Steve Cotterill

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Steve Cotterill
Personal information
Full name Stephen Cotterill
Date of birth (1964-07-20) 20 July 1964 (age 50)
Place of birth Cheltenham, England
Height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Playing position Striker
Club information
Current team
Bristol City (manager)
Youth career
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1988–1989 Burton Albion 0 (0)
1989–1993 Wimbledon 17 (6)
1992 Brighton & Hove Albion (loan) 15 (0)
1993–1996 Bournemouth 52 (15)
1999–2000 Hereford United 3 (0)
Total 87 (21)
Teams managed
1995–1996 Sligo Rovers
1997–2002 Cheltenham Town
2002 Stoke City
2004–2007 Burnley
2010 Notts County
2010–2011 Portsmouth
2011–2012 Nottingham Forest
2013– Bristol City
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Stephen "Steve" Cotterill (born 20 July 1964) is an English footballer and manager who is currently manager of Bristol City.

Cotterill had an eight-year career as a footballer playing for Burton Albion, Wimbledon, Brighton & Hove Albion and Bournemouth before deciding to take up football management. He began with Irish side Sligo Rovers and after a year he returned to England and took over at his home town club, Cheltenham Town. He did well at Whaddon Road guiding the club from the fifth tier to the third in five years. His success at Cheltenham led to Stoke City appointing him as their manager prior to the start of the 2002–03 season.

However after just 13 matches he quit to take up assistant manager position at Sunderland. He did not last long at Sunderland and joined Burnley in June 2004. After three years at Turf Moor he moved on to have a short spell at Notts County in 2010 and spent a season and a half at cash strapped Portsmouth. In October 2011 he was appointed manager at Nottingham Forest and he managed to guide the club successfully out of a relegation battle. He was dismissed by Forest in July 2012 after the club was taken over by the Al-Hasawi family. In January 2013, he joined Queens Park Rangers' coaching staff remaining until the end of the 2012–13 season. He was appointed manager of Bristol City in December 2013.

Playing career[edit]

Cotterill started his playing career in the non-leagues as a forward who could play centrally or in wide positions, playing semi-professionally at clubs like Cheltenham Town, Alvechurch and Burton Albion. He then signed his first professional contract, with Wimbledon, after a £120,000 deal was done with Burton.[citation needed] He made 44 appearances[citation needed] in four years at Wimbledon and went out on loan to Brighton & Hove Albion to recapture his fitness following a serious cruciate knee-ligament injury. This led to further games at the Dons and he turned down a £500,000 bid from Southampton[citation needed] before finally moving on again to Bournemouth.

Cotterill signed for Bournemouth in the summer of 1993 for the fee of £120,000. He was out of contract and this fee was set by the then Transfer Tribunal. In three years at Bournemouth he got his career back in good shape scoring 15 goals in 45 league starts for the club. While at the club he picked up three player of the season awards but had to finish his career in 1995 after another bad knee injury from which he was unable to fully recover.[1]


Sligo Rovers[edit]

Following on from Lawrie Sanchez, Sligo Rovers appointed Cotterill in 1995. He led the club to third place in the Premier Division of the League of Ireland and his side also reached the League of Ireland Cup final, where they lost on penalties to Shelbourne. Cotterill also led them into Europe, playing against teams such as Nantes where they earned a 3–3 draw and another creditable 0–0 draw against Dutch team, Heerenveen.[2]

Cheltenham Town[edit]

Cotterill joined Cheltenham when they were still a non-league club and he built up a successful side which won promotion from the Southern Football League Premier Division to the Football Conference in his first full year at the club. He won the FA Trophy in 1998, beating Southport 1–0 in the final,[3] and Cheltenham finished second in the Conference the same year, their first season in that league. Cheltenham won the Conference and with it promotion to the Football League the following year.[4] His first two seasons in the Third Division saw them finish in the top half. In 2001–02, the club reached the fifth round of the FA Cup for the first time in its history, ended only by a 1–0 away defeat to West Bromwich Albion and including the defeat of Cotterill's future club Burnley. He twice won the prestigious award of Manager of the Year during his tenure.[citation needed] Cotterill took Cheltenham into the Second Division that season, following a play-off victory over Rushden & Diamonds at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.[4] He was awarded his UEFA Pro Licence in 2002. For his achievements with Cheltenham Town he is known as "The Messiah of Whaddon Road" by adulatory fans.[5]

Stoke City[edit]

