||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (August 2012)|
|Full name||Nicholas Robert Platnauer|
|Date of birth||10 June 1961|
|Place of birth||Leicester, England|
|Height||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
|Playing position||Left-back / Midfielder|
|1986||→ Reading (loan)||7||(0)|
|1991||→ Port Vale (loan)||14||(0)|
|2003||Kettering Town (caretaker manager)|
|2007–2011||Hinckley United (assistant)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
He moved from Bedford Town to Bristol Rovers in 1982, before being sold to Coventry City for a fee of £50,000 in August 1983. Voted Player of the Year in 1983–84, he moved on to Birmingham City in December 1984, and helped the club to win promotion out of the Second Division in 1984–85. Loaned out to Reading in 1985–86, he helped the club to the Third Division title. In September 1986 he joined Cardiff City, and helped the Welsh club to win promotion out of the Fourth Division in 1987–88. In August 1989 he was sold on to Notts County for a £50,000 fee, and helped the "Magpies" to win promotion out of the Third Division via the play-offs in 1990. He joined Leicester City in July 1991, following a loan spell at Port Vale. He then saw his career in the Football League out in 1996 following short spells at Scunthorpe United, Mansfield Town and Lincoln City.
He played for non-league side Hinckley United, before entering the non-league management circuit with Rothwell Town in 2000. Three years later he spent some time as caretaker-manager of Kettering Town, before he was appointed manager of Bedford Town in January 2004. He helped the club to win promotion out of the Southern Football League via the play-offs in 2006, but resigned later that year following a poor run of results in the Conference South. He spent October 2007 to August 2011 as assistant manager at Hinckley United, before returning to Bedford Town as manager between 2011 and 2013.
Platnauer was born in Leicester but moved to Bedford as a youngster, where began his career with his local side Bedford Town. He joined Bristol Rovers of the Third Division in August 1982, who were then managed by Bobby Gould. Having impressed in the 1982–83 season, with the "Gas" four places and seven points outside the promotion places, he followed Bobby Gould to the First Division with Coventry City for a fee of £50,000 in August 1983.
He played around fifty games for the "Sky Blues", helping the Highfield Road outfit to finish two points above the relegation zone in 1983–84, and was voted as Player of the Year. He switched to Birmingham City in December 1984, after Don Mackay replaced Gould as the boss at Coventry. Having helped relegate the "Blues" the previous season, Platnauer then helped Ron Saunders to bring top-flight football back to St Andrew's with promotion out of the Second Division in 1984–85. Finding the competition for first team places greater in the 1985–86 season, Platnauer joined Reading on loan in January 1986, after Saunders was sacked and replaced by John Bond. He made seven league appearances at Elm Park, as he helped Ian Branfoot's "Royals" to top the Third Division table.
He joined newly relegated Cardiff City in the Fourth Division on a free transfer in September 1986, thereby completing the set of all four levels of the Football League. After making his debut in a 1–1 draw with Halifax Town he was a regular in the 1986–87 season. He also featured heavily in the 1987–88 promotion winning season before helping Frank Burrows's "Bluebirds" to consolidate their third tier status in 1988–89.
He left Ninian Park in August 1989, after he was picked up by Neil Warnock at league rivals Notts County for a £50,000 fee. The "Magpies" missed out on automatic promotion by four points in 1989–90, but he played at Wembley as County won promotion to the Second Division with a 2–0 victory over Tranmere Rovers in the play-off final. County would achieve promotion from the play-offs for a second successive season in 1990–91, though Platnauer would play little part in it. He was loaned out to league rivals Port Vale in January 1991. He played fifteen games for the Burslem club, helping John Rudge to keep the "Valiants" in the Second Division, before returning to Meadow Lane in April. In July 1991 he joined another Second Division side in Leicester City on a free transfer. He enjoyed regular football in the 1991–92 season, helping Brian Little's "Foxes" to an encounter with Blackburn Rovers in the play-off final, though he would finally taste defeat at the national stadium, as Rovers won 1–0.
Leicester would have another crack at the play-off final the following year, though Platnauer would have little contribution to the season, as he lost his first team place at Filbert Street, and moved to Scunthorpe United on a free transfer in March 1993. He scored two goals in 14 Third Division games for the "Iron", but did not win a longer stay at Glanford Park after Bill Green was sacked for failing to bring promotion. In August 1993, Platnauer signed with Football League newcomers Mansfield Town. He made 32 appearances for the "Stags" in 1993–94, helping Andy King to establish the Field Mill outfit in mid-table. In February 1994 he joined Keith Alexander at Lincoln City, as they spent the 1993–94 near the foot of the Third Division. There was a managerial merry-go-ground in 1994–95, as Alexander was replaced by John Beck between short spells with Sam Ellis and then Steve Wicks in the hot-seat. On leaving Sincil Bank, Platnauer became player-coach at Bedworth United, under former Notts County teammate Dean Thomas. He joined the newly amalgamated Hinckley United in 1997. The "Knitters" were then competing in the Division One Midlands of the Southern League, and Platnauer played 51 games despite being his late 30s.
Platnauer was appointed as manager of Rothwell Town in 2000 and remained in this post until October 2003. In charge for 2000–01, 2001–02 and 2002–03, the "Bones" posted mid-table finishes in the Southern League Eastern Division. The following month he became caretaker-manager of Kettering Town, after the sacking of Dominic Genovese. He remained in charge until December 2003 when Kevin Wilson was installed as manager, Platnauer having ruled himself out of the running.
He took over as manager of his hometown club Bedford Town (where Wilson had previously been manager) in January 2004, and guided Bedford to the play-offs in 2004–05. In 2005–06, he took the club all the way out of the play-offs from the Southern Football League Premier Division to the Conference South. However, Bedford struggled the following season and Platnauer resigned in January 2007 with his side bottom of the table, at the season's end the club had failed to improve their position and were relegated.
In October 2007, Dean Thomas appointed him as assistant manager at Hinckley United. Platnauer left Hinckley United in August 2011, and returned to Bedford Town as assistant manager. He took charge as manager again in 2011, and led the "Eagles" to a tenth-place finish in the Southern League in 2011–12 and 2012–13, before he was forced to resign as part of the club's cost-cutting measures in May 2013.
- Birmingham City
- Cardiff City
- Notts County
- Leicester City
- Coventry City
- Bedford Town
- Southern Football League Premier Division play-off: 2005-06
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