Alan Patrick Mullery, MBE (born 23 November 1941), is an English former football player and manager. After enjoying a successful career with Fulham and Tottenham Hotspur in the 1960s and 1970s, he became a manager working with several clubs. He is now employed as a television pundit. He is also famous for being the first ever England player to be sent off in an international match.
|Full name||Alan Patrick Mullery|
|Date of birth||23 November 1941|
|Place of birth||Notting Hill, London, England|
|1976–1981||Brighton & Hove Albion|
|1984||Queens Park Rangers|
|1986–1987||Brighton & Hove Albion|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Alan Mullery was a passing and defensive midfielder for Fulham (1958–1964, 1972–1976), Tottenham Hotspur (1964–1972) and England (1964–1971). He appeared in 364 games for Fulham (scored 37 goals), 312 for Tottenham Hotspurs (scored 25 goals), and 35 for England (scored 1 goal).
Mullery was a key player on the Spurs teams that won the FA Cup in 1967, the League Cup in 1971, and the UEFA Cup in 1972. In the UEFA Final, his header was the decisive goal in a 3–2 aggregate victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers. Mullery was on the 1975 Fulham team that lost the FA Cup final to West Ham United.
Mullery was an integral member of England’s 1970 World Cup squad, playing in all the side’s games in what proved a bitterly disappointing campaign. England, the defending champions, lost 3–2 to West Germany in the quarter-finals after having been up 2–0 in the second half. In that game Mullery scored England's first goal, the only time he tallied for his country.
Playing primarily as a deep midfielder, Mullery did not get many goals. Two he did score (the 1970 World Cup strike against West Germany; a 1973–74 volley from outside the penalty area against Leicester, voted the BBC's goal of the season) are well known and still talked about decades later.
When Mullery was appointed Crystal Palace manager in 1982, it prompted anger from Palace fans and a short-lived boycott from some Palace supporters.
Mullery guided QPR to a 7–0 aggregate win over KR Reykjavik in the 1st round of the 1984–85 UEFA Cup, but he was then involved in an extraordinary 2nd round UEFA Cup tie against FK Partizan. In the first leg, which was played at Highbury because of UEFA's ban on the artificial plastic pitch at Loftus Road, QPR beat Partizan 6–2, despite being 2–1 behind at one stage and down to ten men after QPR defender Warren Neill was sent off. In the second leg, Partizan won 4–0 in Belgrade to win the tie on away goals. Partizan's victory is, to date, one of only three occasions in the history of European competition where a team has overturned a four-goal first-leg deficit.
Mullery's QPR side were also involved in an extraordinary home league match in September 1984 against Newcastle United. At half-time Newcastle were 4–0 up after a hat-trick from Chris Waddle. But QPR came back after the break to draw the match 5–5. Mullery was sacked after six months in charge at Loftus Road just hours after QPR had beaten Stoke. In 1985, Mullery said that his time at QPR "turned me into a monster". He suggested that the players couldn't overcome their disappointment that Venables had left the club. Mullery blamed what he called "the moaning, groaning bunch of players who treated me, themselves and their profession with contempt" for killing his love of football.
After leaving QPR, Mullery stayed out of football management for 18 months until the summer of 1986, when he took over for a second spell as manager of Brighton. He lasted seven months before being sacked in January 1987. Mullery said of his sacking by Brighton: "You love the game, then it kicks you in the guts."
Mullery had a brief stint as manager at Sussex non-league side Southwick F.C. He has worked for a number of years as a pundit for Sky Sports, and in September 2005 also briefly took a role with Conference club Crawley Town as a 'football consultant'.
After leaving QPR, Mullery entered into a deep depression, worsened by an unsuccessful business venture; he converted to Christianity, though his financial and emotional troubles continued until he began working in the media in the mid 1990s. Mullery is a Conservative.
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