Tony Mowbray

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Tony Mowbray
Mowbray Dinamo Moscow Celts.jpg
Mowbray as Celtic manager
Personal information
Full name Anthony Mark Mowbray[1]
Date of birth (1963-11-22) 22 November 1963 (age 54)
Place of birth Saltburn, England
Playing position Defender
Club information
Current team
Blackburn Rovers
(head coach)
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1982–1991 Middlesbrough 348 (25)
1991–1995 Celtic 78 (6)
1995–2000 Ipswich Town 128 (5)
Total 554 (36)
National team
1989 England B 3 (0)
Teams managed
2002 Ipswich Town (interim manager)
2004–2006 Hibernian
2006–2009 West Bromwich Albion
2009–2010 Celtic
2010–2013 Middlesbrough
2015–2016 Coventry City
2017– Blackburn Rovers
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Anthony Mark Mowbray (born 22 November 1963) is an English former professional football player who is the head coach of Championship club Blackburn Rovers. Mowbray played for Middlesbrough, Celtic and Ipswich Town as a defender.

The son of a steel worker and scaffolder, he began his coaching career with Ipswich Town and took his first managerial job at Scottish Premier League side Hibernian, where he won the Scottish Football Writers' Association Manager of the Year award in his first season. He moved on to West Bromwich Albion in 2006, where he won the Football League Championship in 2008, but then suffered relegation from the Premier League the following year. Mowbray was then appointed as manager of Celtic, but was dismissed after nine months.

Mowbray subsequently took the manager's role at another of his former clubs, Middlesbrough.[2] After a poor start to the 2013–14 season, Mowbray left Middlesbrough in October 2013.[3] After a spell with Coventry City, he was appointed Blackburn Rovers manager in February 2017. He was unable to prevent Rovers being relegated to League One, but then won promotion back to the Championship at the first attempt.

Playing career[edit]

Middlesbrough[edit]

After playing his first match for the club in 1982, Mowbray became captain of Middlesbrough in 1986 when he was just 22 years old. Affectionately known to Boro fans as "Mogga", Mowbray became a legend in Middlesbrough for being a local lad who led the club from liquidation back into the top league of English football within two seasons.

In 2007, Mowbray was placed at number 7 in a chronological list of Middlesbrough legends[4] compiled by local newspaper the Evening Gazette. The Middlesbrough club fanzine Fly me to the Moon is named after a quote about Mowbray from ex-Middlesbrough manager Bruce Rioch – "If I had to fly to the moon I'd take Tony Mowbray, my captain, with me. He's a magnificent man". In 1991 after 348 appearances for Boro, Mowbray moved to Scottish club Celtic for £1 million.

Celtic[edit]

During his playing career with Celtic, Mowbray's wife Bernadette, a native of Renfrewshire, died of breast cancer. The episode is recalled in Mowbray's book, "Kissed by an Angel." It is often asserted that the "huddle" which Celtic players still perform before each match was arranged as a tribute to Bernadette.[5] However, it was merely suggested by Mowbray on a pre-season tour of Germany to bring the squad together at a time of uncertainty.[citation needed]

Ipswich Town[edit]

He later moved on to Ipswich Town, where he played for five years, becoming the team captain. He scored an equalising goal in the 2000 Division One playoff final victory against Barnsley. Ipswich won the match 4–2 and secured promotion to the FA Premier League. This match was both Mowbray's Wembley debut and the last of his playing career.

Coaching career[edit]

Once his playing career finished he moved into coaching, starting as a first team coach at Ipswich Town. He had a brief spell as caretaker manager of Ipswich, following the sacking of George Burley and prior to the appointment of Joe Royle.[6]

Hibernian[edit]

In May 2004, Mowbray was appointed manager of Hibernian, replacing Bobby Williamson.[7] He gained much acclaim for the job he did, winning the Scottish Football Writers' Association manager of the year award in his first season.[8] Hibs finished in the top four in the SPL in his only two full seasons in charge, which was the first time that Hibs had done this in the top division in consecutive seasons since Eddie Turnbull was manager.

Hibs progressed to the later stages of every domestic cup competition in his tenure and made two appearances in European football. Hibs lost heavily to Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk in the first round of the 2005–06 UEFA Cup and on the away goals rule to OB Odense in the 2006 Intertoto Cup. During mid-2006, Mowbray was interviewed for the vacant managerial position at Ipswich Town, but he rejected their approach.[9] In September 2006 he signed a 12-month rolling deal with Hibs that was due to take effect from July 2007.[10] Just one month later however, Mowbray moved to West Bromwich Albion.

