Paul Groves (footballer)

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Paul Groves
Groves at West Ham United, August 2010
Personal information
Full name Paul Groves[1]
Date of birth (1966-02-28) 28 February 1966 (age 50)[1]
Place of birth Derby, England
Height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Playing position Defender / Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Bristol City (Academy Manager)
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
19??–19?? Belper Town ? (?)
198?–1988 Burton Albion ? (?)
1988–1990 Leicester City 16 (1)
1989 Lincoln City (loan) 8 (1)
1990–1992 Blackpool 107 (21)
1992–1996 Grimsby Town 184 (38)
1996–1997 West Bromwich Albion 29 (4)
1997–2004 Grimsby Town 270 (33)
2004 Scunthorpe United (loan) 7 (2)
2004 Scunthorpe United 6 (1)
2004–2005 York City 42 (3)
2005–2006 Stafford Rangers 30 (5)
Total 699 (109)
Teams managed
2001–2004 Grimsby Town
2009 Portsmouth (caretaker)
2012 Bournemouth

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Paul Groves (born 28 February 1966) is an English former professional footballer who is currently the academy manager at Bristol City.

He notably captained and managed Grimsby Town. He was naturally a central midfield player, but later in his career was used as a central defender. He also played in the Football League for Leicester City, Lincoln City, Blackpool, West Bromwich Albion and Scunthorpe United having also played at non-league level for Belper Town, Burton Albion, York City and Stafford Rangers. His playing career lasted from 1986 until 2006. He was player/manager at Grimsby Town from 2001 until 2004, he eventually retired in 2006 whilst he was player/assistant manager at Stafford Rangers. He was the senior coach at West Ham United following Avram Grant to the club from Portsmouth. However, he parted company with the club on 24 June 2011, following the arrival of Sam Allardyce he joined Bournemouth as the club's youth team manager. On 25 March 2012 he became the club's first team manager following a caretaker spell in charge, however he was relieved of his duties in October that year but was re-appointed as youth team boss.

Playing career[edit]

Burton Albion[edit]

Born in Derby, Derbyshire,[1] Groves began his career in non-League football, playing for Belper Town before joining Burton Albion in 1988 for whom he appeared at Wembley Stadium for in the 1987 FA Trophy Final.

Leicester City[edit]

In April 1988 he moved to Leicester City for £12,000. He made 19 appearances for the Foxes, scoring two goals. In August 1989 he was loaned out to Lincoln City, playing eight league games and scoring once.[1] Having not made the grade at Filbert Street, Leicester placed Groves on the transfer list and he eventually left the club in January 1990.


Groves signed for Blackpool on a permanent £60,000 deal. He became a regular in the side, making a total of 135 appearances and scoring 29 goals between 1990 and 1992.

Grimsby Town[edit]

In August 1992 Groves signed for Grimsby Town for £150,000 who at the time were managed by Alan Buckley. Groves became very consistent as a player at Grimsby and was a first team regular who regularly scored goals from midfield, in addition to being a good tackler. His goals enabled him to top the club's scoring chart in his first season at the club 1992–93, with 12 goals in 46 matches. He also topped the chart again in the 1995–96 . He played every league game in his first (four-season) spell and in his first three seasons. Groves became part of a nostalgic playing squad that harboured such professionals as Ivano Bonetti, Steve Livingstone, John McDermott and Gary Croft. Whilst at the club Groves also played under Brian Laws, and caretaker manager John Cockerill

West Bromwich Albion[edit]

His next port of call was to join West Bromwich Albion for £600,000 in 1996 where he was signed once again by Alan Buckley. After one season with Albion, Buckley had moved back to Grimsby taking Groves with him for £250,000 as well as Kevin Donovan amongst others. Groves would be part of a selection of players who transferred between West Brom and Grimsby in the late to mid nineties through the Alan Buckley connection. Whilst with the club he played 33 times in all competitions scoring four goals.

