Stig Inge Bjørnebye

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Stig Inge Bjørnebye
Personal information
Full name Stig Inge Bjørnebye
Date of birth (1969-12-11) 11 December 1969 (age 45)
Place of birth Elverum, Norway
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Playing position Left back
Youth career
1985–1987 Elverum
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1987–1988 Strømmen 19 (0)
1989–1992 Kongsvinger 62 (3)
1992 Rosenborg 21 (3)
1992–2000 Liverpool 139 (2)
1994 Rosenborg (loan) 8 (0)
2000 Brøndby (loan) 13 (2)
2000–2003 Blackburn Rovers 55 (1)
Total 317 (11)
National team
1989–2000 Norway 76 (1)
Teams managed
2003–2006 Norway (assistant manager)
2006–2007 IK Start
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Stig Inge Bjørnebye (born 11 December 1969) is a retired Norwegian footballer who played in Norway, England, and Denmark, most notably for Liverpool and Blackburn Rovers. His preferred position was left back, which he occupied for domestic clubs and the national team. Bjørnebye was appointed assistant manager of Norway in 2003, relinquishing the role three years later to succeed Tom Nordlie as manager of IK Start.

For club and country, Bjørnebye was noted for his precise deliveries from the flanks. Described as a "solid, no-nonsense full-back",[1] Bjørnebye played competitive football for 16 years, and appeared in 194 Premier League matches, until injury compelled retirement in March 2003. He represented the Norwegian national team in the 1994 and 1998 FIFA World Cup and the Euro 2000 and was capped 75 times, scoring once

Club career[edit]

Stig Inge Bjørnebye was born in Elverum, the son of skier Jo Inge Bjørnebye, who competed in the 1968 and 1972 Winter Olympics. As a child, Bjørnebye exhibited an interest in emulating his father by becoming a ski jumper.[2]

His footballing career began as a youth player with home club Elverum IL, before joining Strømmen IF in the late 1980s.[3] He moved to Kongsvinger IL in 1989, establishing himself as a first-team regular in the Norwegian Premier League. After three seasons with Kongsvinger, he transferred to Rosenborg in 1992, where he in his inaugural season won the Norwegian Premier League and Norwegian Cup,[2] in the final of, which he scored the deciding goal against Lillestrøm SK.[4]

His performances merited inclusion in the national team and attracted the attention of Liverpool's manager Graeme Souness, who bought Bjørnebye for £600,000 less than one year after moving to Rosenborg.[4] Signed as a replacement for David Burrows, Bjørnebye debuted inauspiciously on 19 December 1992 in a 5–1 defeat to Coventry City.[5] Initial difficulties adapting to the Premier League caused many fans to question his displays on the pitch and he returned to Norway on loan to Rosenborg in 1994.[1][6]

Bjørnebye's experiences as a Reds' player in the 1994–95 season under the management of Roy Evans, were markedly more successful than that of previous campaigns.[6] He gained a regular place in the senior team, supplanting the left back position from Julian Dicks, and featured in the 2–1 win against Bolton Wanderers in the final of the 1995 League Cup Final on 2 April 1995.[6][7] Subsequent injury, a broken leg sustained on 5 April 1995 in a 3–1 win match against Southampton,[8] terminated his season and he was replaced by Steve Harkness.[1]

"I am not very good at [remembering what my fondest footballing memories are] but if I had to pick, I would say my time with Rosenborg, the World Cup game against Mexico in 1994 and my three cup finals – at Ullevaal, Wembley and the Millennium Stadium,"

UEFA.com, 11 March 2003.[9]