West Bromwich Albion[edit]

West Bromwich Albion appointed Mowbray as their manager on 13 October 2006.[11] Mowbray faced the task of returning the Baggies to the Premier League after relegation the previous season.[11] Although he managed to turn around the club's poor away form, an indifferent run of results at home towards the end of the season meant that Albion finished fourth in The Championship table behind Sunderland, Birmingham City and Derby County, and faced the lottery of the Championship Play-Offs. Despite two famous victories over old rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers in the semi finals, Albion lost 1–0 to Derby County in the Wembley final.

As a result, during the close season, Mowbray set about restructuring his squad, moving out several of Robson's players for multimillion-pound fees, after press reports of dressing room division.[12]

High-profile players such as Jason Koumas, Diomansy Kamara and Curtis Davies were sold to Premier League clubs for large fees, in addition to the departures of Paul McShane, Nathan Ellington, Darren Carter and Steve Watson. Mowbray replaced them by signing a total of 14 permanent and loan players in the summer transfer window, making an overall profit in the process. His most expensive signings were Chris Brunt from Sheffield Wednesday for £3 million, Leon Barnett from Luton Town for £2.5 million, and James Morrison from Middlesbrough for £1.5 million.[citation needed]

Despite the large changes in his squad, Mowbray won the Championship Manager of the Month award in September 2007, after Albion gained 13 out of the maximum 15 points and climbed to 2nd in the Division.[13]

At the start of 2008, Mowbray's young Albion team topped the table, receiving growing plaudits from the media[14] and supporters alike for their attractive brand of attacking one touch passing football, a reflection of Mowbray's staunch footballing philosophy.[citation needed]

Mowbray guided West Brom to the Football League Championship title, meaning promotion to the Premier League and reached the semi-final of the FA Cup. The semi-final, the first to be played at the new Wembley Stadium, pitted West Brom against Portsmouth, the only remaining Premier League team left in the FA Cup. Portsmouth won the match 1–0 with the only goal of the game coming from Kanu. Mowbray won the Championship manager of the month award for April,[15] as well as the League Managers Association manager of the year award.[16]

After a poor 2008–09 season, West Bromwich were relegated from the Premier League, finishing 20th. Mowbray was still thought highly of by the fans, however, and this was evidenced by them wearing Mowbray masks at their last game of the season.[17] Mowbray left the club for Celtic shortly afterwards.

Celtic[edit]

Tony Mowbray as Celtic manager.

On 8 June 2009, it was reported that Celtic had approached West Bromwich Albion for permission to speak to Mowbray about their managerial vacancy.[18] A compensation fee of £2 million was agreed, and Celtic declared Mowbray as their new manager on 16 June 2009.[19] He was unveiled as Celtic manager at a press conference a day later. His coaching team was Neil Lennon, Peter Grant, Mark Venus, and Stevie Woods.[20] On 12 September 2009 was named as the Coach of the Month of August in the Scottish Premier League.

Mowbray was described as "beleaguered" by The Herald after Celtic fell 10 points behind Old Firm rivals Rangers in the SPL title race after a 2–1 home defeat by Hibs.[21]

Mowbray decided to make significant changes to his squad during the January 2010 transfer window, selling Gary Caldwell and Barry Robson, which apparently caused disruption to the team in the immediate aftermath of those deals being completed.[21] Robbie Keane was recruited early in 2010 on a loan deal from Tottenham Hotspur amid great excitement, however further poor results, particularly a record 4–0 defeat by St Mirren, led to Mowbray being sacked on 25 March.[22] It was reported in May 2010 that Celtic had yet to agree compensation with Mowbray and his management team.[23]

Middlesbrough[edit]

Mowbray was appointed Middlesbrough manager on 26 October 2010, replacing Gordon Strachan. He lost his first match in charge, 2–1 against Bristol City,[24] but followed this with wins against Crystal Palace and Scunthorpe. Mowbray guided Boro to Championship safety,[25] having joined the club when they were 22nd in the league. The club finished the season well, winning their last four league games and finished 12th in the league table. The same season, Mowbray started giving youngsters a first team place such as Joe Bennett, Luke Williams and Richard Smallwood. Mowbray also started giving Marvin Emnes more playing time after returning on loan from Swansea City.[citation needed]

