John Ward

John Ward was most recently the director of football of Bristol Rovers.

Ward has coached or managed at all levels after being groomed in the job by former England boss Graham Taylor.

Lincoln-born Ward - who played under Taylor for his hometown club - rejoined his mentor at Watford before becoming assistant manager at Vicarage Road. It was an era in which Watford finished runners-up in the old First Division, entered the UEFA Cup and reached the final of the FA Cup in 1984.

When Taylor moved on to Aston Villa three years later, Ward followed him - and stayed for a further year after Taylor became England manager in 1990.

A step up into management followed as Ward had spells in charge of York City, Bristol City and Bristol Rovers. In 1998 he linked up with Colin Lee at Wolverhampton Wanderers and then had a brief tenure as caretaker boss before becoming number two to Dave Jones.

The pair guided Wolves to the Premier League in 2003. Ward then returned to the manager's chair at Cheltenham Town, for whom he won promotion to League One in 2006 and kept the club at the higher level.

Next stop Carlisle United where Ward led a near-miss on promotion in 2008 when they were beaten by Leeds in the play-offs.

He left Brunton Park the following season but has stayed in close touch with the game as both a scout and a respected media commentator.

John's appointment at Colchester, followed a campaign where he was assistant manager with The Us. In his first full season at the helm, John guided the club to a positive 10th place finish in npower League One. They also finished in the same position in 2011/12.

He enjoyed immediate success with Bristol Rovers guiding them to a 14th place finish in 2012/13, after taking charge when they were second bottom of the Football League.

Ward is widely regarded as an innovative thinker who became a student of the game as a player. His career as a striker took in four clubs, including Watford, Grimsby and Lincoln, for whom he scored over 100 goals in nine years.

John is a member of the LMA's management committee.

Honours (5)
  • personal-awards
    • Carlisle United:
      • Manager of the Month, Sky Bet League One, (2008-03-01)
      • Manager of the Month, Sky Bet League One, (2008-02-01)
    • Cheltenham Town:
      • Manager of the Month, Sky Bet League Two, (2005-11-01)
  • promotions
    • Cheltenham Town:
      • Promotion to Coca Cola League One, (2006-05-28)
    • Bristol City:
      • Promotion to Nationwide Division One, (1998-05-10)
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