Open main menu

Wikipedia β

John Benjamin Toshack MBE (born 22 March 1949) is a Welsh former footballer and football manager who most recently managed Wydad Casablanca. He has also managed several others clubs including Swansea City, who he took from the Fourth Division to the First in four seasons, and two spells with Real Madrid.

John Toshack
John Toshack 2011.jpg
Coaching Macedonia in 2011
Personal information
Full name John Benjamin Toshack
Date of birth (1949-03-22) 22 March 1949 (age 68)
Place of birth Cardiff, Wales
Height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Playing position Striker
Club information
Current team
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1965–1970 Cardiff City 162 (74)
1970–1978 Liverpool 246 (96)
1978–1984 Swansea City 63 (25)
Total 471 (195)
National team
1968–1969 Wales Under-23 4 (0)
1969–1980 Wales 40 (13)
Teams managed
1978–1983 Swansea City Player/Manager
1984–1985 Sporting CP
1985–1989 Real Sociedad
1989–1990 Real Madrid
1991–1994 Real Sociedad
1994 Wales
1995–1997 Deportivo
1997–1999 Beşiktaş
1999 Real Madrid
2000–2001 Saint-Étienne
2001–2002 Real Sociedad
2002–2003 Catania
2004 Real Murcia
2004–2010 Wales
2011–2012 Macedonia
2013 Khazar Lankaran
2014–2016 Wydad Casablanca
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

As a player, he is remembered for being part of the Liverpool side of the 1970s, where he formed a forward partnership with Kevin Keegan and Steve Heighway.


Early lifeEdit

Toshack was born in 1949 in Cardiff, Wales, to a Scottish father and Welsh mother. He attended Canton High School for Boys in Canton, Cardiff.[1]

Playing careerEdit

Cardiff CityEdit

Toshack started his footballing career with Cardiff City, signing for them as a 16-year-old. He became the youngest ever player to play in a league match for the club when he came off the bench to make a goalscoring debut during a 3–1 win over Leyton Orient on 13 November 1965 at the age of 16 years and 236 days old, a record which stood for 41 years until it was broken by Aaron Ramsey in 2007.[2] Establishing himself in the side over the next few years, scoring his first hat-trick in January 1968 in an 8–0 win over Ebbw Vale in the Welsh Cup, he went on to form one of the most lethal strike partnerships in the club's history alongside Brian Clark.


After four years at Cardiff City, Toshack was signed by Bill Shankly for Liverpool on 11 November 1970. Already a full international, Shankly paid £110,000 for the striker. Toshack made his debut 3 days later on the 14th in the goalless league draw with Coventry City at Anfield. His first goal came a week later on the 21st in a remarkable Merseyside derby at Anfield. With the game 0–0 at half-time Everton thundered into a 2–0 lead just after the start of the second half. 69 minutes in Steve Heighway scored from an acute angle on the left at the Kop end. Toshack's headed goal from a Heighway cross in the 76th minute completely turned the game around; then Chris Lawler volleyed home, after Toshack had headed on an Alec Lindsay cross, for the 84th-minute winner.[3]

In 1971, Kevin Keegan joined Liverpool from Scunthorpe United. Toshack and Keegan struck up a successful partnership with Toshack winning balls in the air and Keegan finishing the knock downs. By the time Keegan left for German side Hamburg SV he had scored exactly 100 goals with a large percentage of them being set up by Toshack.

In 1973, Toshack won his first major honours. Don Revie's Leeds United visited Anfield on Easter Monday for a showdown involving two of the three 1972-73 Football League challengers. The game turned on a few minutes either side of half time. First Leeds' Peter Lorimer contrived to miss an open goal. Two minutes after the break Peter Cormack took his chance to put Liverpool ahead. Keegan added a late second to seal the win. With Arsenal dropping a point at Southampton, Liverpool duly closed out the title with a final game 0-0 draw against Leicester City. This was their first major trophy since seven years before in 1966.[4]

They also won the 1972-73 UEFA Cup. The 1973 UEFA Cup Final first leg at Anfield was abandoned due to a downpour after 27 minutes and rescheduled to be played again the next day. The 27 minutes that had been played had given Liverpool manager Bill Shankly an insight into Borussia Mönchengladbach defensive vulnerability in the air. To exploit this he brought tall forward Toshack into the starting team demoting the small build of Brian Hall to appearing only as a late substitute.[5] Keegan profited with two goals set up by Toshack headers in a 3-0 win. Liverpool lost 2-0 away to win 3-2 on aggregate.[6]

Toshack played in the 1974 FA Cup Final when Liverpool comprehensively outplayed Newcastle to win 3-0. He won a further league and UEFA Cup double in 1976 and ended his medal haul with a further league title in 1977.