Middlesbrough began the 2011–12 season well and Mowbray won manager of the month for September.[26] Middlesbrough relinquished the only unbeaten record in the league after a 2–0 defeat to Nottingham Forest in October 2011.[citation needed] After a poor start to 2012, Middlesbrough's form picked up in late February with four wins in five games.[27] Middlesbrough finished 7th in the 2011–12 season, missing out on a play-off place by one position.[citation needed]

After an unbeaten run in October 2012, Mowbray won the accolade of Championship Manager of the Month for that month.[28] On 21 October 2013, it was announced that Mowbray had left the club with immediate effect after a run of two wins in 12 games in the 2013–14 campaign.[29]

Coventry City[edit]

On 3 March 2015, Mowbray was appointed manager of Coventry City on a deal until the end of the 2014–15 season.[30] With the club facing the possibility of relegation to the fourth-tier for the first time since the late 1950s, Tony Mowbray's initial brief was to keep the club in the third-tier. A final day victory away at Crawley Town was enough for Mowbray to secure League One football for the Sky Blues for the 2015–16 season.[citation needed]

Following protracted negotiations at the end of the season, Tony Mowbray agreed to sign a two-year contract extension to remain as Coventry City manager.[31]

Mowbray left Coventry City on 29 September 2016 after a string of results without a win.[32]

Blackburn Rovers[edit]

On 22 February 2017, Mowbray was appointed head coach of Blackburn Rovers on an 18-month contract, effectively lasting until the end of the 2017–18 season. [33] Despite an improvement in form that offered some hope of survival, Blackburn were relegated to League One at the end of the 2016–17 season.[34]

Mowbray signed a new contract that would keep him at the club until 2019, with an option of a further 12 months after that as well.[35] Under his managership, Blackburn won promotion back to the Championship after a single year in League One.[36] Their promotion was assured on 24 April, after a 1–0 away win against Doncaster Rovers.[37]

Personal life[edit]

Mowbray has three sons with his wife Amber. His first wife, Bernadette Doyle Mowbray, died of breast cancer on New Year's Day 1995, aged 26.[38][39]

Managerial statistics[edit]

As of match played 22 September 2018[40]
Managerial record by team and tenure
Team From To Record
P W D L Win %
Ipswich Town (caretaker) 11 October 2002 28 October 2002 4 1 1 2 025.0
Hibernian 24 May 2004 13 October 2006 108 52 16 40 048.1
West Bromwich Albion 18 October 2006 16 June 2009 140 57 32 51 040.7
Celtic 16 June 2009 25 March 2010 45 23 9 13 051.1
Middlesbrough 26 October 2010 21 October 2013 153 61 37 55 039.9
Coventry City 3 March 2015 29 September 2016 76 26 24 26 034.2
Blackburn Rovers 22 February 2017 Present 81 42 26 13 051.9
Total 607 262 145 200 043.2

Honours[edit]

Playing career[edit]

Middlesbrough

Ipswich Town

Managerial career[edit]

