Ricky Sbragia

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Ricky Sbragia
Personal information
Full name Richard Sbragia[1]
Date of birth (1956-05-26) 26 May 1956 (age 60)
Place of birth Lennoxtown, Scotland
Playing position Defender
Youth career
1972–1974 Birmingham City
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1974–1978 Birmingham City 15 (1)
1975–1976 Morton (loan) 4 (0)
1978–1980 Walsall 77 (4)
1980–1982 Blackpool 26 (1)
1982–1987 York City 149 (7)
1985 Darlington (loan) 6 (0)
Total 277 (13)
Teams managed
2008–2009 Sunderland
2011–2012 Scotland U17
2012– Scotland U19
2015–2016 Scotland U21
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Richard "Ricky" Sbragia (born 26 May 1956) is a Scottish professional footballer and coach.

His playing career, mainly in the English lower leagues began at Birmingham City, Walsall, Blackpool, York City and a loan spell at Darlington. Sbragia had a brief spell in his homeland with a loan spell at Morton during his spell at Birmingham.

He has an extensive coaching career, having spells at Manchester United, Bolton and Sunderland, where he had a brief spell as manager. He followed this by joining the Scottish Football Association, having head coach roles at Scotland U17, Scotland U19 and Scotland U21 teams.

Playing career[edit]

Sbragia was born in Lennoxtown, East Dunbartonshire and is of Italian descent.[2] He started his footballing career with Birmingham City as an apprentice in June 1972.[2] He signed as a professional at the club in May 1974 and made his debut during the 1974–75 season.[2] He joined Morton on loan in the Scottish Football League during the 1975–76 season and made four appearances.[3] He was unable to establish himself in the first team at Birmingham and after making 15 appearances and scoring one goal, he joined Walsall in October 1978 for a fee of £15,000.[1][2] He won promotion with Walsall in the 1979–80 season after the team finished second in the Fourth Division, before making a move to Third Division side Blackpool for £35,000 in July 1980.[2] After making 26 appearances and scoring one goal during two seasons at Blackpool, he was signed up by Denis Smith at York City in August 1982.[1] His debut came on the opening day of the 1982–83 season on 28 August 1982 in a 1–1 with Torquay United at Bootham Crescent.[4] He finished the season as an ever-present with 52 appearances in all competitions and scored a goal in a 2–2 draw against Halifax Town.[4] He struck up a partnership with John MacPhail in defence during the 1983–84 season, when York won the Fourth Division with 101 points.[2] He scored York's equaliser against Liverpool in the FA Cup fifth round on 20 February 1985,[5] which set up a lucrative replay at Anfield.[2] Sbragia suffered from a back injury during this match and had surgery on a spinal disc herniation.[2] He joined Darlington on loan in August 1985 and made six appearances for the team.[1] At the end of his playing career, he played one game for Belfast side Linfield in an exhibition match against Glentoran, where he went on to score two goals.[citation needed]

Coaching and managerial career[edit]

He retired from playing in 1987 and commenced his coaching career with York as youth-team coach and obtained his Football Association coaching badge in May 1990.[2] He led the youth team to the quarter-finals of the FA Youth Cup for the first time in the 1992–93 season.[2] He took over as youth-team coach at Sunderland in 1994 and was later promoted to reserve team coach.[6] He moved to Manchester United as reserve team coach on 20 November 2002,[7] where he built up a successful reserve side, nurturing the fledgling talents of Kieran Richardson and Darren Fletcher, amongst others. He was appointed as first-team coach of Bolton Wanderers on 10 October 2005.[8] After the departure of Sam Allardyce from Bolton on 29 April 2007, Sammy Lee was appointed as manager of Bolton, with Sbragia retaining his position as first-team coach alongside Jimmy Phillips and Gary Speed.[9]