Cotterill left Cheltenham to join Stoke City in the summer of 2002.[6] After a steady start with the "Potters" Cotterill shocked the club by handing in his resignation after just 13 games to become assistant manager to Howard Wilkinson at Sunderland.[7] He is reviled by some Stoke City supporters following his decision to leave the club.[8][9]


As Howard Wilkinson's assistant, they were tasked with keeping Sunderland in the Premiership. However, Sunderland recorded just two league victories under the new management team and both Wilkinson and Cotterill were dismissed after just 27 games in charge.[10]


In the summer of 2004 a decision by Burnley not to renew the contract of their manager, Stan Ternent, led to Cotterill being named as the new manager of the club. In his first season at the club they reached the third round of the Football League Cup, beating Aston Villa 3–1 on the way.[11] They also reached the fifth round of the FA Cup, beating Premier League side Liverpool 1–0 in the third round.[12] After losing striker and captain Robbie Blake and young midfielder Richard Chaplow they finished 13th in the Championship. In 2005–06 he led Burnley to a 17th-place finish, again having to sell his star striker, the club's leading goal scorer Ade Akinbiyi to Sheffield United for £1.75 million.

The 2006–07 season began well, with a series of wins. Cotterill also won the Championship Manager of the Month for October 2006.[13] However Burnley were dealt a blow in November when leading goalscorer Andy Gray was sidelined until February. Akinbiyi was re-signed in the January transfer window, but the striker was unfit and failed to make an impact.[14] Cotterill eventually left the club on 8 November 2007 by mutual consent, after earning the title of longest serving manager in the league with three years seven months service. He left the club in 15th place in the league having won just one game in ten.[15]

Minnesota Thunder[edit]

In August 2008, Steve Cotterill was offered the chance to become the Head Coach and Technical Director of USL First Division Minnesota Thunder after Amos Magee stepped down. Cotterill was offered a temporary seven-week contract with a view to a longer deal when the season ended. But because it would take two weeks to obtain a work permit, leaving only five weeks with Minnesota, Cotterill decided to turn this opportunity down.[16]

Notts County[edit]

On 23 February 2010, it was announced that Cotterill would be manager of Notts County until the end of the season.[17][18] On 3 April 2010, Cotterill was named March Football League Two Manager of the Month for six wins and two draws in the month. Cotterill also received this accolade for April 2010.[19] On 27 April 2010, Notts County were crowned champions of Football League Two after defeating Darlington 5–0. Cotterill now holds the record for being the only Notts County manager to have won his first four games in charge.[citation needed]

After the 2009–10 season, Cotterill was linked with the vacant Coventry City post but had said that Coventry did not try to contact him.[20] Two weeks later Cotterill publicly turned down the job.[21] On 25 May, another Championship club, Portsmouth confirmed interest in the Notts County boss.[22]

On 27 May 2010, Notts County announced that Cotterill had left after failing to commit his future to the club. Notts County chairman, Ray Trew said of Cotterill "The job that Steve did for us here will live long in the memory of all Notts County fans and, as is a mark of all great managers, he leaves the club in a much better position than when he arrived."[23]


Cotterill was appointed as manager of Portsmouth on 18 June 2010, with the club in financial difficulty.[24] Cotterill played a key role in stabilising Portsmouth through some turbulent times which saw the club nearly in liquidation.[25] His performance as manager with Portsmouth saw him linked with the manager's job at other clubs, including that at Birmingham City.[25]

In his second full season at the and under new ownership, Portsmouth were expected to improve on the previous season's performance. However, the team won just two of their first 10 league matches in the Championship.[26] On 4 October 2011, the joint owner of Portsmouth, Roman Dubov backed him saying "We support him and believe in him – his talent, his attitude and his work".[27]

It later became public knowledge that Nottingham Forest were interested in hiring Cotterill as their new manager after Steve McClaren resigned from his post on 2 October 2011 after 111 days in charge. This followed the club's poor start to the season and allegations by McClaren of broken promises by the Nottingham Forest board regarding the signing of loan players.[28] Cotterill was granted permission to speak with Nottingham Forest on 14 October 2011 after compensation was agreed with Portsmouth.

