|Full name||Christopher Martin Casper|
|Date of birth||28 April 1975|
|Place of birth||Burnley, Lancashire, England|
|Height||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|1996||→ Bournemouth (loan)||16||(1)|
|1997||→ Swindon Town (loan)||10||(1)|
|1998||→ Reading (loan)||8||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
Christopher Martin "Chris" Casper (born 28 April 1975) is an English football manager and former player who played in the Premier League for Manchester United and in the Football League for Bournemouth, Swindon Town and Reading. An injury forced him to retire from playing in 2000 at the age of 24.
Casper then went into management and took charge of Team Bath in 2002 before moving to Football League Two club Bury for three years. At the time, he was the youngest manager in the top four tiers of the English football league system. However, a run of poor form in 2008 led to his departure from Bury. Casper then took backroom jobs at Bradford City and Grimsby Town, before joining the FA Premier League as a club support manager.
Casper joined Manchester United as a trainee in 1991 and played in their FA Youth Cup winning team a year later. When still only 17, he signed professional terms in January 1993, making his United debut in the League Cup game against Port Vale at Old Trafford on 5 October 1994. Casper was a product of the same United youth setup that sparked the highly successful careers of players such as David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Gary Neville, Phil Neville and Nicky Butt, who all spent a decade or more with the club, helping them win numerous trophies and also being regular members of the England national football team.
Casper served as captain of the England youth team, and was a member of the European Championship winning side in 1993. He also appeared for the England Under 21 side in Toulon in 1996. Casper later had several spells on loan at Bournemouth and Swindon Town during the 1990s, but was unable to claim a regular place in the first team at Old Trafford and he was sold to Division Two side Reading in November 1998 for £300,000.
He was playing for Reading against Cardiff City in a Division Two fixture on Boxing Day 1999 when he suffered a double leg fracture. This was the last professional game that Casper, then aged 24, ever played, as he later announced his retirement the following year after failing to recover sufficiently from the injury. More than four years later, he secured undisclosed compensation in an out-of-court settlement with Richard Carpenter, the Cardiff City player whose tackle had caused his career-ending injury. By this stage, Casper was a youth team coach at Bury.
Managerial and coaching career
He left to join Bury as youth coach before taking charge of the reserves in the 2004–05 season. At the beginning of the 2005–06 season, with six defeats from the first nine games, he replaced Graham Barrow as manager. Casper offered to resign in 2006 when Bury were thrown out of the FA Cup in the 2006–07 season for fielding an ineligible player, but this was rejected by the club's board. After a run of poor results he was fired in January 2008.
On 1 December 2009, Casper was appointed assistant manager to Neil Woods at Grimsby Town, replacing Brian Stein. Town suffered relegation from the Football League and Casper stepped down as assistant manager at the end of the season.
FA Premier League
On 30 June 2010, Casper joined the Premier League as a club support manager working within the academy system. The role sees him working with the eight top-flight clubs in the north west to help them implement educational programmes and work with their academies.
|Bury||19 September 2005||14 January 2008||113||36||44||33||27.06|
- Manchester United
- "Departure of Town number two Chris Casper a blow says Neil Woods". Grimsby Telegraph. 1 July 2010. Retrieved 7 April 2011.
- Burnley Express Accessed 2010
- "Casper gets Bradford youth role". BBC Sport. 25 June 2008. Retrieved 25 June 2008.
- "Chris Casper replaces Brian Stein at Grimsby Town". BBC Sport. 1 December 2009. Retrieved 30 June 2010.
- "Casper's new role with the Premier League". Bury Times. 7 July 2010. Retrieved 7 April 2011.
- "Town's departing assistant manager Chris Casper says he will miss the club". Grimsby Telegraph. 2 July 2011. Retrieved 7 April 2011.