Grimsby Town (second spell)[edit]

Groves returned to Grimsby for the start of the 1997–98 season where he soon became captain. During his time at Grimsby, the club spent all but the 1997–98 season in the First Division. This was the successful play-off promotion and Football League Trophy-winning season, in which Groves captained Grimsby to two Wembley Stadium wins (the third of his career) in the space of three weeks and started all 68 games that season.[2] In addition to league success, there were several cup runs in which Grimsby beat FA Premier League opposition including West Ham United, Leicester City, Sheffield Wednesday and Liverpool. Groves also finished the 98–99 season with 10 goals in 46 matches and in 1998–99 with 14 goals in 46 matches.

On the last day of the 2000–01 season, Groves scored a 25-yard goal in the 26th minute to win 1–0 over promoted Fulham, which secured their place in Division One.[3] Following the sacking of Lennie Lawrence in December 2001, Groves was appointed player-manager. He was sacked in 2004 but despite being relinquished of his managerial duties, Groves remained on as a player until he was jettisoned by the club's incoming new manager.

Groves joined Scunthorpe United on a one-month loan on 27 February 2004 following the appointnment of Nicky Law at Grimsby.[4] Whilst there he scored the 100th league goal of his career, scoring twice in a 3–1 win at York City. He was described as "inspirational" by Scunthorpe manager Brian Laws.[5] He signed for Scunthorpe on a permanent contract until the end of the 2003–04 season on 30 March after reaching a settlement on the remainder of his Grimsby contract.[6]

York City[edit]

Groves signed a one-year contract with York City, who had recently been relegated to the Conference National, in June 2004 along with former Grimsby teammate Kevin Donovan.[7] After one season with York, Groves left the club.

Stafford Rangers[edit]

In the summer of 2005, he was appointed player-assistant manager when he signed for Conference North side Stafford Rangers. He brought his 19-year playing career to a close in May 2006 after helping them to promotion to the Conference National after making 32 appearances and scoring five goals in the 2005–06 season.[8]

Management and coaching career[edit]

Grimsby Town[edit]

Groves who at the time was the club captain at Grimsby Town was installed as the player/caretaker manager at the club following the sacking of Lennie Lawrence and long serving assistant manager John Cockerill. A week later in December 2001 he was installed as full-time player-manager of Grimsby. At the time of his appointment the club were and had been in the second tier of English football since 1998 and were heading into a third successive relegation battle despite the fact the club had briefly topped the table in September. He brought back former player Graham Rodger as his assistant and bolstered his side with several good loan signings, including Charlton Athletic duo Andy Todd and Martin Pringle. Groves managed to steer the club to safety and secured Town's place within what is now the Football League Championship for another year. The 2002–03 season was not as successful: the club was eventually relegated. A poor start to the 2003–04 season saw Groves sacked from his managerial duties in February 2004[9] but remarkably he was kept on as a player until the end of the season but found himself farmed out to local rivals Scunthorpe United on loan by his replacement Nicky Law. He left Grimsby during the summer of 2004 and signed for York City as a player.


In July 2006, he joined the coaching staff at Portsmouth.[10] He was appointed as caretaker manager at Portsmouth alongside Ian Woan on 24 November 2009 after Paul Hart left the club,[11] before the appointment of Avram Grant two days later on 26 November.[12] Whilst at Fratton Park Groves worked for managers Harry Redknapp, Tony Adams, Paul Hart and Avram Grant.

West Ham United[edit]

In July 2010 Groves joined West Ham United as senior coach working under manager Avram Grant having previously worked under him at Portsmouth,[13] but he parted company with the club on 24 June 2011 weeks after the dismissal of Avram Grant.


Groves became youth team manager of Bournemouth in July 2011.[14] On 25 March 2012, following the dismissal of Lee Bradbury, he became joint-caretaker manager of Bournemouth with head of youth Shaun Brooks, until the end of the 2011–12 season.[15] In May 2012, despite having won only two of his eight games as caretaker manager, Groves was appointed as manager on a permanent basis,[16] to the upset of a number of fans, who had called for an experienced candidate.[17] Groves and assistant Shaun Brooks were sacked in October 2012 after only one win in the new season, Groves was replaced by former Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe.[18] Two weeks later both Groves and Brooks were re-appointed to their previous roles at the club with Groves once again becoming youth team manager.[19] He left Bournemouth in January 2014.[20]

Crawley Town[edit]

