06 Mar 2021


The League Managers Association (LMA) congratulates Mick McCarthy on his induction into the LMA 1000 Club and Hall of Fame.

Mick becomes only the 32nd manager in the modern era of English football to have reached the landmark of 1000 competitive matches. He reached this milestone following last night's fixture against Huddersfield Town.

Mick began his professional football management career with Millwall in March 1992. In his second full season, he took the club to the play-offs in after a strong third-place finish, but they lost out to Derby County in the semi-finals.

In February 1996, Mick became the manager of the Republic of Ireland national team. His team reached the 2002 World Cup held in South Korea and Japan after a crucial play-off win against Iran. They went on to qualify for the last 16 but were eliminated by Spain. Indeed, the narrowness of the elimination meant Ireland were the ninth best performers at the World Cup, and the fifth best among European teams in the competition.

During his career, Mick has achieved promotion to the Premier League with two clubs. Firstly, in 2005 Mick led Sunderland back to the Premier League as Football League Championship champions, amassing an impressive 94 points. Then in 2009, he secured promotion to the Premier League with Wolves. Mick was rewarded with the LMA Championship Manager of the Year Award on both occasions. 

After nearly six years with Wolves, Mick spent five and a half years as manager of Championship side Ipswich Town. He then returned to the Republic of Ireland, leading them into the play-offs for the European Championships, before departing in April 2020.

Following a spell with Cypriot First Division club APOEL, Mick returned to the Sky Bet Championship with his current club Cardiff City and in doing so, has reached the 1000 game milestone and confirmed his place amongst the most experienced managers of his generation.

LMA Chairman Howard Wilkinson, paying tribute to Mick's achievement, said: “It is a privilege and an honour to welcome Mick, a fellow Yorkshireman, into the LMA 1000 Club and Hall of Fame. His exceptional career in football has taken him around the world, both as a player and a manager, including managing five elite-level clubs in England and Wales and the Republic of Ireland national team. Throughout both the ups and the downs, Mick has remained true to himself and has stayed the course. The number of matches he has now managed speaks volumes about his credentials as a leader amongst his peers. 

“On behalf of the LMA members, I congratulate Mick and wish him and his long-serving assistant manager, Terry Connor, the very best of luck with the rest of the season. I look forward to having the opportunity to congratulate him in person and to celebrate this wonderful achievement.”

LMA Board and 1000 Club member Sir Alex Ferguson CBE said: “I am delighted to see Mick reach this incredible milestone of 1000 games in football management. He has proven over his 19-year career, his ability as a leader to build winning teams at both club and international level.

"Mick is an inspiration to all young managers and knows the meaning of perseverance. I have always been impressed by the resilience that Mick shows as a manager, together with humility and a great sense of humour.

"Mick deserves his place in the history books and I am pleased to welcome him into the LMA 1000 Club and Hall of Fame.” 

Following his 1000th match, Mick McCarthy said: “I am delighted and humbled to have reached 1000 games and to be mentioned amongst so many fellow managers who I admire greatly.

"There are so many people who have supported me over the years, too many to name them all, but I would like to say a special thank you to Ian Evans and Terry Connor, my assistants who have been so important to me reaching this point in my career.

"And of course, my special family, my wife Fiona, my kids and my grandchildren, who keep me going and support me no matter what."

The LMA Hall of Fame 1000 Club is a celebration of success and longevity. In a profession where time can often be an all too rare commodity, 1000 Club members have exhibited an enduring quality, achieving a truly prodigious amount.