Mark Smith (footballer, born 1960)

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Mark Smith
Personal information
Full name Mark Craig Smith
Date of birth (1960-03-21) 21 March 1960 (age 54)
Place of birth Sheffield, West Riding of Yorkshire, England
Playing position Defender
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1977–1987 Sheffield Wednesday 282 (16)
1987–1990 Plymouth Argyle 82 (6)
1990–1992 Barnsley 104 (10)
1992–1993 Notts County 5 (0)
1992 Port Vale (loan) 6 (0)
1993 Huddersfield Town (loan) 5 (0)
1993 Chesterfield (loan) 6 (1)
1993–1994 Lincoln City 20 (1)
Total 510 (34)
National team
1981–1982 England U21 5 (0)
Teams managed
2004 Sheffield Wednesday (caretaker)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Mark Craig Smith (born 21 March 1960) is a former professional footballer who is the youth team coach at Chesterfield.

An England under-21 international, he posted 510 league appearances in a seventeen-year career in the Football League. He spent the first ten years of his career at Sheffield Wednesday, and by the time he left for Plymouth Argyle in 1987 he had made 282 league appearances for Wednesday. During his time in Sheffield, Wednesday twice won promotion and twice appeared in the FA Cup semi-finals. He switched to Barnsley in 1990, before he signed with Notts County in 1992. He was loaned out to Port Vale, Huddersfield Town and Chesterfield, before he finished his career at Lincoln City in 1994. He then began work as a coach, which included a one game stint in charge of Sheffield Wednesday in 2004, in a caretaker manager capacity.

Playing career[edit]

A local boy from Shirecliffe, Smith developed through the ranks and into the first team with Sheffield Wednesday in 1977.[1] He was renowned for his prowess from the penalty spot, achieving a club record eleven successful penalty conversions in the 1979–80 season.[2] During his time at Hillsborough, the club won promotion out of the Third Division in 1979–80 (a campaign in which Smith was named in the PFA Team of the Year), and were promoted out of the Second Division in 1983–84. Wednesday also reached the FA Cup semi-finals in 1982–83 and 1985–86, and posted a fifth place finish in the First Division in 1985–86. Smith played a total of 282 league games for Wednesday during his ten years at Hillsborough, playing under Jack Charlton and then Howard Wilkinson. He was voted the club's Player of the Year in 1981.

Smith joined Dave Smith's Second Division Plymouth Argyle in 1987. He racked up 82 league appearances in three mid-table campaigns, the latter two of which were under the management of Ken Brown, before he moved on to league rivals Barnsley in 1990.

Mel Machin's side missed out on the play-offs on goal difference in 1990–91, but finished mid-table in 1991–92. Smith played over 100 games for the "Tykes" in just under three years before joining Neil Warnock's Notts County in 1992. At age 32, it was at County where his career stuttered, he had loan spells with John Rudge's Port Vale,[3] Huddersfield Town and Third Division Chesterfield. He only played between five and six league games at each of the four clubs (including Notts County).

In the summer of 1993, Smith joined Lincoln City, making his debut in the club's opening day 1–0 defeat at Colchester United on 14 August 1993. In March 1994, with manager Keith Alexander lacking an assistant, Smith was appointed to a player-coach role at the club though the appointment coincided with his final professional appearance in the 2–0 home victory over Colchester United on 15 March 1994.[4]

Coaching career[edit]

Following his dismissal as manager at the end of the 1993–94 season, Keith Alexander was offered his old role as youth team coach but instead opted for the same position at Mansfield Town with Smith appointed to the post at Lincoln City.

After a season at Sincil Bank, Smith moved on to a similar role at Notts County. Following the sacking of Colin Murphy and Steve Thompson, Smith was placed in temporary charge of the Magpies prior to the appointment of Sam Allardyce. Under Allardyce, Smith stepped up to become assistant manager.