During his time with Liverpool Toshack scored 96 goals. He was voted in at No.34 on the Liverpool FC website poll 100 Players Who Shook The Kop, in which thousands of fans worldwide voted for their top 100 Liverpool players.

International careerEdit

Toshack played for Wales at schoolboy, under-23 and full international level earning 40 caps and scoring 13 goals, including a hat trick against Scotland in the 1979 British Home Championship.

Management careerEdit

Swansea CityEdit

Toshack's playing career was blighted by injuries and he was transferred to Swansea City as player-manager in 1978 (he already passed his coaching badge at the age of 18), where he succeeded Harry Griffiths.

He was an immediate success at the Vetch Field, taking them from the Fourth Division all the way to the First Division in four seasons. Once they reached the top flight, the Swans were predicted by many to go straight back down, but they kicked off with a surprise 5–1 victory over Leeds United and topped the league at several stages of the season before finishing sixth. However, they were relegated the following year and then suffered a second successive relegation.

European managementEdit

In 1984, Toshack was appointed manager of the Portuguese side Sporting Lisbon, but he only lasted one season in the post. His greatest success as a manager so far came in Spain, where he managed Real Madrid twice, Real Sociedad three times, as well as Deportivo La Coruna and Real Murcia. He spent 13 years managing in Spain: one of the notable highlights of his time there was his Real Madrid side scoring 107 goals in the 1989-90 league season, setting a new record. In Spain, Toshack became known as "John Benjamin", as there was a common misunderstanding that his middle name was a Spanish-style paternal surname. He was also noted for a habit of literally translating English-language idioms into Spanish during his press conferences, to the confusion of Spanish journalists.[7] He has also managed the Turkish side Beşiktaş J.K., French side AS Saint-Étienne and Italian side Catania.

Following the sudden resignation of Kenny Dalglish as Liverpool manager in February 1991, media reports linked Toshack with a return to Anfield as manager, but he ruled himself out of the running and the job went to Graeme Souness instead.[8]

Welsh national teamEdit

Toshack was appointed manager of Wales for the first time in 1994, but only spent 41 days in the post, resigning after a 3–1 defeat to Norway. Despite this, he was appointed to the post for a second time in November 2004. It was announced on 5 September 2010 that he offered his resignation from the Wales job following a 1–0 away defeat to Montenegro in Euro 2012 qualifying.[9] He left the job by mutual consent on 9 September 2010.[10]

Macedonian national teamEdit

Toshack was appointed manager of the Macedonia national football team on 7 August 2011.[11] His contract with the national side was terminated on 13 August 2012 after he refused to relocate to the country.[12]

Khazar LankaranEdit

On 8 March 2013 it was announced that Toshack would take over as manager of Khazar Lankaran of the Azerbaijan Premier League on 15 March 2013.[13] At the time of his appointment, Khazar Lankaran were eighth in the league and competing in the Relegation group for the final 10 games of the season. Toshack's first game in charge of Khazar Lankaran was a one all home draw against AZAL.[14] Toshack's first win came in his second game in charge, a 1–2 away victory against bottom of the table Kəpəz.[15] Khazar Lankaran ended the season in 8th position, with a league record under Toshack of played 9, won 3, drawn 3, lost 3. Toshack also guided Khazar Lankaran to the final of the 2012–13 Azerbaijan Cup with a 2–1 aggregate victory over FC Baku in the semi-finals, resulting in a game against Premier League champions Neftchi Baku which Khazar lost 5–3 on penalties.[16] As a result of Neftchi Baku winning both the Premier League and Cup, Khazar qualified for the UEFA Europa League. Toshack won his first trophy with Khazar Lankaran on 23 October 2013, defeating Neftchi Baku in the 2013 Azerbaijan Supercup.[17][18] On 22 November 2013 Toshack resigned as manager of Khazar Lankaran following 14 points in the first 14 games of the season, leaving Khazar in 8th place in the league.[19] In total Toshack won 8 of his 27 games in charge.[20]

Wydad CasablancaEdit

On 20 June 2014, Toshack was appointed as manager of Moroccan side Wydad Casablanca.[21] On 16 September 2016, following a heavy defeat to Zamalek in the 1st leg of the 2016 CAF Champions League Semi-Finals, Toshack and Wydad Casablanca parted ways.[22]

Personal lifeEdit

Toshack's son Cameron is also a former professional footballer, making five appearances for Cardiff City, having been attached with Swansea City for the 1989–90 season.[23]


Toshack won the BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year in 1981.[24]

He received the MBE for his services to football in the 1982 New Year Honours list.[25]

He was the subject of This Is Your Life in 1982 when he was surprised by Eamonn Andrews.