Unavailable for several months, Bjørnebye appeared just twice for Liverpool in the 1995–96 season.[6] Recovery and injuries to other left back candidates enabled Bjørnebye to reclaim his place the following season, in which he scored his first goal for Liverpool on 17 August 1996 in a 3–3 draw against Middlesbrough.[10] He contributed to the club's most convincing title challenge since the inception of the Premier League by supplying club strikers Stan Collymore and Robbie Fowler with precise crosses.[4] He was ultimately included in the PFA Team of the Year with Steve McManaman and Mark Wright.[11] The acquisition of Steve Staunton and arrival of Gérard Houllier in the 1998–99 season, limited Bjørnebye's first-team opportunities, leading to his effective marginalisation.[6][12] Bjørnebye affirmed his recurring determination to stay at Liverpool that season, remarking "If I didn't have any fight in my stomach I'd have left Liverpool at least three times before".[12]

Unable to displace Staunton and Dominic Matteo, Bjørnebye agreed to a loan move to Danish side Brøndby IF in 2000,[6] who finished second in the Danish Superliga with Bjørnebye on the team.[2] He decided to permanently leave Liverpool after returning from the European Championship, accepting a £300,000 transfer to Blackburn Rovers that reunited him with former manager Graeme Souness.[13] Promotion to the Premier League was achieved in his first year with Rovers, in the process, Bjørnebye scored his only goal for the club on 11 November 2000, in a 2–2 draw against Portsmouth.[14] His final trophy was gained when Blackburn defeated Tottenham Hotspur 2–1 in the 2002 League Cup Final.[15] Successive injuries after the cup victory disrupted and eventually ended his career as a footballer. While preparing for the 2002–03 season, Bjørnebye fractured his eye socket in a training accident. He complained of double vision, underwent surgery, and was rendered unavailable for seven months. Further injury inflicted during a League Cup match on 17 December 2002, in a 2–0 win against Wigan Athletic escalated, while Bjørnebye was recovering in Norway, necessitating emergency surgery to avert the possibility of foot amputation.[16] Bjørnebye announced his retirement on 11 March 2003. Blackburn manager Graham Souness reacted to the decision with a statement:

It's a very sad day. As far as I am concerned it could hardly be worse for Stig is the consummate dedicated professional. He is as good a professional as any I have worked with, I couldn’t name anybody better and he is [a] fine role model and a proper, proper human being. Stig has had a wonderful career, it's a great shame that it has to end with a freak training-ground accident as he felt, quite rightly, that he could have played longer.[17]

International career[edit]

Bjørnebye was capped 75 times by Norway, scoring once – an olympic goal in a 1–0 friendly against the United States on 8 September 1993. Having represented his country at youth, under-21, and "B" level,[1] Bjørnebye debuted for the senior team on 31 May 1989 against Austria.[18] The majority of his caps were collected during Egil Olsen's eight-year tenure as manager of Norway. Under Olsen's guidance, Norway employed a "long ball" policy that was contingent on the height of Olsen's squad.[19] The tactic of directing long passes to the tall winger Jostein Flo, principally delivered by Bjørnebye, became popularly referred to in Norway as the "Flo Pass" (Flo-pasningen).[2] Although criticised for employing the long-ball approach and maintaining a defensively-orientated mentality, Olsen secured qualification for the World Cups of 1994 and 1998.[19] Bjørnebye participated in both tournaments – seven matches in total.[20]

He decided to retire from international football after the 1998 World Cup, intending to focus on his domestic career and family. Bjørnebye unexpectedly reversed his decision after Nils Johan Semb persuaded him to return to the squad for Euro 2000.[21][22] Unused in Norway's 1–0 win against Spain on 13 June 2000, Bjørnebye was first introduced to the competition in the second match of the group stage, in a 0–1 loss on 18 June 2000 against Yugoslavia, as a 35-minute substitute for his Liverpool colleague Vegard Heggem.[23] He retained his place, featuring in the goalless draw against Slovenia on 21 June 2000, which eliminated Norway from the tournament.[24][25] His final international match was in a 1–1 draw World Cup qualifier on 7 October 2000 against Wales,[26] placing him ninth in the overall record of appearances for Norway as of 2007.[18]