Nottingham Forest[edit]

Cotterill was appointed as manager on 14 October 2011 on a three and half-year deal. He won four of his first six games in charge.[29][30] Cotterill began his Forest reign with a 2–0 win over Middlesbrough[31] and a 2–1 win at Blackpool.[32] The turnaround was short-lived though as a run of seven games without a goal, during which Forest suffered six defeats leaving them in the bottom three at the turn of the year. Forest ended that sequence with a 3–1 win at Ipswich Town on 2 January 2012[33] and followed that with a 0–0 draw at home to Leicester City in the third round of the FA Cup. The slide continued as the pressure mounted on Cotterill. A 4–0 defeat in the replay[34] and two more league defeats meant by the end of January 2012 Forest were six points from safety after going an unprecedented ten and a half hours, seven games and two and a half months without scoring a goal at home.[citation needed] This included a run of six consecutive home league defeats.[35] From mid February, Forest's fortunes improved, starting with a 2–0 win over fellow relegation candidates Coventry City.[36] This culminated in Forest finishing 19th and ten points clear of relegation.[35] Cotterill left the club on 12 July 2012 following the take-over of the club by the Al-Hasawi family.[37]

In January 2013 he joined Queens Park Rangers to be part of Harry Redknapp's coaching staff on a short-term basis.[38] Cotterill was invited by Redknapp to coach again in the 2013-14 season but declined the offer and left the club.[39]

Bristol City[edit]

On 3 December 2013 Cotterill was appointed manager of League One side Bristol City on a three-and-a-half-year contract.[40] In his first season in charge, Cotterill guided Bristol City to 12th place in League One.[41] In his second season in charge, the 2014-15 season, City won the Football League Trophy, for a record third time. 10 points clear at the top of League One and 37 points ahead of their rivals, City beat Walsall 2-0 at Wembley on 22 March 2015.[42]

Career statistics[edit]

As a manager[edit]

As of 28 March 2015
Team From To Record
G W D L Win %
Cheltenham Town 1 February 1997 27 May 2002 255 118 70 67 46.27
Stoke City 27 May 2002 10 October 2002 13 3 5 5 23.08
Burnley 3 June 2004 8 November 2007 161 55 50 56 34.16
Notts County 23 February 2010 27 May 2010 18 14 3 1 77.78
Portsmouth 18 June 2010 14 October 2011 61 18 17 26 29.51
Nottingham Forest 14 October 2011 12 July 2012 37 12 7 18 32.43
Bristol City 3 December 2013 Present 81 45 22 14 55.56
Total 626 265 174 187 42.33

As a player[edit]

Club Season League FA Cup League Cup Other[A] Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Wimbledon 1988–89 First Division 4 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 1
1989–90 First Division 2 1 0 0 1 0 2 0 5 1
1990–91 First Division 4 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 5 1
1991–12 First Division 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
1992–93 Premier League 7 3 3 1 0 0 0 0 10 4
Total 17 6 3 1 2 0 2 0 24 7
Brighton & Hove Albion (loan) 1992–93 Second Division 11 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 11 4
Total 11 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 11 4
Bournemouth 1993–94 Second Division 37 14 3 1 4 0 1 0 45 15
1994–95 Second Division 8 1 0 0 2 2 0 0 10 3
Total 45 15 3 1 6 2 1 0 55 18
Career Total 73 25 6 2 8 2 3 0 90 29
A. ^ The "Other" column constitutes appearances and goals in the Full Members Cup and the Football League Trophy.


As a manager[edit]

