Danny Bergara

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Danny Bergara
Personal information
Full name Daniel Alberto Bergara de Medina
Date of birth July 24, 1942
Place of birth Montevideo, Uruguay
Date of death July 25, 2007(2007-07-25) (aged 65)
Place of death England
Playing position Striker
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1958–1962 Racing Club ? (?)
1962–1967 Real Mallorca 110 (33)
1967–1971 Sevilla 96 (35)
1971–1972 Tenerife 49 (7)
Teams managed
19??–19?? Brunei
1988–1989 Rochdale
1989–1995 Stockport County
1996–1997 Rotherham United
1997 Doncaster Rovers
1998 Grantham Town
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Daniel Alberto "Danny" Bergara de Medina (July 24, 1942 – July 25, 2007)[1] was a Uruguayan footballer and manager.

Playing career[edit]

Born in Montevideo, Uruguay, Bergara began his playing career at the age of 16, playing for Racing Club in the Uruguayan First Division, picking up a handful of under-21 caps for Uruguay, before moving to Spain in 1962 where he was top scorer for Real Mallorca for four seasons and Sevilla for two seasons. While playing in Spain Bergara married an English travel guide, Jan, and when he retired from playing football they moved to England.[2]

Managerial career[edit]

Bergara coached the reserve teams at Luton Town and Sheffield United before getting his first managerial job at Rochdale in August 1988. Bergara is often wrongly referred to as the first foreign manager in English football – he was in fact preceded by managers such as the South African Peter Hauser, who managed Chester City between 1963 and 1968 – but he is believed to be the first Football League manager who did not speak English as a first language.[3] He was also the first manager born outside the British Isles to lead an English club out at Wembley, when he took Stockport County to the 1992 Autoglass Trophy final.

Stockport County[edit]

In March 1989, after just seven months at Rochdale, he took over as manager of Stockport County. He ensured their Fourth Division survival that season and prevented them from slipping into the GM Vauxhall Conference. They reached the playoffs in 1989–90, only to suffer a heavy defeat by Chesterfield in the semi-final. In 1990–91 he guided County to promotion from the Fourth-Division, missing out on the title by a single point. In 1991–92, County took the Third Division by storm beating Swansea City 5–0 on the opening day, County reached Wembley twice in the space of 10 days in the Play-Offs and Autoglass Trophy, losing 2–1 to Peterborough United in the play-offs and 1–0 to Stoke City in the Football League Trophy.

1992–93 brought a similar season for Bergara and Stockport County. The club lost in a semi-final play-off 2–1 to Port Vale. Stockport County lost to the same opponents in the Autoglass Trophy Final, 2–1.

1993–94 was his last full-season in charge of Stockport. He led the club to the play-offs again that year, losing to Burnley 2–1 in the final at Wembley. Referee David Elleray controversially sent off two Stockport players, Mike Wallace and Chris Beaumont. This was the first time that the same side has ever had two players sent off at Wembley.

Just before the end of the 1994–95, Bergara stepped down as Stockport manager and handed over the reins to coach Dave Jones

After his death County fans sung Danny Bergara's Blue and White army in his tribute.

Later career[edit]

Bergara also managed the Brunei National team and the England Under-18 and Under-20 sides, with a World Youth Cup win also to his name.

Shortly after leaving Stockport, Bergara joined Sheffield Wednesday as assistant to new manager David Pleat, but after one season departed to become manager of Rotherham United. His tenure at Rotherham was not a success and he left after just one season.

A brief spell at Doncaster Rovers followed, during which time the club were featured in the 1998 Channel 5 'fly-on-the-wall' documentary "They Think It's All Rovers".

For the 1998–99 season, he was named manager of Grantham Town, who had just won promotion to the Southern League Premier Division. A string of poor results saw Bergara become the club's Director of Football and the club's Chief Scout, Tony Kenworthy, becoming manager. Later he scouted for Sunderland.

Death[edit]

Bergara died after a short illness on July 25, 2007, one day after his 65th birthday. Following the news of his death, many Stockport County fans left their tributes in Edgeley Park's Cheadle End. On July 28, 2007 Stockport County arranged "Danny Day" when the team played Cardiff City in a pre-season friendly.

In an emotionally charged atmosphere, before kick off a powerful and hearty rendition of "My Way" by Frank Sinatra was played at Edgeley Park as it was Danny's favourite song. Managers of both teams, Jim Gannon (Stockport) and Dave Jones (Cardiff City; coincidentally the man who had succeeded Bergara as Stockport manager 12 years earlier) paid their tributes by laying down a bunch of flowers which spelt 'DANNY' in front of his beloved Cheadle End.

Before the match there was a specially designated two minutes for the fans to sing a rendition of "Danny Bergara's Blue 'n White Army", which ended up continuing for over half-an-hour. Stockport won the spectacular friendly 6–4.

Legacy[edit]

During the close season before the start of the 2012–13 season, it was announced that Stockport County had renamed the Hardcastle Road Stand (commonly known as the Main Stand) of Edgeley Park after the popular Uruguayan, a banner has since been unveiled on top of the stand saying "Danny Bergara Stand", in addition to this the club also fly a Uruguayan flag during every home game, above the Railway End.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Galarza, Juan (August 13, 2007). "El camino de 'Danny'". El Día.es (in Spanish). Retrieved July 18, 2014. 
  2. ^ Conn, David (October 12, 2000). "Bergara's plight symptomatic of insular England". The Independent. Retrieved July 18, 2014. 
  3. ^ Bergara, Danny (March 5, 2006). "Opening the way for Wenger and Mourinho". The Observer. Retrieved July 18, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Stockport County to rename stand in honour of Danny Bergara". BBC Sport. May 23, 2012. Retrieved July 12, 2014.