Managerial career[edit]

Bjørnebye returned to football in a non-playing capacity when he was selected by the Norwegian Football Association to replace Harald Aabrekk as Norway's assistant manager, subordinate to the newly appointed Åge Hareide. Prior to the announcement, the media in England had reported that Bjørnebye was considering maintaining a relationship with Blackburn by becoming a scout for the club.[27] He vacated his position in 2006 to succeed Tom Nordlie as manager of IK Start. Success was forthcoming in his first season; the club competed in Europe and Bjørnebye was declared most profitable coach of the year, ahead of his predecessor Nordlie, with an income of almost seven million krone.[28] His appointment lasted two seasons, ending with dismissal in September 2007, after a series of poor results that placed the club in serious danger of being relegated from the Norwegian Premier League.[29] He was replaced by Benny Lennartsson, who was unable to preserve the club's premier league status; Start were relegated to Norway's second tier.[30]

Personal life[edit]

Bjørnebye is married to the former Byåsen IL handball player Hege Frøseth, with whom he has three children.[2]

Career statistics[edit]

[3][4][31]

Club performance League Cup League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Norway League Norwegian Cup League Cup Europe Total
1987 Strømmen IF Norwegian First Division 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
1988 19 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 19 0
1989 Kongsvinger IL 21 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 21 2
1990 20 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 20 0
1991 Norwegian Premier League 21 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 21 1
1992 Rosenborg BK 21 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 21 3
England League FA Cup League Cup Europe Total
1992–93 Liverpool FA Premier League 11 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 13 0
1993–94 9 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 10 0
Norway League Norwegian Cup League Cup Europe Total
1994 Rosenborg BK (loan) Norwegian Premier League 8 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 8 0
England League FA Cup League Cup Europe Total
1994–95 Liverpool FA Premier League 31 0 6 0 7 0 0 0 44 0
1995–96 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
1996–97 38 2 2 0 4 0 8 2 52 4
1997–98 25 0 0 0 3 0 4 0 32 0
1998–99 23 0 2 0 2 0 4 0 31 0
1999–2000 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Denmark League Danish Cup League Cup Europe Total
1999–2000 Brøndby IF Danish Superliga 13 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 13 2
England League FA Cup League Cup Europe Total
2000–01 Blackburn Rovers FA Premier League 32 1 3 0 2 0 0 0 37 1
2001–02 23 0 2 0 3 0 0 0 28 0
2002–03 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0
Total Norway 110 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 110 6
England 194 3 18 0 22 0 16 2 250 5
Denmark 13 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 13 2
Career total 317 11 18 0 22 0 16 2 373 13

[3]

Norway national team
Year Apps Goals
1989 6 0
1990 4 0
1991 3 0
1992 11 0
1993 8 1
1994 10 0
1995 3 0
1996 6 0
1997 8 0
1998 12 0
1999 0 0
2000 5 0
Total 76 1

International goal[edit]

Scores and results list Norway's goal tally first.
# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 8 September 1993 Ullevaal Stadion, Oslo  United States 1–0 1–0 Friendly

Managerial statistics[edit]

Team From To Record
G W D L Win %
Start 15 July 2006 5 September 2007 40 13 8 19 32.50
Total 40 13 8 19 32.50

Source:[32]

Honours[edit]

