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|Full name||Joseph Fagan|
|Date of birth||12 March 1921|
|Place of birth||Liverpool, England|
|Date of death||30 June 2001(aged 80)|
|Place of death||Liverpool, England|
|Playing position||Right half[nb 1]|
|1953||Bradford Park Avenue||3||(0)|
|1973–1983||Liverpool (assistant manager)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
Joe Fagan (12 March 1921 – 30 June 2001) was an English footballer and manager. He played for Manchester City in the First Division as a half back and came close to gaining international honours. As his playing career came to an end, he decided to become a coach and worked at clubs in lower leagues before getting the chance to join Liverpool F.C. in 1958.
From December 1959, he worked with Bill Shankly and Bob Paisley and was highly successful in his coaching of the club's reserve team, being mainly responsible for the development of future star players like Roger Hunt, Ian Callaghan and Tommy Smith. After Shankly retired in 1974, Fagan became assistant manager to Paisley and finally manager himself when Paisley retired in 1983. In his first season, Fagan achieved an unprecedented "treble" as Liverpool won the European Cup, the League Championship and the League Cup. He had decided to retire at the end of his second season but his final match in charge was the 1985 European Cup Final which was the scene of the Heysel Disaster, an event that caused him great distress.
Fagan was an uncomplicated man who believed in the simplicity of football, a devoted family man who preferred to just get on with his job and shun the limelight. He was one of the most respected figures in the game. He and his family lived in the same house not far from Anfield throughout his Liverpool career and afterwards. He died of cancer in 2001, aged eighty.
- 1 Early life (section incomplete)
- 2 Second World War (section incomplete)
- 3 Manchester City (section incomplete)
- 4 Early coaching career (section incomplete)
- 5 Liverpool (section incomplete)
- 6 Later life and death (section incomplete)
- 7 Personality (section incomplete)
- 8 Honours
- 9 See also
- 10 Footnotes
- 11 References
- 12 External links
Early life (section incomplete)
Second World War (section incomplete)
Fagan volunteered for the services when he was eligible and joined the Royal Navy. He had never been to sea previously and immediately discovered that he was prone to seasickness. He was sent to Egypt where he worked as a telegraphist with a minesweeping flotilla and remained there for the duration.
Manchester City (section incomplete)
Joe Fagan's playing career was largely spent at Manchester City for whom he signed in 1938. Throughout his playing career, he was a right half, though he could also play at centre half.[nb 1] The outbreak of the Second World War curtailed a meaningful career but he was a member of the team that achieved promotion to the First Division in the 1946–47 season.
Early coaching career (section incomplete)
Fagan began his managerial career at Nelson in the Lancashire Combination as player-manager, where he led the club to the championship in his first season in 1952. Nelson applied for re-election to the Football League but were unsuccessful. He moved on to become assistant manager at Rochdale in 1954, serving under future Everton manager Harry Catterick until 1958.
Liverpool (section incomplete)
Following a recommendation by Catterick, Fagan was approached by Liverpool manager Phil Taylor about a coaching role and he accepted. The family moved into a house near Anfield where they remained for the rest of Fagan's life.
Bill Shankly joined Liverpool as manager in December 1959. Fagan is credited with converting a storage area at Anfield into a "common room" for the coaches and it became the now-legendary Boot Room. Shankly held daily meetings in there with Fagan, Bob Paisley and Reuben Bennett to discuss strategy, tactics, training and players. When Shankly retired in 1974, Paisley succeeded him and appointed Fagan as his assistant. After Paisley retired, Fagan was appointed as manager on 1 July 1983, despite his initial reluctance to take on the role.
In the 1983–84 season, Fagan's first as Liverpool manager, the team won the European Cup, the League Championship and the League Cup and so Fagan was the first manager of an English club to win three major trophies in a single season. Liverpool's penalty shoot out win against A.S. Roma in 1984 was the club's fourth European Cup victory. Soon afterwards, Liverpool's captain Graeme Souness left the club for Sampdoria and Fagan signed Danish midfielder Jan Mølby. Liverpool finished second behind Everton in the 1984–85 season but reached the European Cup final again. On 29 May 1985, Fagan announced he would retire and was succeeded by Kenny Dalglish. In Dalglish's autobiography, he claims that Fagan was left a haunted man for the rest of his life after witnessing the Heysel Stadium disaster.
Later life and death (section incomplete)
Joe Fagan died of cancer in July 2001, aged eighty. He was buried at Anfield Cemetery, near Liverpool's stadium. He was married to Lil and they raised six children together, five sons and a daughter. She outlived him by nearly a decade, dying on 4 October 2010 at the age of 92 in a Lincolnshire nursing home.
Personality (section incomplete)
Fagan was also a motorcar enthusiast.
As a player
- Manchester City
As a manager
|Liverpool||1 July 1983||28 May 1985||131||71||24||36||54.20|
As an individual
- The position of wing half is now obsolete in football terminology but it was a key role at the time of Fagan's career when teams routinely played in a 2–3–5 formation. The wing halves (right and left) played outside the centre half in the middle three. Although some wing halves were more creative than defensive, Fagan's job was to win the ball and move it forward, so he was the equivalent of what is called a holding midfielder in 21st century football.
- Fagan & Platt
- "Anfield Cemetery and Crematorium". Find A Grave. Retrieved 2014-01-13.
- Laura Jones (2010-10-08). "Tributes paid as Liverpool FC legend Joe Fagan’s widow Lil dies". Crosby Herald. Retrieved 2014-01-13.
- Fagan & Platt
- Andrews, Gordon (1989). The Datasport Book of Wartime Football 1939–46. Datasport.
- Fagan, Andrew; Platt, Mark (2011). Joe Fagan – Reluctant Champion. London: Aurum Press. ISBN 978-1-84513-550-8.
- Hughes, Simon (2009). Geoff Twentyman: Secret Diary of a Liverpool Scout. Liverpool: Trinity Mirror Sport Media. ISBN 978-1-906802-00-4.
- Keith, John (2001). Bob Paisley: Manager of the Millennium. London: Robson. ISBN 1-86105-436-X.
- Kelly, Stephen F. (1997). Bill Shankly: It's Much More Important Than That. London: Virgin Books. ISBN 0-7535-0003-5.
- Liversedge, Stan (1996). Paisley: A Liverpool Legend. Cleethorpes: Soccer Book Publishing Ltd. ISBN 0-947808-85-X.
- Paisley Family (2007). The Real Bob Paisley. Liverpool: Trinity Mirror Sport Media. ISBN 978-1905-266-26-5.
- St John, Ian (2005). The Saint: My Autobiography. London: Hodder & Stoughton. ISBN 0-340-84114-1.
- Shankly, Bill; Roberts, John (1976). Shankly. London: Arthur Barker Ltd. ISBN 0-213-16603-8.
- Smith, Tommy (2008). Anfield Iron. London: Transworld Publishers. ISBN 978-0-593-05958-6.
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