Howard Wilkinson

Howard Wilkinson is the Chairman of the LMA and he remains the last English manager to win the top flight league in England.  Always passionately committed to the development of players, especially young players, he was allowed to design and build his ‘prototype Academy' at Leeds, from which a steady stream of talented and exciting young players has flowed.

It will perhaps be at the Football Association where he will leave his most permanent work. The “Charter for Quality”, a strategic plan for football, was produced in his first year. At its heart were player development, Academies, and “the strategy for the development of international players and coaches”.  The aim was quite simply to produce a continuous stream of world class international players and world class teams.

Wilkinson is a universally respected figure in football; a former title-winning manager whose influence stretches to the top of the game.

The long-standing chairman of the League Managers Association, Wilkinson has taken charge of the England team on two occasions.

In addition to being a successful club boss, Howard was a trusted aide to several England managers including Sir Bobby Robson before becoming the Football Association's technical director.

Sheffield-born Wilkinson prepared himself thoroughly for management in his own meticulous style, securing coaching qualifications and serving a non-league apprenticeship with Jim Smith's Boston United where he ended his career as a player.

After being appointed Boston's player-manager in 1975, he won two Northern Premier League titles to add to the three he collected as a team member.

Wilkinson gained further experience as part of the national coaching set-up before teaming up with veteran boss Jimmy Sirrel, a major influence, at Notts County. He stepped up to first-team duties and helped establish County in the top flight, after a recent promotion, with an impressive 15th place in 1982-83.

Howard was lured home to Hillsborough the following summer and promptly restored Wednesday to the First Division in his opening season. He then made the Owls a highly competitive outfit in the top flight, finishing fifth in 1986.

Leeds United raided Wednesday for his services in October '88. Wilkinson delivered promotion to Elland Road 18 months later, winning the Second Division with a side that included the inspirational capture of Gordon Strachan.

He then made another hugely influential signing in Gary McAllister who became playmaker for a team pushed to a higher level by Wilkinson's development via the youth ranks of Gary Speed and David Batty.

After an impressive fourth place in Leeds' first season back in top company, Wilkinson's side won the championship in 1992 before also claiming the Charity Shield in a thrilling 4-3 win over holders Liverpool. Howard remains the last English manager to win the league - and also, coincidentally, the last to land the First Division championship before the creation of the Premier League. He went on to reach a League Cup final appearance in his eight years at Elland Road.

Wilkinson became FA technical director in 1997, a role in which he oversaw coaching programmes and launched the National Football Centre project. He was twice England caretaker boss - for a friendly with France after the departure of Glenn Hoddle and for a drawn World Cup qualifier in Finland following the resignation of Kevin Keegan.

Aside from a brief return to management at Sunderland, Howard has occupied various roles including adviser to Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua, temporary first-team coach at Leicester City and non-executive director of Notts County.

He made a return to Hillsborough in January, 2009 to advise a new board on football matters, including a blueprint for potential new investors.

In May 2010, Howard agreed to become Interim Chairman of Sheffield Wednesday where he remained until December of that year.

Honours (7)
  • personal-awards
    • NO CLUB:
      • Honorary PhD - Sheffield Hallam University, (1999-01-01)
    • Leeds United:
      • Manager of the Year Barclays Bank, (1992-05-30)
      • Honorary MBA - Leeds Metropolitan University, (1992-01-01)
      • Division Two Manager of the Season Barclays Bank, (1990-05-30)
  • domestic-trophies
    • Leeds United:
      • Charity Shield Winners, (1992-08-08)
  • league-titles
    • Leeds United:
      • Football League Division One Champions, (1992-04-26)
      • Football League Division Two Champions, (1990-05-05)
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