West Bromwich Albion

Individual Awards

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Tony Mowbray". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 11 March 2017. 
  2. ^ "Telegraph article on appointment as Middlesbrough manager". The Daily Telegraph. London. 26 October 2010. 
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 24 October 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-21. 
  4. ^ "Boro Legends". 23 January 2008. Archived from the original on 23 January 2008. 
  5. ^ Jawad, Hyder (14 October 2006). "Shaped by passion and grief". Birmingham Post. Archived from the original on 20 July 2012. Retrieved 1 March 2010. 
  6. ^ Davies, Christopher (11 October 2002). "Mowbray holds fort after Burley goes". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 15 January 2008. 
  7. ^ "Mowbray is new Hibs boss". BBC Sport. 24 May 2004. Retrieved 14 August 2007. 
  8. ^ Hartson wins writers' top prize, BBC Sport, 2 May 2005
  9. ^ Mowbray rejects Ipswich approach, BBC Sport, 19 May 2006.
  10. ^ "New Hibs deal for manager Mowbray". BBC Sport. 7 September 2006. Retrieved 14 August 2007. 
  11. ^ a b "Mowbray leaves Hibs for West Brom". BBC Sport. BBC. 13 October 2006. Retrieved 9 January 2014. 
  12. ^ Boss: I had to clear decks Archived 18 January 2008 at the Wayback Machine. Express & Star, 12 September 2007.
  13. ^ "Mowbray wins award". West Bromwich Albion FC. 4 October 2007. Archived from the original on 18 January 2008. Retrieved 4 October 2007. 
  14. ^ Culley, Jon (27 December 2007). "West Bromwich Albion 4 Bristol City 1: Bednar fires Albion to the summit". The Independent. London, UK. Archived from the original on 30 December 2007. Retrieved 25 May 2010. 
  15. ^ "Mowbray claims managerial award". BBC Sport. 8 May 2008. Retrieved 14 May 2008. 
  16. ^ "Ferguson wins managerial honour". BBC Sport. 13 May 2008. Retrieved 14 May 2008. 
  17. ^ Montgomery, Ken (6 May 2009). "Baggies fans plan masked tribute to Tony Mowbray". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 9 June 2010. 
  18. ^ "Celtic make approach for Mowbray". BBC Sport. 8 June 2009. Retrieved 8 June 2009. 
  19. ^ "Mowbray confirmed as Celtic boss". BBC Sport. 16 June 2009. Retrieved 16 June 2009. 
  20. ^ "Celtic make approach for Mowbray". BBC Sport. 26 June 2009. Retrieved 26 June 2009. 
  21. ^ a b Mowbray refuses to admit title race is over as Hibernian put massive dent in Celtic's championship hopes Archived 31 January 2010 at the Wayback Machine., The Herald, 27 January 2010.
  22. ^ "Celtic part company with manager Tony Mowbray". BBC Sport. 25 March 2010. Retrieved 25 March 2010. 
  23. ^ LMA – Mowbray still waiting, Sky Sports, 23 May 2010.
  24. ^ Helm, John (30 October 2010). "Middlesbrough 1 Bristol City 2: Tony Mowbray's bow spoiled by marvellous Marvin Elliott". Daily Mail. London. Retrieved 31 October 2010. 
  25. ^ Vickers, Anthony (25 April 2011). "Hull City 2 Boro 4". Evening Gazette. Retrieved 28 April 2011. 
  26. ^ "League Managers official website". Archived from the original on 26 January 2012. 
  27. ^ "Middlesbrough 1–0 Watford". BBC News. 5 November 2011. 
  28. ^ "Middlesbrough boss Tony Mowbray named Championship Manager of the Month". Sky Sports. 16 November 2012. Retrieved 11 March 2017. 
  29. ^ "Mowbray axed by Middlesbrough after defeat to bottom-of-the-table Barnsley". Daily Mail. 21 October 2013. Retrieved 22 October 2013. 
  30. ^ "Coventry City: Tony Mowbray named new Sky Blues manager". BBC Sport. Retrieved 3 March 2015. 
  31. ^ "Tony Mowbray: Coventry manager signs new two-year contract". BBC Sport. Retrieved 26 June 2015. 
  32. ^ "Tony Mowbray: Coventry City manager resigns after 18 months in charge". BBC Sport. Retrieved 26 June 2015. 
  33. ^ "Rovers welcome new Head Coach". Rovers.co.uk. Retrieved 22 February 2017. 
  34. ^ Doyle, Paul (7 May 2017). "Blackburn relegated to League One despite winning at Brentford". The Guardian. 
  35. ^ "Tony Mowbray signs new deal!". Rovers.co.uk. Retrieved 3 March 2018. 
  36. ^ Freeman, Jay (25 April 2018). "Blackburn Rovers promoted: How Tony Mowbray turned club and his own career around". BBC Sport. BBC. Retrieved 25 April 2018. 
  37. ^ "Doncaster Rovers 0–1 Blackburn Rovers". BBC Sport. BBC. 24 April 2018. Retrieved 25 April 2018. 
  38. ^ "Tony Mowbray's wife dies after four-year cancer battle". HeraldScotland. 
  39. ^ "Tony Mowbray vows to reignite Coventry City with passion, honesty and a blend of romance and realism". The Daily Telegraph. 3 March 2015. Retrieved 9 July 2017. 
  40. ^ "Managers: Tony Mowbray". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 30 December 2017. 
  41. ^ "BBC news video of award for sports personality of the year". BBC News. Archived from the original on 8 December 2011. 
  42. ^ "Double delight for Rovers pair". Blackburn Rovers FC. 9 December 2017.