Craig Armstrong (footballer)

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Craig Armstrong
Personal information
Full name Steven Craig Armstrong
Date of birth (1975-05-23) 23 May 1975 (age 43)
Place of birth South Shields, England
Height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Playing position Defender
Club information
Current team
Nottingham Forest
(Elite Development Coach)
Youth career
000?–1992 Nottingham Forest
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1992–1999 Nottingham Forest 40 (0)
1994–1995Burnley (loan) 4 (0)
1996Bristol Rovers (loan) 14 (0)
1996Gillingham (loan) 10 (0)
1997Watford (loan) 15 (0)
1999–2002 Huddersfield Town 107 (5)
2002–2005 Sheffield Wednesday 35 (1)
2004Grimsby Town (loan) 9 (1)
2005 Bradford City 7 (0)
2005–2007 Cheltenham Town 76 (2)
2007–2008 Gillingham 13 (0)
2008–2009 Cheltenham Town 19 (0)
2008–2009Burton Albion (loan) 3 (1)
2009 Kidderminster Harriers 7 (0)
2009–2010 Mansfield Town 10 (0)
2010Forest Green Rovers (loan) 13 (0)
2010–2011 Forest Green Rovers 24 (0)
2011 Eastwood Town 8 (0)
2011 Boston United 3 (0)
2011–2012 Hucknall Town
Total 485 (26)
Teams managed
2011 Eastwood Town
2012 Quorn
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 19:25, 4 April 2010 (UTC)

Steven Craig Armstrong (born 23 May 1975) is an English former professional footballer, manager and currently Elite Development coach at Football League Championship side Nottingham Forest.

As a player, he was a defender and midfielder from 1992 to 2012 and represented Nottingham Forest, Burnley, Bristol Rovers, Gillingham, Watford, Huddersfield Town, Sheffield Wednesday, Grimsby Town, Bradford City, Cheltenham Town, Burton Albion, Kidderminster Harriers, Mansfield Town, Forest Green Rovers, Boston United and Hucknall Town. In 2011, he briefly held the position of player-manager of Eastwood Town and later had a spell as manager of Quorn.


Nottingham Forest[edit]

Born in South Shields, Armstrong started his career at Nottingham Forest in graduating from their youth system in 1992. Lack of first team action meant in December 1994 he moved on loan to Burnley. He made his debut for the Lancashire club in the 5–1 win over Southend United on 31 December 1994, playing in place of the injured Chris Vinnicombe. Armstrong appeared in three more league matches for Burnley before being recalled by Forest.[1] In January 1996, he joined Bristol Rovers on another loan deal, again making four appearances. However, he was recalled a month later to play a further nine matches at Twerton Park. In October 1996, Armstrong was loaned to Gillingham for whom he played 13 matches as a defensive midfielder. In January 1997, he was loaned to Watford for a month, but his loan deal was cut short through injury. However, he was recalled for a further month in March 1997, with a view to a transfer. However, no move came to fruition. Armstrong scored twice during his spell at Forest with both goals coming in the League Cup in games against Walsall[2] and Cambridge United.[3]

Huddersfield Town[edit]

Armstrong left Forest in 1999 when Huddersfield Town agreed a £750,000 transfer. He played 112 matches at Huddersfield and in 2001 he won the Hargreaves Memorial Trophy (Huddersfield Player of The Year Award).

Sheffield Wednesday[edit]

He then left Huddersfield, moving to First Division club Sheffield Wednesday for £100,000. He played 29 times (scoring once against Rotherham United)[4] before moving on loan to Grimsby Town in a bid to regain match fitness after suffering an injury. During his spell at Grimsby he scored once against Barnsley.[5] When his contract expired at Sheffield Wednesday, Armstrong found himself without a club.

Bradford City[edit]

A year later he signed a short-term contract at Bradford City, where he played only seven games.

Cheltenham Town[edit]

In July 2005, he signed for Cheltenham Town, for whom he played 76 times, helping the club gain promotion against former club Grimsby. Although he arrived at the club as a midfielder, he made the majority of his appearances at left-back due to Jamie Victory's long-term injury problems. He also operated effectively in the centre of midfield on occasions and was comfortable at centre half. Armstrong's Cheltenham contract ran out at end of the 2006–07 season.