Rosenborg
Liverpool
Blackburn Rovers

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Matthews, Tony (2006). Who's Who of Liverpool. Edinburgh: Mainstream Publishing. p. 31. ISBN 1-84596-140-4. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Stig Inge Bjørnebye" (in Norwegian). NRK. Retrieved 3 February 2008. 
  3. ^ a b c "Bjørnebye, Stig Inge". National Football Teams. Retrieved 21 January 2008. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Stig Inge Bjørnebye". LFChistory. Retrieved 10 January 2011. 
  5. ^ Rees, Jasper (20 December 1992). "Football: Coventry shatter Liverpool illusions". The Independent (London). Retrieved 14 January 2011. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f "Stig Inge Bjørnebye". Liverpool F.C. Retrieved 10 January 2011. 
  7. ^ Moore, Glenn (3 April 1995). "Liverpool prevail in cup final to savour". The Independent (London). Retrieved 10 January 2011. 
  8. ^ "Bjrnebye's despair". The Independent (London). 7 April 1995. Retrieved 14 January 2011. 
  9. ^ "Bjørnebye succumbs to eye injury". UEFA. 11 March 2003. Retrieved 10 January 2011. 
  10. ^ Turnbull, Simon (18 August 1996). "Absolutely Fabrizio for Boro". The Independent (London). Retrieved 10 January 2011. 
  11. ^ "Pick of the Premiership". The Football Association. 26 April 2005. Retrieved 10 January 2011. 
  12. ^ a b "Bjornebye growls a goodbye". The People (Highbeam). 20 September 1998. Retrieved 10 January 2011.  (registration required)
  13. ^ "Bjornebye seals Rovers deal". BBC Sport (BBC). 26 June 2000. Retrieved 5 February 2008. 
  14. ^ "Portsmouth 2–2 Blackburn". BBC Sport (BBC). 11 November 2000. Retrieved 15 September 2009. 
  15. ^ "Cole strike stuns Spurs". BBC Sport (BBC). 24 February 2002. Retrieved 10 January 2011. 
  16. ^ "Bjornebye in foot fear". BBC Sport (BBC). 17 January 2003. Retrieved 6 February 2008. 
  17. ^ "Retiring Bjornebye says bye-bye". Breaking News. 11 March 2003. Retrieved 10 January 2011. 
  18. ^ a b "Norway – Record International Players". RSSSF. RSSSF. Retrieved 6 February 2008. 
  19. ^ a b "Norway's style won't change without Olsen". CNN Sports Illustrated (CNN). 28 June 1998. Retrieved 7 February 2008. 
  20. ^ "Stig BJORNEBYE". FIFA. Retrieved 7 February 2008. 
  21. ^ "Premiership stars in Norway squad". BBC Sport (BBC). 29 May 2000. Retrieved 10 January 2011. 
  22. ^ "Stig Inge Bjornebye". BBC Sport (BBC). 29 May 2000. Retrieved 6 February 2008. 
  23. ^ "Yugoslavs ease past Norway". BBC Sport (BBC). 18 June 2000. Retrieved 10 January 2011. 
  24. ^ "Norway crash out after Slovenia draw". BBC Sport (BBC). 21 June 2000. Retrieved 10 January 2011. 
  25. ^ "Norway crash out after Slovenia draw". ESPNSoccernet (ESPN). Retrieved 7 February 2008. 
  26. ^ "Wales – Norway". FIFA. Retrieved 10 January 2011. 
  27. ^ "New Role Stig". Lancashire Evening Telegraph. 10 December 2003. Retrieved 10 January 2011. 
  28. ^ Elster, Kristian (12 October 2007). "Bjørnebye best betalte trener". NRK Sport (in Norwegian) (NRK). Retrieved 7 February 2008. 
  29. ^ Rake, Jamel; K. Christiansen, Anders (5 September 2007). "Det er mitt ansvar". Verdens Gang (in Norwegian). Retrieved 7 February 2008. 
  30. ^ Aarre, Elvind (4 November 2007). "Torrid finish for Start". UEFA. Retrieved 10 January 2011. 
  31. ^ "Stig Inge Bjornebye". ESPNSoccernet. Retrieved 11 January 2011. 
  32. ^ "Stig Inge Björnebye". footballdatabase.eu. Retrieved 13 March 2013. 

External links[edit]

Norway national football team assistant manager
Preceded by:
Harald Aabrekk
Season:
2003–2006
Succeeded by:
Ola By Rise