Smith joined the academy at his former club Barnsley in 1998. He steered the club's youngsters to the FA Youth Cup semi-final in 2001–02, defeat coming at the hands of eventual victors Aston Villa, the run including the defeat of Manchester United on penalties at Old Trafford on 1 March 2002.[5] That success was followed up in the 2002–03 season with victory over Liverpool[6] in the FA Youth Cup and the runners-up spot in the FA Premier Academy League Group B.[7] At the end of his contract on 30 June 2003, Smith announced that he was leaving his post as Assistant Academy Director at Oakwell.[8]

Smith linked up with his boyhood heroes Sheffield Wednesday, being appointed Academy under-19 coach on 1 July 2003.[9] Following the departure of manager Chris Turner in September 2004, Smith was placed in temporary charge[10] with Chris Marsden as his assistant; Smith declared it an honour[11] to have the opportunity to manage the club he had both supported and played for. He presided over a 1–0 League Cup defeat to Coventry City on 22 September 2004 before reverting to his previous role following the appointment of Paul Sturrock as manager. Following a review of their academy structure, Smith departed Wednesday in June 2006.[12]

The 2006–07 season saw Smith join Ilkeston Town as coach and assistant manager to Nigel Jemson;[13] the two had been teammates at Notts County. In October 2006, speculation[14] linked him with the vacant manager's position at Worksop Town but no appointment was forthcoming.

In October 2007, Smith was appointed to the position of International Youth Director at Sheffield United[15] before moving into the role as a development coach for the club.[16] This job involved working with the club's young professionals who had graduated from the Academy and were looking to force their way into the first team. He departed the club in June 2011, running a coaching school in Chapeltown for children aged between six and 11.[17] He was appointed as youth team coach at Chesterfield in May 2013.[18]


with Sheffield Wednesday


  1. ^ "SWFC Legends S". Sheffield Wednesday F.C. Official Website. Retrieved 17 January 2009. 
  2. ^ "Penalty Record Mark-ed". Sheffield Wednesday F.C. Official Website. 7 April 2004. Retrieved 17 January 2009. 
  3. ^ Kent, Jeff (1996). Port Vale Personalities. Witan Books. p. 273. ISBN 0-9529152-0-0. 
  4. ^ "Mark Smith". Retrieved 31 October 2011. 
  5. ^ "Mark Smith on the Academy". Barnsley F.C. Official Website. 4 March 2002. Retrieved 17 January 2009. 
  6. ^ "Academy Continues To Show Its Strength Against Top Flight". Barnsley F.C. Official Website. 22 November 2002. Retrieved 17 January 2009. 
  7. ^ "Mark Smith web exclusive". Barnsley F.C. Official Website. 9 April 2003. Retrieved 17 January 2009. 
  8. ^ "Mark Smith leaves Oakwell". Barnsley F.C. Official Website. 1 July 2003. Retrieved 17 January 2009. 
  9. ^ "Exclusive: Academy Under-19 coach unveiled". Sheffield Wednesday F.C. Official Website. 1 July 2003. Retrieved 17 January 2009. 
  10. ^ "Smith Handed Temporary Control". Sheffield Wednesday F.C. Official Website. 20 September 2004. Retrieved 17 January 2009. 
  11. ^ "Smith: "It's An Honour"". 22 September 2004. Retrieved 17 January 2009. 
  12. ^ "Smith departs". Sheffield Wednesday F.C. Official Website. 29 June 2006. Retrieved 17 January 2009. 
  13. ^ "Jemson brings in Smith". 6 November 2006. Retrieved 17 January 2009. 
  14. ^ "Smith latest name in frame". Worksop Guardian. 9 October 2006. Retrieved 17 January 2009. 
  15. ^ "Blades fans told to keep faith with Robson". Yorkshire Post. 2 October 2007. Retrieved 17 January 2009. 
  16. ^ "Mark Smith – Development Coach". Sheffield United F.C. Official Website. 4 November 2008. Retrieved 17 January 2009. 
  17. ^ "Early-bird Owls ahead of Blades in race for signings". Sheffield Star. 16 May 2012. Retrieved 12 September 2012. 
  18. ^ "New backroom team announced". Chesterfield F.C. Official Website. 13 May 2013. Retrieved 17 July 2013.