Sammy McIlroy

Sammy McIlroy was most recently in charge of Morecambe in npower League Two.

His successful managerial career began in July 1991, when he was appointed manager at Northwich Victoria, replacing his former manager Martin Dobson after beginning his coaching career at Preston North End. After leaving Northwich Victoria in 1992, he became manager of Ashton United for a short spell before being appointed manager of Macclesfield Town for the start of the 1993/94 season.

In his first campaign he won the Bob Lord Trophy as well as the Staffordshire Senior Cup. His second season as manager saw him bring the Vauxhall Conference Championship to the Moss Rose. Success at Macclesfield continued under Sammy as he won the Championship Shield again and added the FA Trophy to his list of managerial honours.

In season 1996/97, Sammy yet again won the Vauxhall Conference Championship but - unlike two years earlier - he was able to realise his dream of managing a Football League team. Having made it so far, Sammy was not content with merely consolidating his club's league status. He guided Macclesfield to an automatic promotion to the Nationwide League Second Division at his first attempt with an unbeaten record at home.

The former Manchester United midfielder then gave up his post as manager of Macclesfield Town to succeed Lawrie McMenemy as national team boss of Northern Ireland in 2000.

Sammy McIlroy returned to club management with Stockport County on October 15th 2003, after nearly three years in charge of Northern Ireland before his spell with Morecambe.

McIlroy enjoyed success with Morecambe as in his first full season, he guided the club to promotion in the conference playoffs in one of the first games played at the new Wembley Stadium.  After this success he helped to establish Morecambe in The Football League.

In 2009/10, McIlroy just missed on another promotion with Morecambe as his side finished in fourth place in League Two. After being denied an automatic place, The Shrimps then missed out in the play-offs to eventual winners Dagenham & Redbridge.

On his departure from the club in 2010/11, McIlroy was the 11th longest serving manager in English football.

As a player, Sammy was the last of the ‘Busby Babes'. He joined Manchester United in the footsteps of the legendary George Best when he moved from his native Belfast to join Manchester United as a raw teenager in the late sixties.

He later became an established member of a highly successful side built by Tommy Docherty. In all he made 418 appearances for United, one of the highlights being the 1977 FA Cup Final win over Liverpool. In 1982 McIlroy moved to Stoke City where he played 144 games before heading back to Manchester to join United's deadly rivals, City. He maintained a rare feat in football on his arrival at Maine Road by scoring on his debut for City after doing the same at Manchester United and Stoke. McIlroy's time at Maine Road was curtailed when he accepted an offer to join Bury and then managed by ex-Everton man Martin Dobson. He took up the post of player coach at Preston after that, but a severe knee injury ended his playing days.

For the Northern Ireland national team McIlroy won 88 caps, scoring 5 goals. He played all of Northern Ireland's games in 1982 World Cup, where they defeated the host nation Spain and advanced to the second round.  He also played in the 1986 World Cup in which he captained the side.

Honours (4)
  • personal-awards
    • Morecambe:
      • Manager of the Month, Sky Bet League Two, (2009-02-01)
      • Manager of the Month, Sky Bet League Two, (2007-08-01)
  • promotions
    • Morecambe:
      • Promotion to Coca Cola League Two, (2007-05-20)
    • Macclesfield Town:
      • Promotion to Nationwide Division Two, (1997-05-30)
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