John Napier (footballer)

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John Napier
Personal information
Full name Robert John Napier
Date of birth (1946-09-23) 23 September 1946 (age 70)
Place of birth Lurgan, Northern Ireland
Height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Playing position Centre half
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1963–1967 Bolton Wanderers 69 (2)
1967–1972 Brighton & Hove Albion 218 (5)
1972–1975 Bradford City 106 (3)
1975 Baltimore Comets (loan) 22 (1)
1975–1976 Mossley 24 (1)
1976 San Diego Jaws (loan) 22 (1)
1976–1978 Bradford City 1 (0)
National team
Northern Ireland U-23 2 (0)
1966 Northern Ireland 1 (0)
Teams managed
1978 Bradford City
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Robert John 'John' Napier (born 23 September 1946, Lurgan, Northern Ireland) was a Northern Irish football centre half and manager, who currently teaches soccer in San Diego, California.


Napier was born in Lurgan. With a career as both player and coach, Napier has also been a player agent and a television and radio sports analyst.[1]


Club playing career[edit]

Napier began his career in September 1963 playing for the Bolton Wanderers, where he played until 1967, when he was transferred to Brighton & Hove Albion for £25,000. He played until 1972 playing more than 200 games including two seasons as ever-present. In 1972, he was transferred to Bradford City for a record-equalling £10,000. He spent six seasons at Valley Parade interspersed with spells in America at Baltimore Comets and the same team after they became San Diego Jaws, and also at Mossley. In all he played more than 100 games at City, and served as manager, and assistant coach.[2]

Club management career[edit]

Napier served as manager at City from February 1978 to October 1978. He was unpopular as manager of Bradford City, as the team was relegated to the now-defunct Division Four.[3] Napier returned to the United States in 1979 to take a coaching position at Pepperdine University, and continues to coach soccer.[4]

International career[edit]

Napier was a Northern Ireland schoolboy international, won 11 youth caps, two under-23 caps. He won his only full international cap against West Germany in May 1966.[5]


  • Most Valuable Player, Bolton Wanderers: 1966
  • Most Valuable Player, Brighton: 1969
  • Football League Division Three Runner-Up, Brighton: 1971
  • Most Valuable Player, Bradford City: 1973

Managerial statistics[edit]

Team Nat Year Record
G W D L Win %
Bradford City England 1978 34 11 5 18 032.35
Career Total 34 11 5 18 032.35


  1. ^ "John Napier's website". Retrieved 2007-10-11. 
  2. ^ "John Napier's resume". Retrieved 2007-10-11. 
  3. ^ "John Napier management profile". Archived from the original on 2009-10-26. Retrieved 2007-10-11. 
  4. ^ Murphy, Erin (2009-01-07). "Coach's Corner: John Napier". Daily San Diego Soccer News. Retrieved 2009-01-08. 
  5. ^ Frost, Terry (1988). Bradford City A Complete Record 1903-1988. Breedon Books Sport. p. 127. ISBN 0-907969-38-0. 

External links[edit]