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John Richard Filan (born 8 February 1970 in Sydney, Australia) is an Australian former football player, who is currently assistant manager at League One side Shrewsbury Town.

John Filan
John Filan.jpg
Filan warming-up with Sydney FC
Personal information
Full name John Richard Filan
Date of birth (1970-02-08) 8 February 1970 (age 49)
Place of birth Sydney, Australia
Height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Playing position Goalkeeper
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1989–1991 St. George Saints 52 (0)
1991–1992 Wollongong Wolves 23 (0)
1992 St. George Saints 0 (0)
1992–1993 Wollongong Wolves 6 (0)
1993–1995 Cambridge United 68 (0)
1995Nottingham Forest (loan) 0 (0)
1995–1997 Coventry City 16 (0)
1997–2001 Blackburn Rovers 64 (0)
2001–2007 Wigan Athletic 184 (0)
2006Doncaster Rovers (loan) 3 (0)
2008 Sydney FC 0 (0)
Total 416 (0)
National team
1990–1992 Australia U23 14 (0)
1992–1997 Australia 2 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

As a player, he was a goalkeeper from 1989 until 2008 and notably played in the Premier League for Coventry City, Blackburn Rovers and Wigan Athletic, having also been contracted without playing for Nottingham Forest in England's top division. He also played in the Football League for Cambridge United and Doncaster Rovers, and in his native country for St. George Saints, Wollongong Wolves and Sydney F.C.. He was capped three times by Australia.


Club careerEdit

He played for St. George Saints and Wollongong Wolves in the old National Soccer League in Australia before moving to England to join Cambridge United in 1993, after an unsuccessful trial at Southampton.[1] In 1995, he signed for Coventry City, then moved on to Blackburn Rovers in 1997.

He joined Wigan Athletic in December 2001 for £600,000. Prior to the start of Wigan's debut season in the Premier League he had missed only one match for the club but was injured at the start of the 2005–06 season with Wigan's new signing Mike Pollitt taking his place in the side. Filan, however signed a new contract which kept him at the club until 2007. Seeing out his contract with Wigan, he was released at the end of the season. Whilst at Wigan he appeared as a substitute in the 2006 Football League Cup Final when Pollitt had to come off early in the first half with an injury. He is also remembered for saving a Nolberto Solano penalty in a 1-0 win over Newcastle United in February 2007.[2]

International careerEdit

Filan was a member of the Australian team that competed at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona and finished in fourth place. As he has an Irish passport through his ancestry, he once sought to play international football for Ireland. However, FIFA ruled against it in February 1999 because he had played for the Australian Olympic team.[3][4]

Coaching careerEdit

Filan returned to Australia in semi-retirement, resettling in his home town of Sydney. In August 2007 agreed terms with A-League side Sydney FC as backup to Clint Bolton,[5] however the deal fell through citing outside issues.[6]

Filan was appointed as assistant manager to John Askey at League One side Shrewsbury Town in June 2018, having previously worked with Askey during his managerial tenure at Macclesfield Town.[7]



  1. ^ Holley, Duncan; Chalk, Gary (2003). In That Number – A post-war chronicle of Southampton FC. Hagiology Publishing. p. 612. ISBN 0-9534474-3-X.
  2. ^ "Wigan 1-0 Newcastle". BBC. 25 February 2007. Retrieved 30 August 2016.
  3. ^ Given hoping return to Ewood is a happy one Archived 29 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ FIFA rule Leeds must free players
  5. ^ "Oh what a Filan: Sydney get their hands on veteran keeper". Sydney Morning Herald. 28 August 2007. Retrieved 28 August 2007.
  6. ^ "Filan's about-face puts Sydney on spot". Sydney Morning Herald. 31 August 2007. Retrieved 31 August 2007.
  7. ^ "Shrewsbury Town: John Filan named assistant manager to John Askey". BBC Sport. 6 June 2018. Retrieved 6 June 2018.

External linksEdit