Cheltenham Town
Notts County
Bristol City



  1. ^ "The career of ex-Nottingham Forest manager Steve Cotterill". This is Nottingham. Retrieved 12 July 2012. 
  2. ^ "Steve Cotterill". League Retrieved 24 March 2015. 
  3. ^ Metcalf, Rubert (18 May 1998). "Football: Idyllic end for Cheltenham". (London). Retrieved 1 November 2012. 
  4. ^ a b "Manager profile". Retrieved 1 November 2012. 
  5. ^ Whittell, Ian (10 October 2002). "Cotterill leaves Stoke flapping in vapour trail of ambition". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 12 July 2012. 
  6. ^ "Cotterill unveiled by Stoke". London: The Telegraph. 27 May 2002. Retrieved 19 October 2011. 
  7. ^ "Stoke 'shocked' by Cotterill walkout". London: The Guardian. 10 October 2002. Retrieved 19 October 2011. 
  8. ^ Hoops, David (7 January 2005). "Cotterill puts brain before rain". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 19 July 2013. 
  9. ^ Goss, Patrick. "Cotterill stokes old anger". Retrieved 22 July 2013. 
  10. ^ "Wilkinson and Cotterill sacked". (London). 10 March 2003. Retrieved 30 October 2012. 
  11. ^ "Burnley 3–1 Aston Villa". BBC Sport. 26 October 2004. Retrieved 31 October 2012. 
  12. ^ "Burnley 1–0 Liverpool". BBC Sport. 18 January 2005. Retrieved 31 October 2012. 
  13. ^ "MANAGER OF THE MONTH FOR OCTOBER 2006". Retrieved 31 October 2012. 
  14. ^ "Akinbiyi joins Burnley". (London). 24 February 2005. Retrieved 31 October 2012. 
  15. ^ "Burnley manager Cotterill departs". BBC Sport. 8 November 2007. Retrieved 31 October 2012. 
  16. ^ Boden, Chris (5 August 2008). "Permit steals Cotterill's Thunder". Burnley Express. Retrieved 15 December 2008. 
  17. ^ "County appoint Cotterill". Sky Sports. 23 February 2010. 
  18. ^ "Cotterill named Notts County boss". BBC News. 23 February 2010. Retrieved 24 May 2010. 
  19. ^ "Duo scoop adwards". 3 April 2010. Retrieved 3 April 2010. 
  20. ^ "Notts boss Steve Cotterill denies Coventry contact". BBC News. 7 May 2010. Retrieved 28 May 2010. 
  21. ^ "Notts County boss Steve Cotterill rejects Coventry job". BBC News. 19 May 2010. Retrieved 28 May 2010. 
  22. ^ "Portsmouth eye Notts County's Steve Cotterill". BBC News. 25 May 2010. Retrieved 28 May 2010. 
  23. ^ "Manager Steve Cotterill leaves Notts County". BBC News. 27 May 2010. Retrieved 28 May 2010. 
  24. ^ "Steve Cotterill confirmed as Portsmouth manager". (London). 18 June 2010. Retrieved 31 October 2012. 
  25. ^ a b "Blues seek Cotterill talks". Sky Sports. 13 June 2011. Retrieved 31 October 2012. 
  26. ^ "Championship – 2010–11". Retrieved 1 November 2012. 
  27. ^ "Cotterill gets Dubov backing". Retrieved 1 November 2012. 
  28. ^ "Steve McClaren leaves Nottingham Forest after 111 days". 3 October 2011. Retrieved 1 November 2012. 
  29. ^ "Steve Cotterill Named New Pompey Manager". Portsmouth FC. 18 June 2010. Retrieved 18 June 2010. 
  30. ^ "Portsmouth appoint Steve Coterill as manager". BBC Sport. 18 June 2010. Retrieved 18 June 2010. 
  31. ^ "Nottm Forest 2–0 Middlesbrough". BBC Sport. Retrieved 30 October 2012. 
  32. ^ "Blackpool 1 Nottingham Forest 2: Majewski grabs win for Cotterill to shatter Tangerine dreams". (London). 22 October 2011. Retrieved 30 October 2012. 
  33. ^ "Ipswich 1–3 Nott'm Forest". BBC Sport. Retrieved 30 October 2012. 
  34. ^ "Leicester City 4–0 Nott'm Forest". BBC Sport. Retrieved 30 October 2012. 
  35. ^ a b "Football -archive Championship 2011/12". Retrieved 30 October 2012. 
  36. ^ "Nott'm Forest 2–0 Coventry". BBC Sport. Retrieved 30 October 2012. 
  37. ^ "Steve Cotterill: Nottingham Forest owners Al-Hasawi family sack boss". BBC Sport. Retrieved 12 July 2012. 
  38. ^ "QPR: Steve Cotterill joins Harry Redknapp as coach". BBC Sport. Retrieved 11 January 2013. 
  39. ^ "Cheltenham Town: I will still manage in the Premier League vows Cotterill". 10 July 2013. Retrieved 17 July 2013. 
  40. ^ "Steve Cotterill: Bristol City appoint ex-Forest boss as manager". BBC Sport. Retrieved 3 December 2013. 
  41. ^ "Bristol City 2013-14". Retrieved 23 March 2015. 
  42. ^ a b "Bristol City 2-0 Walsall". BBC Sport. Retrieved 23 March 2015. 
  43. ^ "Cheltenham Town Legend Steve Cotterill wins for the second time at Wembley". Gloucestershire Echo. Retrieved 23 March 2015. 
  44. ^ a b "Steve Cotterill says pressure is off Cheltenham in play-offs". BBC Sport. Retrieved 23 March 2015. 
  45. ^ "S. Cotterill". Soccerway. Retrieved 23 March 2015. 

External links[edit]