Paul Sturrock

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Paul Sturrock
Personal information
Full name Paul Whitehead Sturrock
Date of birth (1956-10-10) 10 October 1956 (age 57)
Place of birth Ellon, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Height 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
Playing position Striker
Youth career
Bankfoot Athletic
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1974–1989 Dundee United 385 (109)
National team
1977–1982 Scotland under-21 9 (0)
1981–1987 Scotland 20 (3)
Teams managed
1993–1998 St. Johnstone
1998–2000 Dundee United
2000–2004 Plymouth Argyle
2004 Southampton
2004–2006 Sheffield Wednesday
2006–2007 Swindon Town
2007–2009 Plymouth Argyle
2010–2013 Southend United
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Paul Whitehead Sturrock (born 10 October 1956 in Ellon, Aberdeenshire) is a Scottish football manager who last served as manager of Southend United between 2010 and 2013.

His former posts included spells as manager of Sheffield Wednesday, Southampton, Plymouth Argyle, Dundee United, Swindon and St. Johnstone. He was also a Scotland international footballer. He is known by fans as Luggy[1] (from the Scots language word lugs, Eng: ears). Sturrock announced in July 2008 that he was suffering from a mild form of Parkinson's disease.[2]

His son, Blair, is also a professional footballer.

Playing career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Sturrock was educated at Pitlochry primary and secondary schools and played for junior side Grandtully Vale. In 1972 he joined Vale of Atholl of the Perthshire Amateur First Division (where he returned as coach in his latter days with Dundee United), and in the 1972–73 season he scored approximately 100 goals. He then moved on to Bankfoot Athletic, and in the 1973–74 season he scored 53 goals as they finished 2nd in the Scottish Junior FA First Division.

He had trials with Morton and St. Johnstone, but was signed for Dundee United by then manager Jim McLean on 1 July 1974.

Dundee United[edit]

Sturrock made his debut in the European Cup Winners' Cup match v Juil Petrosani of Romania on 18 September 1974 and his league debut on 28 December 1974 as a substitute against Motherwell.

In his first season at Tannadice he made nine League appearances and came on from the substitutes' bench for three more and in the process he scored six goals. His first goal for Dundee United was one of two he scored in a 2–2 draw with Rangers at Tannadice on 5 April 1975. Dundee United finished fourth in the League that year. In the following season, he made 18 League appearances, eight as sub, and scored three times. He was also played as a substitute in two of the three Scottish Cup ties and was on from the start in five out of six League Cup games and scored once. He also started in three of the four UEFA Cup games netting one in that competition, too.

1976–77 not only saw Dundee United consolidate their Premier League position but throughout the campaign Sturrock was an ever-present, playing in all 36 League games and scoring 15 times. Adding that total to one each in the Scottish Cup and League Cup he was top scorer at the Club that year. He played in United's only Scottish Cup tie, a 4–1 defeat at St Mirren. He also appeared four times plus once as sub out of the six League Cup ties. In a short-lived Anglo Scottish Cup campaign he was brought on as sub in one leg of the tie against Aberdeen. This season was also significant in international terms for Sturrock as he made his Under-21 debut against Czechoslovakia in a 0–0 draw on 12 October 1976 in the first ever Scotland Under-21 side. Four months later on 9 February 1977 he netted his first international goal in an Under-21 game in which Scotland beat Wales 3–2.

He continued to be a regular in Dundee United's side and featured regularly in European competition.

In 1982–83, Dundee United won the Scottish League Championship, losing only four League games during the season. Sturrock contributed to this success with eight goals in his 28 appearances. He also set up Ralph Milne for his fourth minute opener against Dundee in the final League game. The Scottish Cup that year had been yet another early exit at the hands of St. Mirren. Sturrock scored seven in the nine games he turned out in on the way to a League Cup quarter-final exit. He also played in seven of the eight games and scored once in a UEFA Cup run that ended with an exit in Prague.

His playing career ended in 1989. In 385 league appearances from 1974 to 1989 he scored 109 goals for the club. His final tally of 576 games in which he scored 171 goals makes him Dundee United's top attacking player of all time.

Sturrock stayed at Tannadice for the next five years, in the role of coach. He left the club in 1993 after twenty years continuous service.

He still holds the record for the most goals in a Scottish Premier League fixture, scoring five times for Dundee United against Morton on 17 November 1984. He has since been joined in this feat by Marco Negri for Rangers against Dundee United in 1997, by Kenny Miller in 2000 against St. Mirren, by Kris Boyd for Kilmarnock and for Rangers both against Dundee United in 2004 and 2009 respectively, and by Gary Hooper for Celtic against Hearts in 2012.

Scotland[edit]

Sturrock made his full international debut for Scotland against Wales on 16 May 1981, and on 8 November 1981, he scored his first goal for Scotland in the 2–1 World Cup qualifier defeat against Portugal in Lisbon.

Sturrock won 20 caps for his country, scoring three goals. He was a non-playing member of the Scotland squad for the 1982 World Cup finals in Spain and appeared twice in Mexico in 1986.

