Brian Talbot

Brian Talbot left Rushden and Diamonds 'by mutual consent' on March 8th 2004 and was appointed as the new boss of Oldham Athletic two days later.

Leaving the team he had managed for seven years after taking them up to Division Two from the Conference, he blamed the "circumstances at the club" for his decision, which was understood to be a reference to their financial difficulties.

Talbot enjoyed great success with The Diamonds, just as he did in his playing career, which started at his hometown club, Ipswich when they were embarking on the run of success that saw them qualify for the UEFA Cup eight times in nine seasons, the exception being a campaign in the European Cup Winners Cup after their 1978 FA Cup win.

Ipswich won the cup against Arsenal and, just a season later, Talbot was back at Wembley playing for the Arsenal team himself, in his second consecutive FA Cup final. He scored in the 3-2 win against Manchester United in 1979, and followed this with a further appearance in the 1980 final against West Ham.

The 1-0 defeat to the Hammers was the only one of his three FA Cup finals in which he ended up on the losing side. Talbot's misery continued later the same week when Arsenal lost on penalties to Valencia in the final of the European Cup Winners' Cup.

Brian's total number of appearances as a professional footballer came to 601 in all competitions for domestic clubs. He also played 21 times for England, scoring once.

After a further four seasons in which he played for Watford, Stoke City and West Bromwich Albion, he went on non-contract terms with Fulham and then Aldershot before retiring.

His first managerial appointment came at West Brom where he endured a testing three years from 1988 to 1991. In 114 games, Talbot oversaw just 34 victories and the Midlands club slid into the old Football League Division Three in 1991. Bobby Gould took over as manager.

Brian then spent four seasons coaching the Maltese club Hibernians until he returned to take over at Rushden and Diamonds FC, the side formed at the end of the 1991/92 season following a merger between Rushden Town of the Southern League and Irthlingborough Diamonds of the United Counties League.

He had taken over as head coach in 1996-97 season when The Diamonds were in a dire state, sitting at the bottom of the Conference. They finished that season in 12th position and Talbot began to rebuild the team, taking them up to fourth the following two years, then to the runners-up spot, and finally to the title and into Football League in 2001.

The next season saw the newcomers reach the play-offs in Division Three and they marched to the Championship in 2003.

In a mid-table position in Division Two in March 2004, having previously been in contention for a play-off place, Rushden were forced to look for a new manager when Brian left to take charge at Oldham, who were six points and five places below The Diamonds in the table.

John Sheridan, who had been acting manager following Iain Dowie's departure for Crystal Palace in December, was given a role as first-team coach at Boundary Park as the new manager looked to take The Latics onward and upward.

Honours (3)
  • personal-awards
    • Rush & Diamonds:
      • Manager of the Month, Sky Bet League Two, (2003-03-01)
      • Manager of the Month, Sky Bet League Two, (2002-11-01)
  • league-titles
    • Rush & Diamonds:
      • Nationwide Football League Division Three Champions, (2002-01-01)
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