win the European Youth Championships that year.
Milne was appointed team manager at Coventry under Joe Mercer and remained in charge of playing matters until May 1981, when he moved upstairs to deal with contracts and transfers whilst Dave Sexton took over the coaching side.
During his years at Highfield Road he showed great skill in the transfer market in a generally difficult financial period. Simultaneously young players rolled off the youth production line so that whenever he was forced to sell one of his best players he had a young replacement ready to step in.
In 1982 Coventry released him to become manager of Leicester City, who won promotion to Division One the following year. In 1986 he similarly stepped aside at Filbert Street but left a year later after relegation. There followed a successful seven-year period as coach of Turkish club Besiktas where he won three successive league titles in the early 1990s.
After a spell as chief executive of the League Managers Association he joined up with Sir Bobby Robson at Newcastle United as Director of Football.
The attraction to get more involved on a day-to-day basis proved irresistable, however, and when he followed Sir Bobby out of St James Park to rejoin Besiktas which was his latest managerial position.