Sbragia rejoined Sunderland's coaching staff in November 2007,[10] and was appointed as caretaker manager following the departure of Roy Keane on 4 December 2008.[11] He took charge of the team for their match against Manchester United, which was lost 1–0.[12] This was followed up with a 4–0 victory over West Bromwich Albion and a 4–1 win at Hull City, although Sbragia remained coy over the possibility of taking over permanently.[13] He was appointed as manager on a permanent basis on 27 December on an 18-month contract.[14] On 24 May 2009, after guiding Sunderland to Premier League survival on the final day of the season, Sbragia resigned as manager of the club.[15] He remained at Sunderland as chief scout, a post which he held until April 2011.[16]

Sbragia was appointed head coach of the Scotland national under-17 team in August 2011.[17] He was moved up with the Scotland national under-17 team to coach the Scotland national under-19 team for the 2012–13 season. Sbragia took temporary charge of the Scotland national under-21 team in November 2014.[18] Sbragia took the Scotland national under-21 team job full-time on 12 August 2015.[19] He left this position following a 4–0 defeat by Ukraine under-21s in September 2016.[20]



As of 24 May 2009[21]
Team Nation From To Matches Won Drawn Lost Win %
Sunderland  England 4 December 2008 24 May 2009 26 6 7 13 23.08



York City


  1. ^ a b c d Hugman, Barry J. (2005). The PFA Premier & Football League Players' Records 1946–2005. Queen Anne Press. p. 547. ISBN 1-85291-665-6. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Jarred, Martin; Windross, Dave (1997). "Football League Players". Citizens and Minstermen, A Who's Who of York City FC 1922–1997. Citizen Publications. p. 89. ISBN 0-9531005-0-2. 
  3. ^ "Greenock Morton : 1946/47 – 2007/08". Post War English & Scottish Football League A – Z Player's Database. Retrieved 27 December 2008. 
  4. ^ a b Batters, Dave (2008). "Season Statistics". York City The Complete Record. The Breedon Books Publishing Company Limited. pp. 358–359. ISBN 978-1-85983-633-0. 
  5. ^ Batters. York City The Complete Record. p. 362. 
  6. ^ "Sbragia rejoins Sunderland". Sunderland A.F.C. Retrieved 27 December 2008. 
  7. ^ "Ferguson in coaching shake-up". BBC Sport. 20 November 2002. Retrieved 27 December 2008. 
  8. ^ "Sbragia leaves Man Utd for Bolton". BBC Sport. 11 October 2005. Retrieved 21 December 2008. 
  9. ^ "Lee's New Management Structure Revealed". Bolton Wanderers F.C. 3 May 2007. Retrieved 13 March 2008. 
  10. ^ "Ricky Joins The Black Cats". Bolton Wanderers F.C. 23 November 2007. Retrieved 24 November 2007. 
  11. ^ "Keane and Sunderland part company". BBC Sport. 4 December 2008. Retrieved 4 December 2008. 
  12. ^ McKenzie, Andrew (6 December 2008). "Man Utd 1–0 Sunderland". BBC Sport. Retrieved 6 December 2008. 
  13. ^ "Sbragia coy over permanent role". BBC Sport. 20 December 2008. Retrieved 21 December 2008. 
  14. ^ "Sbragia appointed Sunderland boss". BBC Sport. 27 December 2008. Retrieved 27 December 2008. 
  15. ^ "Sbragia resigns from Sunderland". BBC Sport. 25 May 2009. Retrieved 25 May 2009. 
  16. ^ "Sbragia departs Black Cats". Sky Sports. 21 April 2011. Retrieved 25 April 2011. 
  17. ^ "Exclusive Stewart Regan interview". Scottish Football Association. 26 August 2011. Retrieved 26 August 2011. 
  18. ^ "Scotland: Billy Stark 'steps down' as under-21 coach". BBC Sport. BBC. 4 November 2014. Retrieved 4 November 2014. 
  19. ^ "Ricky Sbragia is new Scotland Under-21 head coach". BBC Sport. Retrieved 12 August 2015. 
  20. ^ "Scotland U21: Coach Ricky Sbragia makes way for Scot Gemmill". BBC Sport. BBC. 7 September 2016. Retrieved 7 September 2016. 
  21. ^ "Ricky Sbragia's managerial career". Soccerbase. Racing Post. Retrieved 24 May 2009. 

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