Managerial career[edit]

Sturrock became a coach and latterly a first team manager following his retirement. He is one of the most qualified coaches in Europe, and he assessed former Chelsea manager José Mourinho at one point.[citation needed]

In Scotland[edit]

In 1993, Sturrock became the manager of First Division team St. Johnstone, having been recommended by the outgoing manager, John McClelland. Despite some early poor form - which included a 4-0 Scottish Cup humbling at the hands of Stenhousemuir - Sturrock eventually guided the team to a comfortable promotion in 1996–97.

Dundee United[edit]

In September 1998 Sturrock was appointed manager at Dundee United. He made a bright start to his time as manager at Tannadice, where he was feted by the fans for his excellent spell as a player. His United team failed to recover from the sale of top scorer Billy Dodds in December 1999, when they were lying third in the table. The team scored few goals following Dodds's departure, and Sturrock resigned after two games of the 2000–01 season.

Plymouth Argyle[edit]

Sturrock shocked Dundee United fans by resigning from the club in August 2000[3] to move to manage Plymouth Argyle, a club which had reached the lowest ebb in its history, struggling in the English Football League Third Division.[1] A shake-up at boardroom level took place, Sturrock began to build his own squad. The following season, he guided them to the Third Division title breaking numerous records in the process, including a club and league points total of 102. In October 2003, Sturrock had successfully taken Argyle back to the top of the Football League Second Division and left when Plymouth had just 12 games to play in what would prove to be another season when they would finish as divisional champions and return to the Football League Championship, formerly known as the First Division. As a result of his success at Home Park he has remained a folk hero and legend amongst Argyle supporters, and was named as the manager of Argyle's Team of the Century. He is featured on on one the many murals within Argyle's Home Park stadium and remains one the club's most respected and successful managers.

Southampton[edit]

Sturrock was named as the successor to Gordon Strachan as manager of Southampton on 4 March 2004. On 23 August 2004 it was announced that Sturrock was leaving the club 'by mutual consent', after a disappointing run of form and rumours of player unrest and boardroom dissatisfaction with his management.[4]

Sheffield Wednesday[edit]

He was then appointed by League One club Sheffield Wednesday languishing in 14th place on 23 September 2004, and he guided the club to the League One play-offs. After beating Brentford in the semi-final with an aggregate score of 3–1, Sturrock took Wednesday to the play-off final at the Millennium Stadium and beat Hartlepool United 4–2 after extra-time, winning promotion to the Championship. Despite numerous injuries to key players he helped Wednesday to finish 10 points clear of relegation in their first season back in The Championship.

A slow start to the 2006–07 season sparked rumours that Wednesday were about to sack Sturrock, but this speculation looked to be false when he agreed a new four-year contract on 14 September. But he was sacked on the evening of 19 October,[5] just five weeks and three games after agreeing this new deal. The new contract was agreed while the club were at the bottom of the League, while he was sacked when they were fourth from bottom.

Swindon Town[edit]

In late October 2006, Swindon Town allowed their management team of Dennis Wise and Gustavo Poyet to join Leeds United. Swindon pounced at the opportunity to acquire the services of Sturrock and on 7 November 2006 Sturrock was confirmed as manager with Kevin Summerfield and John Blackley following him from Wednesday.[6] Sturrock's first season in charge at Swindon was a success, achieving promotion from League Two to League One.

Swindon made a decent start to the 2007–08 season, maintaining their position in the top half of the league table after the first 8 games.

Return to Plymouth[edit]

On 27 November 2007, Sturrock resigned his post as Swindon Town manager after just over a year with the club to rejoin previous club Plymouth Argyle. Sturrock also brought back to the club assistants Kevin Summerfield and John Blackley, who were previously with him during his first successful spell as manager.[7] Sturrock then proceeded to take the club to its highest league position in 20 years: tenth in The Championship.[8] However, the team subsequently struggled and finished five points and one place outside The Championship relegation zone in the 2008–09 season.[8] On 10 December 2009, Sturrock was removed as Plymouth Argyle manager and put into a business support role by chairman Sir Roy Gardner.[8] On 22 April 2010 the Plymouth board confirmed that Paul Sturrock had left his role within the club to pursue other managerial opportunities. Following Sturrock's departure, it emerged that the board had mis-managed the finances of the club and Argyle entered administration.[9]

Southend United[edit]

On 5 July 2010 he was confirmed as manager of League Two Southend United. Former Salisbury City manager Tommy Widdrington was named as Sturrock's assistant manager[10] while one of Sturrock's former players at Plymouth Argyle and Sheffield Wednesday, who served as captain at the latter, Graham Coughlan was soon appointed as a player-coach.