In June 2014 Groves joined Crawley Town as a first-team coach.[21] Groves left Crawley in May 2015.[22]

Bristol City[edit]

In July 2015 he was appointed Academy manager at Bristol City.[23]

Managerial statistics[edit]

As of match played 2 October 2012.
Team From To Record Ref
G W D L Win %
Grimsby Town 28 December 2001 9 February 2004 103 24 31 48 23.3 [24]
Portsmouth (caretaker) 24 November 2009 26 November 2009 0 0 0 0 0
Bournemouth 25 March 2012 3 October 2012 20 3 11 6 15.0 [24]
Total 123 27 42 54 21.95



Grimsby Town[edit]

Leicester Masters[edit]

  • Central Masters Player of the Tournament: 2005
  • Masters Cup winner: 2005
  • Coventry Masters Golden Boot Winner: 2007
  • Coventry Masters Winners: 2007


  1. ^ a b c d Hugman, Barry J., ed. (2005). The PFA Premier & Football League Players' Records 1946–2005. Queen Anne Press. p. 254. ISBN 1-85291-665-6. 
  2. ^ "Grimsby bounce back to Division 1". BBC News. 24 May 1998. Retrieved 20 June 2015. 
  3. ^ "Gutsy Grimsby stay up". BBC Sport. 6 May 2001. Retrieved 6 July 2016. 
  4. ^ "Iron move for Groves". BBC Sport. 27 February 2004. Retrieved 22 May 2011. 
  5. ^ "Groves hailed by Iron boss". BBC Sport. 10 March 2004. Retrieved 22 May 2011. 
  6. ^ "Groves set to sign". Scunthorpe United F.C. 30 March 2004. Retrieved 22 May 2011. 
  7. ^ "York sign Groves". BBC Sport. 17 June 2004. Retrieved 22 May 2011. 
  8. ^ "Player Details: Season 2005–2006". SoccerFactsUK. Retrieved 22 May 2011. 
  9. ^ "Grimsby sack Groves as boss". BBC Sport. 9 February 2004. Retrieved 14 June 2016. 
  10. ^ "Groves leaves Stafford for Pompey". BBC Sport. 13 July 2006. Retrieved 2 May 2011. 
  11. ^ "Struggling Portsmouth part company with boss Paul Hart". BBC Sport. 24 November 2009. Retrieved 22 May 2011. 
  12. ^ "Portsmouth appoint Avram Grant as new manager". BBC Sport. 26 November 2009. Retrieved 22 May 2011. 
  13. ^ "Groves and Coles appointed". West Ham United F.C. 2 July 2010. Retrieved 22 May 2011. 
  14. ^ "Groves aiming to bring youngsters through to pro ranks". Bournemouth Echo. 9 July 2011. Retrieved 3 August 2011. 
  15. ^ "Bournemouth boss Lee Bradbury leaves club after poor run". BBC Sport. Retrieved 26 March 2012. 
  16. ^ "Bournemouth appoint Paul Groves as permanent manager". BBC Sport. 11 May 2012. Retrieved 11 May 2012. 
  17. ^ "Cherries: Groves written off before he has even started". Bournemouth Echo. Retrieved 20 June 2015. 
  18. ^ "Paul Groves: AFC Bournemouth part with manager". BBC Sport. Retrieved 3 October 2012. 
  19. ^ Vitalnetwork Ltd. "AFC Bournemouth — Groves & Brooks to return to youth set-up". Retrieved 20 June 2015. 
  20. ^ Vitalnetwork Ltd. "AFC Bournemouth - Groves & Brooks depart". Retrieved 20 June 2015. 
  21. ^ "Paul Groves is the newest recruit for John Gregory's Crawley Town backroom - Crawley News". Crawley News. Retrieved 20 June 2015. 
  22. ^ "Paul Groves leaves Crawley Town". Retrieved 20 June 2015. 
  23. ^ "Paul Groves: The club's Academy manager in profile". Bristol City F.C. Official Website. 1 August 2015. Retrieved 21 January 2016. 
  24. ^ a b "Paul Groves". Soccerbase. Retrieved 22 May 2011. 

External links[edit]