Mick Wadsworth

Mick Wadsworth's achievements in football are an inspiration to all those who believe that a vast or successful league playing career is not necessarily essential as preparation for a career in management and coaching.

Although Mick's career as a player was a long and happy one, the man named Oldham Athletic manager on 7 November 2001 completed just 19 games for Scunthorpe United in the mid-1970s before returning to non-league football.

After a career as player and, later, player-coach with Frickley Athletic, Mick distinguished himself to the extent that he spent a further six years from 1985 to 1991 as an FA Regional coach in the North-West region. After this, he was a technical co-ordinator on the FA's Excellence Programme.

He held these positions while also taking on a role as the coach of the England non-league team for two years before a five-year stint as the England Youth team coach. This led to further honour as he progressed to a coaching role with the England under-21 team between 1991 and 1993.

Also, from 1988 to 1992, he was an official match observer for England set up under Bobby Robson and Graham Taylor. It was Bobby Robson who gave Mick the chance to work at Italia 90 as a member of the England coaching staff.

From August 1993 to July 1996, Mick managed Carlisle United, where his achievements with the team included the 1995 Football League Division Three championship and the development of several talented young players. The same season also saw Carlisle in the final of the Auto Windscreens Shield final at Wembley. All that stood between Mick's Carlisle team and glory was a Golden Goal from Birmingham's Paul Tait.

Despite the defeat, the achievements of that season won the Yorkshireman the 1995 Football League Divisional Manager of the Year. He was also the runner-up in the LMA Manager of the Year awards for the entire league.

Among the players Mick guided through to the first team at Brunton Park were Rory Delap and Matt Jansen, both of whom went on to become established Premier League players. These two players alone were sold for a total of £1.8m.

A brief spell at Norwich City followed, where he was assistant manager between January and June 1996. He then managed the Division Three side Scarborough from August 1996 to January 1999. From there, he took over as the manager of Colchester United, where his guidance prevented the club from being relegated.

He also introduced Lomano-Tresor Lua Lua into the team. The stunning ability of the striker saw another example of Wadsworth's ability to spot a potential star player. Lua Lua was sold to Newcastle in 2000 for £2.25m. He had cost the club nothing.

Wadsworth's next post was as the assistant manager at Crystal Palace but, soon after he took the role alongside Steve Coppell at Selhurst Park, an old promise was fulfilled in the form of an offer Mick could not refuse.

Bobby Robson, back from a spell in Europe that lasted almost ten years, asked him to become head coach at Newcastle after making it clear that he would not forget Mick's abilities at the time he had left for Holland in 1990.

Wadsworth accepted the invitation and within the first season of taking over at St.James' Park he helped Robson to reduce the size of the Newcastle United squad and, subsequently, the wage bill. His coaching skills provided the backdrop for the revival in fortunes of the Tyneside club.

He was at Newcastle until the summer of 2001 when another development in Wadsworth's career resulted in another move. He was asked by Stuart Gray to become the assistant manager at Southampton. Bobby Robson was reluctant to let Mick go to the Hampshire club but, despite that, the challenge was too great for him to resist.

The new position allowed Mick to be reunited with Rory Delap, who was brought in for £4m from Derby County but a testing start to the season at Southampton saw Delap injured and a dismissal of the management duo that many people inside and outside the game thought was extremely harsh. He and Gray had only been in the job for just over three months.

Appointed at Oldham in November 2001, perhaps somewhat ironically, as successor to Andy Ritchie - Wadsworth was given the opportunity to resume his managerial career in the North West with a club aiming to return to Division One.

Given overall control of footballing matters at Boundary Park, with the emphasis on first team affairs, he was also responsible for keeping a close eye on the development of the young players in Oldham's Youth Development scheme.

Despite a good record with the Latics - losing just 9 of his 36 games in charge - Wadsworth was replaced by Iain Dowie.

Just over a month later, the opportunity came for Mick to return to managerial life in Division Two, with Huddersfield Town.

He later took charge of Chester City before accepting the managerial role at Hartlepool. Mick was quick to achieve success by being awarded the manager of the month for December 2010.

Wadsworth remained at Victoria Park for just over a year after he departed on December 6th 2011.

Wadsworth has extensive experience domestically and overseas, having previously coached both the St Kitts & Nevis and Congo national teams.

Honours (2)
  • personal-awards
    • Hartlepool United:
      • Manager of the Month, Sky Bet League One, (2010-12-01)
  • league-titles
    • Carlisle United:
      • Endsleigh Football League Division Three Champions, (1995-04-30)
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