Sturrock faced the tough task of rebuilding the Southend side with only five first team players available for selection at one stage of pre-season, with only Anthony Grant, Matt Paterson and Scott Spencer surviving. Sturrock soon appointed new signing Craig Easton, who he had previously managed at Swindon Town, as captain while another player from one of Sturrock's old clubs, Chris Barker, was later appointed as vice-captain, having initially been signed on loan, and then permanently on deadline day.[11] It was not an easy task for Sturrock as his assistant, Tommy Widdrington left for "footballing reasons" on Wednesday 15 December 2010.[12] After a mid table finish in his first season, he enjoyed more success during the 2011–12 season where Southend led League 2 for most of the campaign. . Sturrock was named Manager of the Month for September by the Football League. He has been widely praised for his job at Southend United, bringing the best out of players on a very low playing budget and with a minimal coaching team.[citation needed]

Sturrock was sacked as manager of Southend United on 24 March 2013[13] although it was agreed that he could lead out the players in the final of the Football League Trophy to be held at Wembley on 7 April.[14] Sturrock declined the offer.

Honours[edit]

As a player[edit]

(All with Dundee United)

As a manager[edit]

St. Johnstone
Plymouth Argyle
Sheffield Wednesday
Swindon Town
Individual

Statistics[edit]

Player[edit]

Club performance League Cup League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Scotland League Scottish Cup League Cup Europe Total
1974–75 Dundee United Division One 12 6 - - 1 0 13 6
1975–76 Premier Division 17 3 2 0 - 5 1 27 5
1976–77 36 15 1 1 5 1 - 42 17
1977–78 33 3 4 1 8 3 2 1 47 8
1978–79 33 6 1 0 2 1 2 0 38 7
1979–80 33 4 2 1 9 6 4 0 48 11
1980–81 35 13 7 1 11 9 4 0 57 23
1981–82 31 15 5 2 11 6 7 1 54 24
1982–83 28 8 1 0 9 7 7 1 45 16
1983–84 17 4 3 2 2 0 5 0 27 6
1984–85 30 14 6 2 6 2 6 2 48 20
1985–86 31 8 5 2 5 0 5 3 46 13
1986–87 30 6 6 0 3 0 11 0 50 6
1987–88 9 3 - 3 2 3 2 15 7
1988–89 9 1 5 0 - - 14 1
Career total 384 109 48 12 79 38 60 11 571 170

Manager[edit]

Team Nat From To Record
G W D L Win %
St. Johnstone Scotland 1 August 1993 5 September 1998 197 90 56 51 45.69
Dundee United Scotland 5 September 1998 7 August 2000 85 27 19 39 31.76
Plymouth Argyle England 31 October 2000 4 March 2004 178 85 47 46 47.75
Southampton England 4 March 2004 23 August 2004 13 5 2 6 38.46
Sheffield Wednesday England 23 September 2004 19 October 2006 104 35 29 40 33.65
Swindon Town England 7 November 2006 27 November 2007 52 26 11 15 50.00
Plymouth Argyle England 27 November 2007 10 December 2009 99 28 22 49 28.28
Southend United England 5 July 2010 24 March 2013 161 67 43 51 41.61
Total 889 363 229 297 40.83
As of 19 March 2013[18]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Prior, Peggy. "Paul Sturrock 2000–2004". Argyle Managers. Greens on Screen. Retrieved 25 March 2013. 
  2. ^ Cockcroft, Lucy (25 July 2008). "Plymouth Argyle manager Paul Sturrock is battling Parkinson's Disease". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 25 March 2013. 
  3. ^ "Club History". Dundee United FC. Retrieved 25 March 2013. 
  4. ^ "Sturrock leaves Saints". BBC Sport. 23 August 2004. Retrieved 25 March 2013. 
  5. ^ "Sturrock axed by Owls". football.co.uk. 19 October 2006. Retrieved 25 March 2013. 
  6. ^ "Sturrock takes charge at Swindon". BBC Sport. 7 November 2006. Retrieved 25 March 2013. 
  7. ^ Bright, Richard. "Paul Sturrock comes full circle to Plymouth". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 25 March 2013. 
  8. ^ a b c Prior, Peggy. "Paul Sturrock 2007–2009". Argyle Managers. Greens on Screen. Retrieved 25 March 2013. 
  9. ^ http://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/ARGYLE-CLEAR-TAX-DEBT-WEEK/story-11451573-detail/story.html
  10. ^ "Sturrock named as Southend boss". BBC News. 5 July 2010. Retrieved 25 March 2013. 
  11. ^ "Southend sign Barker". BBC News. 31 August 2010. Retrieved 25 March 2013. 
  12. ^ "Widdrington leaves Southend". BBC News. 15 December 2010. Retrieved 25 March 2013. 
  13. ^ Phillips, Chris (24 March 2013). "Southend United have parted company with manager Paul Sturrock". Southend Echo. Retrieved 25 March 2013. 
  14. ^ "Paul Sturrock: Southend United part company with manager". BBC Sport. 24 March 2013. Retrieved 25 March 2013. 
  15. ^ "The tenth annual LMA Awards dinner winners". League Managers Association. Retrieved 25 August 2010.
  16. ^ "LMA honour for Wenger". League Managers Association. Retrieved 25 August 2010.
  17. ^ "Sturrock receives prize from Ranieri". League Managers Association. Retrieved 25 August 2010.
  18. ^ "Paul Sturrock's managerial career". Soccerbase. Retrieved 9 April 2011.

External links[edit]