Out Of The Frying Pan Into The Fire

Out Of The Frying Pan Into The Fire

A month or so back we looked at just some of the ex-goalkeepers who have turned their hand to management, but Tim Flowers appointment as Barnet manager got us thinking about revisiting the subject and rummage the archives of other ex-England ‘keepers who have swapped the number one jersey to the number one seat in the dugout.

Flowers had a spell as Solihull Moors manager and was set to take the reins at Macclesfield Town but did not manage a single game as the club were wound up in September, however he has landed the job with National League outfit, Barnet. Earning eleven caps in the mid-nineties, he is the only current ex-England goalkeeper in management, but who else has dabbled in both of the two least envied jobs in football?


Ray Clemence

Ray Clemence


The late, great Ray Clemence, who Sparta Spotlight paid tribute too following his sad passing last month, also had a stint management before his long and distinguished tenure on the England backroom staff, outlasting several managers in the process.

Like Flowers, Clemence took charge at Barnet and spent two seasons in charge of The Bees from 1994-1996, leading them to stability in the third division before leaving to become the England goalkeeping coach.

Clemence had also taken joint charge of Tottenham with Dough Livermore for the inaugural Premier League season 1992/93 after the sacking of Peter Shreeves. Together they led Spurs to a very respectable 7th place finish before Ossie Ardiles was drafted in to replace them the following season.


Gordon Banks

The most distinguished England goalkeeper of all time and voted the second best ‘keeper of the 20th-century by IFFHS, unfortunately Gordon Banks could not replicate his playing success in management.

The World Cup winner took charge of Alliance Premier side (or the Conference to you and me) Telford United in 1979. In his only season in charge Banks could only lead the club to a 13th place finish and was eventually relieved of his duties by the club after an exit in the FA Trophy.


Tony Waiters

Another England ‘keeper who sadly passed away in November 2020, Tony Waiters who played for England five times in 1964, arguably has the most distinguished managerial pedigree on list.

Waiters was England’s third choice for the 1966 World Cup, but did not make the final squad of twenty-two and was part of the successful Blackpool side of the 1950’s and 60’s.

In five years in charge of Plymouth Argyle he led them to a League Cup semi-final as a fourth-tier side and promotion to the old third division, before leaving for Canada and the Vancouver Whitecaps

Waiters then had two spells in charge of the Canadian national team and qualified for the country’s first ever World Cup in Mexico in 1986. He took charge of Canada from 1981-86 and then from 1990-91 and is held in very high regard in Canadian soccer.


Colin McDonald

England’s number one at the 1958 World Cup, Colin McDonald has perhaps the shortest managerial career in this list, at just thirty-eight days.

McDonald was part of one of Burnley’s finest ever sides but suffered a horrible injury and subsequent pneumonia due to complications, missing out on an historic first division title.

The man who played all of England’s games in Sweden on the world’s biggest stage announced his retirement just three years later and almost instantly took the manager's job at Wycombe in 1961, then of the Isthmian League.

Unfortunately, McDonald cited ‘domestic reasons’ for his departure just a month into the new season, which had been started solidly.

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