Stephen Baxter (footballer)

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Stephen Baxter
Personal information
Date of birth (1965-10-01) 1 October 1965 (age 51)
Place of birth Belfast, Northern Ireland
Height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Playing position Striker
Club information
Current team
Crusaders (manager)
Youth career
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1985–1987 Ards 43 (21)
1987–1993 Linfield 114 (51)
1993–1994 Distillery 25 (6)
1994–1998 Crusaders 108 (40)
1998–2000 Glenavon 48 (19)
2000–2002 Crusaders 58 (23)
2002 Bangor 0 (0)
Total 396 (160)
National team
1981 Northern Ireland U18 3 (0)
1987 Irish League XI 2 (0)
Teams managed
2005– Crusaders
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Stephen Baxter (born 1 October 1965) is a football manager and ex-player from Northern Ireland; accessed 7 May 2014. He is the current manager of Crusaders, where he previously played.

Playing career[edit]

'Stanley' (as he would later be nicknamed after the Scottish comedian) started out as a player with Glentoran before signing for Ards in 1985. His goalscoring exploits caught the notice of Linfield and he signed for them in 1987, winning two Irish League championships, three Gold Cups and a League Cup. He scored 102 goals in 219 games for the Blues, of which 169 were starts.

Unable to hold down a regular starting place, however, he signed for Crusaders in 1994. Baxter became one of the key players of Crusaders' golden team of the 90's, again winning two Irish League championships, a Gold Cup and League Cup. In 1995/96, he was named in the Football Writers' Premier League Team of the Year, and in 1996/97 he was named as the Ulster Footballer of the Year.[1] He then moved to Glenavon for a successful period before returning to Seaview for a second two-year spell in 2000.[citation needed]

Baxter was memorable for his hat-trick in a relegation play-off against Lisburn Distillery, ensuring the Crues' survival. Baxter left Seaview a firm fan-favourite and legend status for a short spell at Bangor, where he coached briefly and played two cup games, before retiring from football completely and opening a sports shop in Newtownards. He played a total of 650 games in his career, and scored 303 goals.

In 2014-15 Baxter's men became the first in 14 years to bring the Gibson Cup back to Seaview, and the following season made history by becoming the first Crusaders side to retain the league title.

Managerial statistics[edit]

Team Nation From To Record
G W D L F A Gd Win %
Crusaders  Northern Ireland 14 February 2005 Present 590 334 102 154 1142 751 +391 56.61
Total 590 334 102 154 1142 751 +391 56.61
As of 15 January 2017


As a player[edit]


Lisburn Distillery




  • NI Football Writers' Premier League Team of the Year: 1995–96
  • Ulster Footballer of the Year: 1996–97
  • NI Football Writers’ Player of the Year: 1996–97

As a manager[edit]



  1. ^ M. Brodie (ed.), Northern Ireland Soccer Yearbook 2009-2010, p. 102. Belfast: Ulster Tatler Publications.