In June 2007 he rejoined Gillingham on a two-year contract.[6] He made his debut on the first day of the season against Cheltenham, but Gillingham lost 1–0. He scored his first and what turned out to be only goal for Gillingham against Dagenham & Redbridge in the Football League Trophy on 13 November 2007.[7] On 31 January 2008, he was released from his contract.[8]

Cheltenham Town (second spell)[edit]

On 4 February 2008 he rejoined Cheltenham Town until the end of the season.[9] In November 2008, Armstrong joined Burton Albion on loan until January 2009. He scored his first goal on his full debut in a 2–0 win against Eastbourne Borough. Following his return from Burton, Armstrong and Cheltenham parted company by mutual consent.[10]

Kidderminster Harriers[edit]

Later the same month, he signed with Conference side, Kidderminster Harriers and remained with the club until the end of the 2008/2009 season.[11]

Mansfield Town[edit]

Armstrong signed for Mansfield Town for the 2009/10 season. He was loaned out to fellow Conference side Forest Green Rovers in February 2010.[12] Armstrong made his Forest Green debut on 6 March 2010 in a 2–1 home victory over York City.[13] Armstrong went on to make 13 appearances for Forest Green but was unable to help his loan club avoid relegation. Forest Green were however later reprieved and returned to the Conference.

Forest Green Rovers[edit]

In June 2010, Armstrong signed for Forest Green permanently following his release by Mansfield.[14] As well as signing as a player Armstrong spent the first few months undertaking a coaching role. However, he reverted to being a player when Gary Seward was appointed as assistant manager at the club.

Armstrong revealed on his Twitter page following Forest Green Rovers final home league game of the season, a 0–0 draw with Wimbledon, that he would not be offered a new contract with the club at the end of the season. He was released following Rovers final day loss against Tamworth.[15]

Boston United[edit]

In September 2011 Armstrong returned to a playing career with Conference North side Boston United.[16] Armstrong made his debut against Altrincham in a league game on 8 October 2011 and also featured against Histon and Workington in his month with the Pilgrims.

Hucknall Town[edit]

In October 2011, Armstrong signed for Hucknall Town as a player-coach, linking up with manager Des Lyttle.[17] Armstrong left Hucknall because of a budget cut at the club in March 2012.[18]

Coaching career[edit]

Having learnt from some of the best managers in the business on 26 May 2011, Armstrong was appointed as joint manager of Eastwood Town alongside Jamie Brough.[19] The season started well with victories against Solihull Moors and Gloucester City. However defeats against Corby Town and Stalybridge Celtic caused friction and after just eight games in charge Armstrong quit as Eastwood boss in September 2011.

After leaving his post as player-coach at Hucknall Town, Armstrong became manager of Quorn in late March 2012.[20]

He currently works as an elite development coach at Nottingham Forest.


  1. ^ Simpson, Ray (1996). The Clarets Collection 1946–1996. Burnley FC. p. 18. ISBN 0-9521799-0-3. 
  2. ^ "Walsall fell Forest to send Bescot barmy". The Independent. 25 September 1997. Retrieved 10 April 2011. 
  3. ^ "Notts Forest 3 Cambridge 3 (aet, 4–3 on pens)". Sporting Life. 27 October 1998. Retrieved 10 April 2011. 
  4. ^ "Sheff Wed 1–2 Rotherham". BBC Sport. 23 August 2002. 
  5. ^ "Grimsby 6–1 Barnsley". BBC Sport. 28 February 2004. 
  6. ^ Official Gillingham website Archived 26 June 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ "Gillingham 4–0 Dag & Red". BBC Sport. 13 November 2007. 
  8. ^ "Exclusive:Lomas, Graham and Armstrong all depart". Gillingham F.C. 31 January 2008. Archived from the original on 5 February 2008. Retrieved 1 February 2008. 
  9. ^ "Armstrong re-signs for Cheltenham". BBC Sport. 4 February 2008. Retrieved 5 February 2008. 
  10. ^ "Hammond pens Cheltenham extension". BBC Sport. 2 January 2009. Retrieved 11 January 2009. 
  11. ^ "Harriers sign veteran Armstrong". BBC Sport. 23 January 2009. Retrieved 23 January 2009. 
  12. ^ Template:Cite web= green rovers/8529107.stm
  13. ^ "Forest Green 2-1 York". BBC Sport. 6 March 2010. 
  14. ^ "Forest Green sign Scott Bartlett on part-time deal". BBC Sport. 24 June 2010. 
  15. ^ "Armstrong: I'm sad to be leaving FGR". Sport Glos. 5 May 2011. Retrieved 6 May 2011. 
  16. ^ "Boston United add Craig Armstrong to squad". BBC Sport. 26 September 2011. Retrieved 26 September 2011. 
  17. ^ "Armstrong off to Hucknall". Non League Daily. 26 October 2011. Archived from the original on 24 October 2011. Retrieved 26 October 2011. 
  18. ^ "Yellows slash wage bill". Non League Daily. 2 April 2012. Archived from the original on 9 September 2012. 
  19. ^ "Eastwood announce joint bosses". Football Conference. 26 May 2011. Retrieved 27 May 2011. 
  20. ^ "Ex Forest man joins Quorn". thisisleicestershire. 30 March 2012. 

External links[edit]