Paul Hart

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Paul Hart
Paul Hart.jpg
Personal information
Full name Paul Anthony Hart
Date of birth (1953-05-04) 4 May 1953 (age 62)
Place of birth Golborne, Lancashire, England
Playing position Defender
Club information
Current team
Leeds United (Academy Director & Under 21s Manager)
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1970–1973 Stockport County 87 (5)
1973–1978 Blackpool 143 (15)
1978–1983 Leeds United 191 (16)
1983–1985 Nottingham Forest 70 (1)
1985–1986 Sheffield Wednesday 52 (2)
1986–1987 Birmingham City 1 (0)
1987–1988 Notts County 23 (0)
Total 567 (39)
Teams managed
1988–1991 Chesterfield
2001–2004 Nottingham Forest
2004–2005 Barnsley
2006 Rushden & Diamonds
2009 Portsmouth
2009–2010 Queens Park Rangers
2010 Crystal Palace
2011 Swindon Town
2015 Notts County (caretaker)

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

† Appearances (goals)

Paul Hart (born 4 May 1953) is an English football manager and former football defender, who is the Academy Director and Under 21s Manager at Leeds United. The son of Johnny Hart, a football inside forward and manager, Hart had five-year spells with both Blackpool and Leeds United, while also playing for Nottingham Forest and Sheffield Wednesday amongst others.

He began his management career with Chesterfield in 1988, but left within three years and spent the following decade as a youth team coach for Leeds United and then Nottingham Forest.

In 2001, he returned to management with Nottingham Forest, later managing Barnsley, Rushden & Diamonds, Portsmouth, Queens Park Rangers, Crystal Palace and most recently Swindon Town.

In 2014, he joined the youth set-up at Notts County as their Acting Academy Manager.

Playing career[edit]

He made his Blackpool debut on 22 October 1973, two months after signing for the Seasiders, and only made two more appearances that season. Eventually, though, he established himself as a regular first-teamer and, in 1976–77, when he scored six goals as Blackpool challenged for promotion, he was ever-present.

In March 1978, after making 143 league appearances, scoring fifteen goals in the process, Hart left relegation-bound Blackpool for Leeds United for £300,000, as a replacement for Gordon McQueen. Hart spent five years at Elland Road, playing 191 games.

In 1983 Hart signed for Nottingham Forest to replace Willie Young, where he played 87 games and scored three goals. Hart actually scored in the controversial 1983–84 UEFA Cup semi-final against Anderlecht, but the goal was wrongly ruled out for no apparent reason and Anderlecht subsequently admitted having bribed the official.[1] A year later Hart was sold to Sheffield Wednesday in May 1985.

Hart had further spells at Birmingham City (breaking his leg in his only game for them) and Notts County (as player-coach) before retiring from playing in 1988, having made 567 league appearances.

Managerial and coaching career[edit]


After the spell at Notts County, Hart was appointed manager of Chesterfield in 1988. Joining with the Spireites firmly rooted at the bottom of League Division 3, he reorganised and revitalised the playing side of the club with assistant Chris McMenemy. Thanks especially to a number of notable number of home wins in the first three months of 1989 and a surprising 3–1 win at second place Sheffield United in early January, the team climbed out of the bottom four. However, this proved to be only a temporary abatement of the club's problems at that time. Despite bringing great performances from striker Dave Waller, who equalled the club's record for goals in consecutive games – eight – the Spireites were relegated in the penultimate game. The following season saw Chesterfield reach the play-off final at Wembley after spending almost the entire season in the top seven, underlying Hart's ability and promise as a young manager. The team was defeated 0–1 by Cambridge United for whom Dion Dublin scored the winning goal. In February 1990 he gave 19-year-old Sean Dyche his football league debut. Given no funds for squad improvement for 1990-1, results and form were extremely indifferent. He was sacked on New Year's Day, 1991.

Leeds United[edit]

Hart then moved into youth coaching firstly at Nottingham Forest, and then subsequently took charge of Leeds United's fledgling academy. Hart's proteges won the FA Youth Cup in 1993 and 1997 and formed the backbone of the Leeds side that reached the Champions League semi-finals in 2000–01. With International players such as Harry Kewell, Jonathan Woodgate, Ian Harte, Alan Smith, Gary Kelly, Paul Robinson, Matt Jones and Stephen McPhail.

Nottingham Forest[edit]

Hart then returned to take charge of Nottingham Forest's academy after a high-profile fall-out with Leeds manager George Graham over the promise of Jonathan Woodgate. Forest's Under-19 side became immensely successful winning the Under-19 title in 1999–2000. As the first team were faltering, and the club spiralling further into debt, players such as David Prutton, Jermaine Jenas, Keith Foy, Chris Doig, David Freeman, Kevin Dawson, Gareth Williams, Richard Cooper and Gareth Edds were blooded, with a further line of players including Barry Roche, Andy Reid, Brian Cash, Eugen Bopp, John Thompson and Michael Dawson following subsequently.

