Roy McFarland

Roy McFarland led Burton Albion to the Football league for the first time in their history in the 2008/09 season.

Roy has over 40 years experience in the profession following an illustrious playing career that saw him achieve considerable success.

Born in Liverpool, Roy began his career at Tranmere Rovers and impressed in their first team whilst still a teenager. Brian Clough paid £24,000 to take him to Derby County in 1967 and two years later he helped them to promotion from Division Two. He won the first of his 28 England caps in 1971 and then captained Derby County to the Football League Championship in 1972.

Having played over 500 games, scoring 48 goals, for Derby County, he took over as player-manager at Bradford City in May 1981, but returned to Derby a year later for a spell as assistant manager to Peter Taylor.

He later became caretaker manager and eventually succeeded Arthur Cox as the Rams manager in 1993.

Two years later he linked up with former Derby team-mate Colin Todd to form a managerial duo at Bolton Wanderers but relegation from the top filght qucikly followed and McFarland was sacrificed in favour of his colleague.

Roy was appointed manager of Cambridge United in November 1996, following the acrimonious departure of Tommy Taylor to Leyton Orient. Although he inherited a side lying second in Division Three, he quickly realised that his young charges were in a false position and, sure enough, a slump followed which saw United finish in 10th place.

Needing to sell players to balance the books at Abbey Stadium, McFarland struggled to return The U's to a position at the top of the table in his first two years but led the side to 2nd place and promotion to the Second Division in 1998/99, keeping them up the following season.

The new millennium saw a change in fortunes however and with the team struggling at the foot of Division Two, Roy was shown the door and replaced by David Kemp.

After a short break, Roy was keen to return to the game and was given the opportunity to do so by Torquay's chairman Mike Bateson before the start of the 2001/2002 season.

Colin Lee had managed to keep the Gulls up with a final day victory the previous season, after he had taken the reins from Wes Saunders at Plainmoor.

Roy faced a difficult task in turning round the fortunes of the south coast club and they were again struggling in the lower reaches of Division Three but managed to finish in 19th, 15 points clear of the drop.

Roy left the club three days after the final game of the season, on April 23 2002, after being told by the board that they could not afford to keep his assistant David Preece and that his own contract would have to renegotiated.

The board blamed the collapse of the Football League's deal with ITV Digital for their decision, which they say had to be taken in the best interests of the club's financial future.

Roy decided it would be in his best interests to leave and wait for another opportunity to arise.

That opportunity came at Chesterfield. He was appointed manager on May 12, 2003. He left the club in March 2007 before taking charge at Burton in January 2009.


Honours (1)
  • promotions
    • Burton Albion:
      • Promotion to Coca Cola League Two, (2009-05-03)
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