Alan Little

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Alan Little
Personal information
Full name Alan Little[1]
Date of birth (1955-02-05) 5 February 1955 (age 62)[1]
Place of birth Horden, England
Playing position Midfielder
Youth career
1971–1973 Aston Villa
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1973–1974 Aston Villa 3 (0)
1974–1977 Southend United 103 (12)
1977–1979 Barnsley 91 (14)
1979–1982 Doncaster Rovers 85 (11)
1982–1983 Torquay United 51 (4)
1983–1985 Halifax Town 68 (6)
1985–1986 Hartlepool United 12 (1)
Total 413 (48)
Teams managed
1993–1999 York City
1999–2000 Southend United
2001–2002 Halifax Town
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Alan Little (born 5 February 1955) is an English former professional footballer and manager.

Playing career[edit]

Alan Little was born in Horden, County Durham.[1] He served his apprenticeship at Aston Villa and, alongside his brother, Brian, was in the youth side which beat Liverpool to win the FA Youth Cup in 1972.[citation needed] He turned professional in January 1973 and on 5 October 1974, made his full league debut, a 2–1 win away to Oldham Athletic.[citation needed] This was the first of just three league appearances for Villa.[citation needed]

In December 1974 he was sold to Southend United for £10,000.[citation needed] The following season, he was a regular in the side that reached the fifth round of the FA Cup.[citation needed] He made 102 full appearances (+ 1 as a substitute) and scored 12 goals for 'the Shrimpers'.[citation needed] In August 1977, Barnsley paid £6,000 to take him to Oakwell, where he played 91 times, scoring 14 goals.[citation needed] December 1979 saw Little on the move again, this time to Doncaster Rovers, who paid a club record £25,000 for his services.[citation needed]

He provided the experience that Billy Bremner's young side needed, and became a great favourite with the Doncaster fans, winning the supporters' Player of the Year award, before moving to Torquay United in October 1982 in a deal that saw Clive Wigginton move in the opposite direction.[citation needed] He scored four times in 51 games for Torquay, leaving to join Halifax Town in November 1983, playing 68 times (and scoring 6 goals) for 'the Shaymen' before joining Hartlepool United as player-coach in July 1985.[citation needed]

Throughout his playing career Little earned a reputation as a fiercely competitive, tough tackling midfielder, which made him highly respected by supporters and fellow players alike.[citation needed]

Coaching and managerial career[edit]

Little was forced to retire due to injury in May 1986 and stayed at Hartlepool, where he was given the opportunity of coaching the juniors.[citation needed] He was later appointed assistant to manager John Bird, and when Bird became the manager at York City in September 1988, Little went with him as assistant manager.[citation needed] In October 1991, after an unsuccessful three years, Bird was sacked.[citation needed] The new manager, John Ward, retained Little as his assistant.[citation needed] Under Ward, York became a stronger side and in the 1992–93 season made a push for promotion.[citation needed] However, in March 1993, Ward left to manage Bristol Rovers, leaving Little in charge.[citation needed]

His first game as York manager was a 5–1 win away to promotion rivals Barnet.[citation needed] York eventually finished fourth in the Third Division and had to settle for a play-off place.[citation needed] After a 1–0 aggregate win over Bury in the semi-finals, York gained a place in Second Division by beating Crewe Alexandra on a penalty shoot-out at Wembley Stadium.[citation needed]

The following season, York almost repeated the feat, but were beaten in the Second Division play-off semi-finals by Stockport County.[citation needed] There were other highlights during Little's time at York, most notably the League Cup wins over Manchester United in 1995, and Everton in 1996.[citation needed] However, York's overall form under Little deteriorated and after a run of 10 games without victory he was sacked on 15 March 1999.[2] York were relegated that season having only dropped into the relegation zone on the last day of the season.[citation needed]

In April 1999, Little returned to his old club, Southend United, after the resignation of Alvin Martin, helping them to avoid the drop into the Football Conference at the end of the season.[citation needed] He also helped them survive a serious financial crisis by slashing the wage bill and rebuilding a much cheaper side. His dismissal on 28 September 2000 came as a surprise as, despite a poor start to the season, it came after a five-game unbeaten run that saw 'the Shrimpers' rise to 10th in the Third Division.[citation needed] He was replaced by David Webb on 2 October 2000.[citation needed]

In June 2001, he was appointed Chief Scout at Hull City, managed by his older brother Brian.[citation needed] On 12 October 2001, Little was appointed as manager of former club Halifax Town.[3] With only three league wins before falling ill with appendicitis in March 2002, Little was sacked.[citation needed] Halifax were relegated to the Conference at the end of the season and went out of business six years later.[citation needed]

Managerial statistics[edit]

Managerial record by team and tenure
Team From To Record Ref
P W D L Win %
York City 12 March 1993 15 March 1999 328 113 89 126 34.5 [4][5]
Southend United 2 April 1999 28 September 2000 69 21 18 30 30.4 [6]
Halifax Town 12 October 2001 1 March 2002 27 3 9 15 11.1 [3][6]
Total 424 137 116 171 32.3


  1. ^ a b c "Alan Little". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 8 February 2016. 
  2. ^ "Little sacked". York Evening Press. 16 March 1999. Retrieved 8 February 2016. 
  3. ^ a b "Halifax appoint Little". BBC Sport. 12 October 2001. Retrieved 8 February 2016. 
  4. ^ Rollin, Jack, ed. (1993). Rothmans Football Yearbook 1993–94. London: Headline Publishing Group. p. 19. ISBN 978-0-7472-7895-5. 
  5. ^ Batters, David (2008). York City: The Complete Record. Derby: Breedon Books. pp. 380–392, 414–416. ISBN 978-1-85983-633-0. 
  6. ^ a b "Managers: Alan Little". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 8 February 2016. 

External links[edit]