In the summer of 2001 Hart was appointed manager of Forest, succeeding David Platt, who had left to take charge of the England Under-21 side.[2] Platt's expensive tenure had left the club in crippling debt, and Hart had to cope with loss of several experienced and key players, notably Andy Johnson, Alan Rogers and Stern John (and at one point put the whole squad up for sale).[citation needed]

With the financial problems alleviated somewhat, and having the benefit of a settled side, Forest reached the 1st Division play-off semi-finals in season 2002–03, losing in extra-time to Sheffield United. Unfortunately, wage demands and poor decisions meant several key players were lost in the summer of 2003, and not replaced. Forest started the subsequent season well, but a run of two wins in Hart's last 22 games, including two months without even a goal (and 14 games without a win) at the end of his tenure. Hart was sacked on 7 February 2004, following a 1–0 defeat at home to Coventry City.[3]


Less than a month after being forced out of the City Ground, Hart accepted the offer of the manager's job at Division Two side Barnsley,[4] but left the club a year later having failing to mount a serious promotion challenge.[5] Promotion was achieved the following year under Hart's successor Andy Ritchie.

Rushden & Diamonds[edit]

In May 2006, Hart took over as manager of Rushden & Diamonds, following the departure of Barry Hunter.[6] After an average start to the season, Diamonds embarked on an eight match winless run, leading to Hart leaving the club in October by mutual consent.[7]


On 19 March 2007, Hart was appointed Director of Youth Operations at Portsmouth. He was asked to take over as caretaker manager,initially for one game only following the sacking of Tony Adams on 9 February 2009.[8] Shortly afterwards, Hart brought Brian Kidd in as his assistant.[9] He won his first game in charge 2–0 at home to Manchester City on 14 February 2009.[10] Hart continued as caretaker manager until the end of the 2008–09 season, Portsmouth executive chairman Peter Storrie announcing in March 2009, after a close 1–0 defeat to Chelsea, "(Alexandre Gaydamak) and I have been delighted with how the team have fared. They both have so much experience in the game and they have the respect of the players. We will review the managerial situation again at the end of the season."[11]

Hart was appointed as permanent manager on a two-year contract on 21 July 2009.[12] In the 2009–10 season. However,Portsmouth, a club in turmoil and on the brink of administration, had the worst ever start by a Premier League team, losing their first seven league games. This run was finally ended on 3 October when Portsmouth recorded a 1–0 win against Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux. On 24 November, with only two Premier League wins in 13 games and three points adrift at the bottom of the table, Hart was sacked. He declined the offer of an alternative role as technical director responsible for players aged 18–21, and left the club.[13]

Queens Park Rangers[edit]

On 17 December 2009 Hart was appointed manager of Queens Park Rangers following the exit of Jim Magilton the previous day. Mick Harford, previously manager of Luton Town, was announced as his assistant.[14] Less than a month later, on 15 January 2010, only five games into his QPR career, Hart left the club.[15] Hart's spell at Queens Park Rangers was nothing short of disastrous, enjoying a solitary win against Bristol City, but coming under fire for his often misguided tactics and player selections. He was replaced as manager by his assistant Mick Harford, much to the delight of the QPR support.

Crystal Palace[edit]

On 2 March 2010 Hart was appointed manager of Crystal Palace with Dougie Freedman as Assistant Manager and John Pemberton as First Team Coach, after Neil Warnock left the club to take over at Queens Park Rangers taking Mick Jones and Keith Curle along with him.[16] The Eagles were in administration, and Hart's task was to keep them in The Championship. This was achieved on Hart's final day in the job. A 2–2 draw at Sheffield Wednesday saw the hosts relegated instead, after which Hart left the club.[17]

It was announced on 10 June 2010 that Hart was on the shortlist to become the successor to Phil Brown at the recently relegated Hull City. The job however was given to Leicester City manager Nigel Pearson.[18]

Swindon Town[edit]

He was appointed manager of Swindon Town on 3 March 2011, his new club in the League One relegation zone. He appointed former Notts County boss Ian McParland as his assistant.[19] On 28 April, Hart was sacked after failing to lead Swindon out of the relegation zone. He only managed to win one game out of eleven matches in charge, away to Brentford.


