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Raymond Mathias (born 13 December 1946) is an English football coach and former player. He has spent most of his career in the lower leagues of English football. Mathias played for Tranmere Rovers between 1964 and 1985, and remains their record appearance holder having played 637 games for the club. After his retirement he spent three years as manager of Wigan Athletic, briefly returning to the role for the 1998–99 season; between these two spells he returned to Tranmere as a coach, and later managed the side before moving on to Chester City in a caretaker role. He was appointed interim manager of Stockport County on 9 March 2011 until the end of the season, when County were relegated from the Football League for the first time in 106 years. Owing in part to an impressive home record, Mathias was appointed full-time County manager in May 2011, but departed just two weeks later following the takeover of the club by Tony Evans.
|Full name||Raymond Mathias|
|Date of birth||13 December 1946|
|Place of birth||Liverpool, England|
|Height||5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)|
|Playing position||Full back|
|2001||Tranmere Rovers (caretaker)|
|2004||Chester City (caretaker)|
|2011||Stockport County (Interim Manager)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Born in Liverpool, Mathias spent his entire playing career with Tranmere Rovers from 1964 to 1985 and earning two testimonials in the process; a true one-club man, making 567 Football League appearances. His most notable achievement being winning promotion from the Fourth Division in the 1975–76 season. He made 637 appearances for Tranmere in all competitions, a club record.
After retiring from playing, Mathias joined the coaching staff at Wigan Athletic and spent three years in charge of the Latics from 1986–89. The highlight of this spell was leading Wigan to the FA Cup quarter-finals in 1987. He later returned to Tranmere as a coach but then returned to Wigan as manager for the 1998–99 season; despite leading the club to victory in the Football League Trophy final at Wembley and the Second Division play-offs he lost his job shortly afterwards.
After once again becoming part of the managerial set-up at Tranmere and spells as caretaker manager, he was finally handed the reins on a permanent basis in 2002 but sacked a year later. Mathias then had an unsuccessful caretaker spell at Chester City in 2004 and briefly worked as assistant manager at Bury in 2005. In October 2006 he was appointed as assistant manager to Paul Ince at League Two strugglers Macclesfield Town. The pair were able to guide the Silkmen to an unlikely survival before moving to Milton Keynes Dons where they achieved more success, winning the League Two championship and the Football League Trophy. They subsequently moved on to top-flight team Blackburn Rovers in June 2008.
On 18 December 2008, Mathias was relieved of his duties along with Archie Knox following the sacking of Paul Ince and the subsequent arrival of Sam Allardyce as the new Rovers manager. On 4 February 2011 he joined Stockport County as Technical Advisor to Peter Ward and Alan Lord.
Mathias was appointed manager of Stockport County on 9 March 2011 until the end of the season, with Peter Ward and Alan Lord stepping back to coaching roles. Mathias then became the first manager in Stockport County history to relegate the club from the Football League.
On 25 May 2011, Mathias was given the Manager's job at Stockport County on a full-time basis "After a lengthy process during which we interviewed a number of high calibre applicants for the role" according to Chief Exec Graham Shaw. However, he was dismissed from the position in favour of Dietmar Hamann on 5 July 2011, and subsequently left the club.
|Wigan Athletic||1 June 1986||15 March 1989||142||59||50||33||41.55|
|Wigan Athletic||4 August 1998||21 May 1999||62||32||17||13||51.61|
|Tranmere Rovers||18 March 2001||7 May 2001||11||1||7||3||9.09|
|Tranmere Rovers||1 August 2002||29 September 2003||66||29||19||18||43.94|
|Chester City||6 August 2004||30 August 2004||6||0||4||2||0.00|
|Stockport County||1 March 2011||5 July 2011||13||3||6||4||23.08|
- Upton, Gilbert; Wilson, Steve (November 1997). "Players' Data". Tranmere Rovers 1921–1997: A Complete Record. pp. 101–108. ISBN 978-0-9518648-2-1.
- "Blackburn Rovers – News – Latest News – Latest News – Neil McDonald is new assistant manager". world.rovers.co.uk. Retrieved 5 April 2018.
- "Ray Mathias joins". Stockport County official website. 4 February 2011.
- "Ray Mathias appointed manager". BBC. 9 March 2011.