Arthur John

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Artur John
Personal information
Date of birth 1898
Place of birth England
Date of death 31 March 1972 (aged 74)
Place of death Lisbon
Teams managed
Years Team
1923–1929 Vitória Setúbal
1929–1931 Benfica
1931–1933 Sporting CP

Arthur "Artur" John (1898 – 31 March 1972 in Lisbon) was an English football manager who managed Vitória de Setúbal, Benfica and Sporting CP in Portugal.

He was an unusual manager because he acted as a massage therapist and massaged his players when they approached the bench for instructions. He was convinced that the player-manager role shouldn't exist, saying, "You either coach or play".[1]


Born in England, John career as manager started in Vitória de Setúbal, managing them for six seasons, winning two Campeonato de Lisboa, two newly created Campeonato de Setúbal and finish runners-up in the 1926-27 Campeonato de Portugal.[2]

That success led him to bigger clubs, so in 1929, John became the first foreign manager of Benfica.[3] In his two seasons he spent there, John led the club to their first national title, winning the Campeonato de Portugal against Barreirense on 1 June 1930, putting an end to a 10-year title drought [4] He successfully defend this conquest in the following year, beating Porto by three-nill on 28 June 1931.[5]

John was then signed by Sporting CP, which offered him 16 contos to move.[6] He didn't have as much success there, and was replaced in May 1933 by Rudolf Jeny.[2] He was the last manager to directly move from Benfica to Sporting until Jorge Jesus did it 84 years later.[6] He died in Lisbon on 31 March 1972, at age 74, and was buried in Cemetery of Ajuda.[7]



Vitória Setúbal

Managerial statistics[edit]

Team From To Record
G W D L Win %
Benfica[9] 20 October 1929 28 June 1931 46 28 6 12 60.87
Sporting 13 December 1931 17 May 1933 35 22 4 9 62.86




  1. ^ "As histórias dos muitos treinadores do Sporting" [The histories of many Sporting managers]. Magazine Sábado (in Portuguese). 14 February 2011. Archived from the original on 10 March 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c "Arthur John". Retrieved 8 August 2017. 
  3. ^ Tovar 2012, p. 104.
  4. ^ Tovar 2012, p. 105.
  5. ^ Tovar 2012, p. 112.
  6. ^ a b "Jorge Jesus volta à Luz: as histórias de outros regressos" [Jorge Jesus returns to Estádio da Luz: Other histories of the past]. Mais Futebol (in Portuguese). 23 October 2015. Retrieved 8 August 2017. 
  7. ^ "Futebol é noticia" [Football is news]. Diário de Lisboa (in Portuguese) (17699): 17. 1 April 1972. Retrieved 20 April 2017. 
  8. ^ Tovar 2012, p. 105-112.
  9. ^ Tovar 2012, p. 105-114.