Mike Phelan

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For other people named Michael Phelan, see Michael Phelan (disambiguation).
Mike Phelan
Mike Phelan, Manchester United 2012.jpg
Personal information
Full name Michael Christopher Phelan
Date of birth (1962-09-24) 24 September 1962 (age 52)
Place of birth Nelson, Lancashire, England
Height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Playing position Midfielder
Right-back
Youth career
Burnley
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1979–1985 Burnley 168 (9)
1985–1989 Norwich City 156 (9)
1989–1994 Manchester United 102 (2)
1994–1995 West Bromwich Albion 21 (0)
Total 485 (21)
National team
1989 England 1 (0)
Teams managed
1995–1996 Norwich City (assistant)
2008–2013 Manchester United (assistant)
2014– Norwich City (First team coach)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Michael Christopher "Mike" Phelan (born 24 September 1962 in Nelson, Lancashire), also known as Mick Phelan or Micky Phelan, is a first team coach with Norwich City, former player, and former assistant manager of Manchester United.

As a player, he spent most of his career at Burnley, Norwich City and Manchester United, with a short spell at West Bromwich Albion before retirement. Whilst with Manchester United, he also gained his one cap for England.

In 2002, Norwich fans voted Phelan into the club's Hall of Fame.

Playing career[edit]

Phelan began his career at Burnley, signing as an associated schoolboy in July 1979, as an apprentice two years later and as a professional in July 1980. He made his league debut in January 1981 against Chesterfield and whilst at Turf Moor, gained England Youth caps and a Third Division champions medal in 1982. But in 1985, Burnley were relegated to the Fourth Division, and Phelan moved to Norwich City for £60,000 on 13 July 1985.

Norwich won the Second Division title in his first season at the club. He became club captain when Steve Bruce joined Manchester United in December 1987, captaining them to fourth place in the First Division and a place in the FA Cup semi-finals in his first full season as captain.

He was called into the England squad for the Rous Cup games against Chile and Scotland but did not play due to a hamstring injury. His success drew the attention of larger clubs and he followed Steve Bruce to Manchester United for £750,000 on 1 July 1989.

At Manchester United, he finally won his first international cap (against Italy in 1989) and an FA Cup winner's medal in his first season. This was followed by the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1991, the League Cup in 1992.

Phelan was often deployed at right-back during his first season at Manchester United, but following the arrival of Denis Irwin in 1990 he mostly played on the right or in the centre of midfield. He had played on the right side of midfield before Irwin's arrival, most notably in the FA Cup final win over Crystal Palace in May 1990, when Paul Ince was switched from central midfield to right back.

By 1993, however, he was very much a bit-part player due to growing competition from younger players like Andrei Kanchelskis, Paul Ince, Ryan Giggs and Lee Sharpe.

By the time he was given a free transfer at the end of the 1993–94 season, even his place on the substitutes bench was being threatened by a new generation of young midfielders such as David Beckham and Nicky Butt. He had missed out on a place in the 1994 FA Cup winning squad, and had not played in enough Premier League games to merit a title medal. He had, however, played enough games to earn a Premier League title medal in 1992–93. With the introduction of Premier League squad numbers for the 1993–94 season, he was issued with the number 23 shirt which was next worn by Phil Neville.

After leaving Old Trafford, Phelan signed for West Bromwich Albion, where he spent 18 months and played just 21 games, his first-team chances limited by younger players such as Kevin Donovan and Lee Ashcroft, who were more favoured by new manager Alan Buckley (appointed in the autumn following the dismissal of Keith Burkinshaw, who brought Phelan to the club).

Coaching career[edit]

He returned to Carrow Road in December 1995, as assistant manager to Gary Megson (another former Norwich player) and managed the club's reserve team. When Megson was fired and joined Blackpool, Phelan followed him to take a similar role, returning to his native North-West. A year later, he followed Megson to Stockport County.

Following Megson's sacking as Stockport County boss on 25 June 1999, Andy Kilner took over as manager. Phelan moved on shortly afterwards, taking up a role at Manchester United's Centre of Excellence. With Steve McClaren's departure to Middlesbrough in the summer of 2001, Phelan was promoted to first-team coach. He was appointed assistant manager of Manchester United on 3 September 2008, replacing Carlos Queiroz who had left to manage the Portuguese national team.[1] For many seasons, Phelan was seen conducting interviews with BBC programmes such as Match of the Day due to United manager Alex Ferguson refusing to speak with the BBC following corruption allegations made in 2004 by the BBC's Panorama programme towards one of Ferguson's sons, football agent Jason Ferguson. Ferguson finally agreed to BBC interviews once more in August 2011.[2]

In January 2010, Phelan was linked with a return to his first club Burnley as manager following the departure of Owen Coyle to Bolton Wanderers.[3]

He was Sir Alex Ferguson's right-hand man during three Premier League title wins, a Club World Cup, two League Cups and two runs to the final of the UEFA Champions League. He departed the club shortly after Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement.[4]

On 20 November 2014, Phelan was announced as a first team coach at Norwich City.[5]

Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

Burnley
Norwich City
Manchester United

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Phelan named as Man Utd assistant". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 3 September 2008. Retrieved 20 February 2014. 
  2. ^ "Alex Ferguson ends BBC boycott" Guardian.co.uk (25 August 2011)
  3. ^ Taylor, Louise; Murray, Ewan (5 January 2010). "Hibernian's John Hughes is early candidate to replace Owen Coyle". The Guardian (Guardian News and Media). Retrieved 20 February 2014. 
  4. ^ "Manchester United: Mike Phelan and Eric Steele leave the club". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 25 May 2013. Retrieved 25 May 2013. 
  5. ^ "Mike Phelan: Ex-Man Utd assistant joins Norwich City as coach". BBC Sport. 20 November 2014. Retrieved 21 November 2014. 

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Steve Bruce
Norwich City Captain
1987–1989
Succeeded by
Mark Bowen
Preceded by
Carlos Queiroz
Manchester United F.C. assistant manager
2008–2013
Succeeded by
Steve Round