Cardiff City
  • Welsh Cup (3) 1966–67, 1967–68, 1968–69
Liverpool [26]


Swansea City
  • Welsh Cup (3): 1980–81, 1981–82, 1982–83


Real Sociedad
Real Madrid
Khazar Lankaran
Wydad Athletic Club

Individual honoursEdit

Managerial statisticsEdit

As of match played 16 September 2016
Team Nat From To Record
G W D L Win %
Swansea City Wales 1978 1983 281 114 65 102 040.57
Swansea City Wales 1983 1984 16 2 5 9 012.50
Sporting Portugal 1984 1985 30 19 9 2 063.33
Real Sociedad Spain 1985 1989 191 91 45 55 047.64
Real Madrid Spain 1989 1990 64 41 15 8 064.06
Real Sociedad Spain 1991 1994 143 51 41 51 035.66
Wales Wales 1994 1994 1 0 0 1 000.00
Deportivo Spain 1995 1997 83 34 28 21 040.96
Beşiktaş Turkey 1997 1999
Real Madrid Spain 1999 1999 37 19 9 9 051.35
Saint-Étienne France 2000 2001
Real Sociedad Spain 2001 2002 52 16 13 23 030.77
Catania Italy 2002 2003
Real Murcia Spain 2004 2004 18 4 1 13 022.22
Wales Wales 2004 2010 53 21 8 24 039.62
Macedonia Macedonia August 2011 August 2012 9 2 4 3 022.22
Khazar Lankaran Azerbaijan March 2013 November 2013 27 8 8 11 029.63
Wydad Casablanca Morocco 20 June 2014[21] 16 September 2016[22] 85 43 26 16 050.59
  • some statistics currently unavailable.


  1. ^ Moira Sharkey (13 October 2007). "Ex-pupils are set to reunite for centenary". South Wales Echo. Retrieved 8 June 2012. 
  2. ^ "Jones hails record breaker Ramsey" BBC Sport, 30 April 2007; Retrieved 3 May 2007
  3. ^ Choi1892Lfc (22 May 2009). "Liverpool 3 - 2 Everton Merseyside Derby 21st November 1970". Retrieved 3 July 2016 – via YouTube. 
  4. ^ "Eighth league title secured". 
  5. ^ "Brian Hall profile". Liverpool FC. 
  6. ^ "Reds reach European goal". Archived from the original on 20 August 2014. Retrieved 10 August 2014. 
  7. ^ Lowe, Sid (26 January 2004). "He's back: JB, mangler of metaphors". Retrieved 16 April 2017. 
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^ John Toshack to quit as Wales boss Wales Online, 5 September 2010
  10. ^ "John Toshack departs as Wales boss". BBC Sport. 9 September 2010. Retrieved 9 September 2010. 
  11. ^ "John Toshack named FYR Macedonia manager". BBC Sport. BBC. 7 August 2011. Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  12. ^ "Toshack leaves Macedonia". Macedonian FA. 13 August 2012. Archived from the original on 21 February 2013. Retrieved 13 August 2012. 
  13. ^ "John Benjamin Tosak – "Khazar Lankaran" new head coach". Retrieved 8 March 2013. 
  14. ^ "Khazar Lankaran vs. AZAL 1 – 1". soccerway. Retrieved 16 April 2013. 
  15. ^ "Kapaz vs. Khazar Lankaran 1 – 2". 
  16. ^ "Neftçi vs. Khazar Lankaran 0 – 0". Soccerway. Retrieved 4 July 2013. 
  17. ^ "Khazar Lankaran 2–1 Neftchi Baku". Soccerway. Retrieved 23 October 2013. 
  18. ^ "Xäzär win revived Azerbaijan Super Cup". UEFA. Retrieved 23 October 2013. 
  19. ^ "Con Toşak istefa verdi" (in Azerbaijani). Lankaran FC. Archived from the original on 26 November 2013. Retrieved 25 November 2013. 
  20. ^ List of FK Khazar Lankaran managers
  21. ^ a b رسميا: توشاك مدربا للوداد الرياضي. (in Arabic). Wydad Casablanca. Retrieved 24 July 2014. 
  22. ^ a b "بلاغ رسمي الوداد ينفصل عن المدرب جون". (in Arabic). Wydad Casablanca. 16 September 2016. Retrieved 17 September 2016. 
  23. ^ Plenderleith, Ian (March 2015). "Get with the programme ~ Leyton Orient v Swansea". When Saturday Comes. Retrieved 5 March 2015. 
  24. ^ "BBC Wales Sport Personality winners". BBC Sport. 8 December 2008. Retrieved 28 October 2009. 
  25. ^ "No. 48837". The London Gazette. 30 December 1981. p. 17. 
  26. ^ "Liverpool career stats for John Toshack". 

External linksEdit