Lennie Lawrence

Lennie Lawrence is currently assistant manager at Cardiff City.

Lawrence was previously the assistant manager of Bolton Wanderers with Dougie Freedman and Nottingham Forest.

Throughout his career, there has always been an array of clubs seeking to acquire the benefits of Lennie’s vast experience in the game.

After a playing career in non-league football, Lennie began his professional coaching career at Plymouth Argyle in 1977 under Mike Kelly. He took over as caretaker manager in 1978 following Kelly’s resignation and then became assistant to Malcolm Allison on his appointment in March 1978.

He left Plymouth Argyle in January 1979 following Allison’s departure to Manchester City and was then appointed assistant to Colin Murphy at Lincoln City. Having helped Lincoln to promotion from Division Four in 1980-81 Lennie left to take a reserve team post at Charlton in 1982, taking over as manager "temporarily" in November after Ken Craggs was sacked. He remained in charge at Charlton for nine years leading The Addicks to promotion to the old First Division during the period in which they shared Selhurst Park with Crystal Palace whilst The Valley was renovated.

He left Charlton in summer 1991 to take up the managerial reins at Middlesbrough and won promotion to the newly formed Premier League in his first season as well as making the semi-final of Littlewoods Cup. Unable to maintain their place in Premiership, Boro' were relegated at the end of the 1992-93 season and Lawrence left at the end of the following year.

He became Bradford City’s manager in July 1994 but left after just fifteen months at Valley Parade having finished in mid-table in Division Two. He was then appointed Luton Town manager but with the team five points adrift at the bottom of Division One, he could not prevent their relegation. Finished 3rd in Division Two the following season, The Hatters were unfortunate not to win an immediate promotion but they were knocked out in the play-offs to eventual winners, Crewe.

Lawrence surprisingly departed the Hatters in the summer of 2000 but he wasn't out of work for long as Grimsby moved to acquire his services just two matches into the season.

His long and varied managerial career has been characterized by shrewd transfer dealings on a limited budget and a dedicated approach to youth development. With The Mariners narrowly escaping relegation back to the Second Division in 2000, Lawrence’s first objective was to ensure the club consolidated its position in the First Division but despite a famous League Cup victory over Liverpool early in the season, Grimsby's league form left them fighting relegation once again and he was dismissed just before the New Year.

Lawrence was not even out of the game for a week before being appointed as the Director of Football at Cardiff and less than two months later he was back in management as The Bluebirds' new boss.

Lennie Lawrence was appointed as manager of Cardiff City on February 18, 2002, just six weeks after his dismissal from Grimsby Town. He replaced Alan Cork in the manager's role having initially been brought in to Ninian Park as Director of Football by Cardiff chairman Sam Hammam.

In his first full season in charge of Cardiff he sealed promotion to the First Division in fairytale style. Lennie continued developing the club until May 2005 when he converted to a consultancy role at the club before joining Bristol Rovers.

Lennie was the Director of Football at Bristol Rovers, working alongside and passing on his invaluable experience to promising young Head Coach Paul Trollope. Lennie also ran the UEFA Pro programme for the FA of Wales. The pair oversaw promotion to League One in 2007.

Lawrence is a member of the LMA Hall of Fame, being one of a select group of managers to take charge of over 1000 matches in English football. His coaching and managerial career has spanned over 30 years at every level in professional football.

More recently, he worked alongside Dougie Freedman both at Crystal Palace and Bolton Wanderers.

Honours (5)
  • personal-awards
    • Cardiff City:
      • Manager of the Month, Sky Bet Championship, (2005-01-01)
    • Grimsby Town:
      • Manager of the Month, Sky Bet League One, (2001-08-01)
  • promotions
    • Cardiff City:
      • Promotion to Coca Cola Championship, (2003-05-25)
    • Middlesbrough:
      • Promotion to FA Carling Premiership, (1992-05-02)
    • Charlton Athletic:
      • Promotion to Football League Division One, (1986-05-03)
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