In June 2011, Hart joined Charlton Athletic as Academy Director. Hart left the club on 21 May 2014 after a restructure in the Charlton Academy.[20]

Notts County[edit]

He joined Notts County in October 2014, as part of Shaun Derry's Coaching staff with Hart working as Academy Director, after Derry's sacking in 2015, Hart became Caretaker Manager at Notts County in 2015, with Hart earning 3 draws in his 3 game spell. On 7 April 2015, Ricardo Moniz was appointed manager of Notts County on a three-year contract.[21]

Return to Leeds United[edit]

On 29 August 2015, It was announced that Hart would return to Leeds United, a club where Hart was renowned for laying foundations of success during a golden period for Leeds. Hart returned to the club as the Academy Director and Under 21's Manager.[22]



As of 23 April 2011[23]
Team Nation From To Matches Won Drawn Lost Win %
Chesterfield  England 2 November 1988 1 January 1991 111 38 30 43 34.23
Nottingham Forest  England 12 July 2001 7 February 2004 134 42 44 48 31.34
Barnsley  England 4 March 2004 4 March 2005 51 14 19 18 27.45
Rushden & Diamonds[24]  England 23 May 2006 16 October 2006 16 4 4 8 25.00
Portsmouth  England 9 February 2009 24 November 2009 30 9 6 15 30.00
Queens Park Rangers  England 17 December 2009 15 January 2010 5 1 2 2 20.00
Crystal Palace  England 2 March 2010 2 May 2010 14 3 6 5 21.43
Swindon Town  England 3 March 2011 28 April 2011 11 1 4 6 09.09
Notts County (Caretaker)  England 23 March 2015 7 April 2015 3 0 3 0 00.00
Total 375 112 118 145 29.87


  • Calley, Roy (1992). Blackpool: A Complete Record 1887–1992. Breedon Books Sport. ISBN 1-873626-07-X. 
  1. ^ "Forest sues Anderlecht over '84 bribery scandal". BBC Sport. 24 December 1997. Retrieved 9 February 2009. 
  2. ^ "Hart named new Forest boss". BBC Sport. 12 July 2001. Retrieved 5 January 2008. 
  3. ^ "Forest sack Hart". BBC Sport. 7 February 2004. Retrieved 5 January 2008. 
  4. ^ "Barnsley bring in Hart". BBC Sport. 4 March 2004. Retrieved 5 January 2008. 
  5. ^ "Barnsley part company with Hart". BBC Sport. 4 March 2005. Retrieved 5 January 2008. 
  6. ^ "Hart takes over as Rushden boss". BBC Sport. 23 May 2006. Retrieved 5 January 2008. 
  7. ^ "Diamonds part company with Hart". BBC Sport. 16 October 2006. Retrieved 5 January 2008. 
  8. ^ "Portsmouth confirm Adams sacking". BBC Sport. 9 February 2009. Retrieved 9 February 2009. 
  9. ^ "Kidd Joins Blues". Portsmouth F.C. 11 February 2009. Retrieved 11 February 2009. 
  10. ^ "Portsmouth 2–0 Man City". BBC Sport. 14 February 2009. Retrieved 14 March 2009. 
  11. ^ "Hart to stay at Pompey for season". BBC Sport. 3 March 2009. Retrieved 4 March 2009. 
  12. ^ "Portsmouth takeover gets go-ahead". BBC Sport. 21 July 2009. Retrieved 21 July 2009. 
  13. ^ "Struggling Portsmouth part company with boss Paul Hart". BBC Sport. 24 November 2009. Retrieved 24 November 2009. 
  14. ^ "Paul Hart becomes the new QPR manager". BBC Sport. 17 December 2009. Retrieved 15 January 2010. 
  15. ^ "Manager Paul Hart leaves QPR after five games". BBC Sport. 15 January 2010. Retrieved 15 January 2010. 
  16. ^ "Paul Hart takes over as Crystal Palace boss". BBC Sport. 2 March 2010. Retrieved 2 March 2010. 
  17. ^ "Hart To Begin Job Hunt". Eurosport UK. 2 May 2010. Retrieved 2 May 2010. 
  18. ^ "Hull City name Nigel Pearson as new manager". BBC Sport. 29 June 2010. Retrieved 11 August 2010. 
  19. ^ "Swindon Town appoint Paul Hart as manager". BBC Sport. 3 March 2011. Retrieved 3 March 2011. 
  20. ^ "Paul Hart leaves Charlton, Steve Avory to become Academy Manager". Charlton Athletic. Retrieved 21 May 2014. 
  21. ^ "Ricardo Moniz: Notts County confirm new manager". BBC Sport. Retrieved 7 April 2015. 
  22. ^ "Leeds United: Paul Hart set for Leeds academy comeback". Yorkshire Evening Post. Retrieved 29 August 2015. 
  23. ^ "Paul Hart's managerial career". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 29 December 2009. 
  24. ^ "Official Club History". Rushden & Diamonds F.C. Retrieved 29 December 2009. 

External links[edit]