Samuel Hollis' claim to fame is he was the first ever manager of Arsenal. Having worked for the Probate Office and the Post Office, he became manager of Woolwich Arsenal in 1894. Previously team affairs were managed by a committee of players and club members, with Bill Parr often taking the lead - when Hollis took over he became the sole manager with full time responsibility for picking the team and managing the club - full time.

His three years were solid but unspectacular, finishing mid-table in the Second Division (their best position was seventh in 1895-96)

In April 1897 Hollis was tempted away by newly-formed Bristol City where he spent three separate spells with the Robins. His first ended in March 1899 when he left to become secretary-manager of Bedminster, but when Bedminster were then merged with Bristol City in 1900 and he lost his job.

By 1901 he returned to manage Bristol City (during this spell City finished as Southern League runners-up and were promoted to the Football League). He left in March 1905 and managed a hotel between 1905 and 1911, having previously ran a pub between 1899 and 1909.

Like most modern day managers, the lure of management drew him back and he took over as Bristol City manager for the third time in January 1911. This was the least successful period of management as he oversaw the club's relegation from the First Division back to the Second.

He left Ashton Gate in April 1913, and in July took over as manager of Southern League Newport County where he remained until 1917. After that last stint in the hot-seat he spent a number of years as chairman of Bristol City's shareholders. He died in Bristol on 17th April 1942.

Honours (1)
  • promotions
    • Bristol City:
      • Promotion to Football League Division Two, (1901-01-01)
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