Ricky Sbragia

Richard Sbragia (born 26 May 1956) is a Scottish football coach and former player.

Ricky Sbragia
Personal information
Full name Richard Sbragia[1]
Date of birth (1956-05-26) 26 May 1956 (age 66)[2]
Place of birth Lennoxtown, Scotland
Height 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)[2]
Position(s) Defender
Youth career
Glasgow Amateurs
1972–1974 Birmingham City
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1974–1978 Birmingham City 15 (1)
1975–1976Morton (loan) 4 (0)
1978–1980 Walsall 77 (4)
1980–1982 Blackpool 26 (1)
1982–1987 York City 149 (7)
1985Darlington (loan) 6 (0)
Total 277 (13)
Teams managed
2002–2005 Manchester United Reserves
2008–2009 Sunderland
2011–2012 Scotland U17
2012–2015 Scotland U19
2015–2016 Scotland U21
2016–2017 Scotland U19
2017–2019 Manchester United U23
*Club domestic league appearances and goals

His playing career, mainly in the English lower leagues began at Birmingham City, Walsall, Blackpool, York City and a loan spell at Darlington. Sbragia had a brief spell in his homeland with a loan spell at Morton during his spell at Birmingham.

He has an extensive coaching career, having had spells at Manchester United, Bolton and Sunderland, where he had a brief spell as manager. He followed this by joining the Scottish Football Association, having head coach roles at Scotland U17, Scotland U19 and Scotland U21 teams.

Playing careerEdit

Sbragia was born in Lennoxtown, Stirlingshire and is of Italian descent.[3] He was raised in the Castlemilk housing scheme in Glasgow, and attended Grange Secondary School and played in youth teams with Jimmy Calderwood who also became a footballer and later a manager.[4][5]

He started his career with Birmingham City as an apprentice in June 1972 [3] (a year after Calderwood made the same move)[5] and signed as a professional at the club in May 1974, making his debut during the 1974–75 season.[3] He joined Morton on loan in the Scottish Football League during the 1975–76 season and made four appearances.[6] He was unable to establish himself in the first team at Birmingham and after making 15 appearances and scoring one goal, he joined Walsall in October 1978 for a fee of £15,000.[1][3] He won promotion with Walsall in the 1979–80 season after the team finished second in the Fourth Division, before making a move to Third Division side Blackpool for £35,000 in July 1980.[3]

After making 26 appearances and scoring one goal during two seasons at Blackpool, he was signed up by Denis Smith at York City in August 1982.[1] His debut came on the opening day of the 1982–83 season on 28 August 1982 in a 1–1 with Torquay United at Bootham Crescent.[7] He finished the season as an ever-present with 52 appearances in all competitions and scored a goal in a 2–2 draw against Halifax Town.[7] He struck up a partnership with John MacPhail in defence during the 1983–84 season, when York won the Fourth Division with 101 points.[3] He scored York's equaliser against Liverpool in the FA Cup fifth round on 20 February 1985,[8] which set up a lucrative replay at Anfield.[3] Sbragia suffered from a back injury during this match and had surgery on a spinal disc herniation.[3] He joined Darlington on loan in August 1985 and made six appearances for the team.[1] At the end of his playing career, he played one game for Belfast side Linfield in an exhibition match against Glentoran, where he went on to score two goals.[citation needed]

Coaching and managerial careerEdit

He retired from playing in 1987 and commenced his coaching career with York as youth-team coach and obtained his Football Association coaching badge in May 1990.[3] He led the youth team to the quarter-finals of the FA Youth Cup for the first time in the 1992–93 season.[3] He took over as youth-team coach at Sunderland in 1994 and was later promoted to reserve team coach.[9] He moved to Manchester United as reserve team coach on 20 November 2002,[10] where he built up a successful reserve side, nurturing the fledgling talents of Kieran Richardson and Darren Fletcher, amongst others. He was appointed as first-team coach of Bolton Wanderers on 10 October 2005.[11] After the departure of Sam Allardyce from Bolton on 29 April 2007, Sammy Lee was appointed as manager of Bolton, with Sbragia retaining his position as first-team coach alongside Jimmy Phillips and Gary Speed.[12]

Sbragia rejoined Sunderland's coaching staff in November 2007,[13] and was appointed as caretaker manager following the departure of Roy Keane on 4 December 2008.[14] He took charge of the team for their match against Manchester United, which was lost 1–0.[15] This was followed up with a 4–0 victory over West Bromwich Albion and a 4–1 win at Hull City, although Sbragia remained coy over the possibility of taking over permanently.[16] He was appointed as manager on a permanent basis on 27 December on an 18-month contract.[17] On 24 May 2009, after guiding Sunderland to Premier League survival on the final day of the season, Sbragia resigned as manager of the club.[18] He remained at Sunderland as chief scout, a post which he held until April 2011.[19]

Sbragia was appointed head coach of the Scotland national under-17 team in August 2011.[20] He was moved up with the Scotland national under-17 team to coach the Scotland national under-19 team for the 2012–13 season. Sbragia took temporary charge of the Scotland national under-21 team in November 2014.[21] Sbragia took the Scotland national under-21 team job full-time on 12 August 2015.[22] He left this position following a 4–0 defeat by Ukraine under-21s in September 2016.[23]

On 7 July 2017, Sbragia returned to Manchester United as manager of the club's Under-23 side after 12 years away.[24] On 21 May 2019, he left the club.[25]



As of 24 May 2009[26]
Team Nation From To Matches Won Drawn Lost Win %
Sunderland   England 4 December 2008 24 May 2009 26 6 7 13 023.08



York City


  1. ^ a b c d Hugman, Barry J. (2005). The PFA Premier & Football League Players' Records 1946–2005. Queen Anne Press. p. 547. ISBN 1-85291-665-6.
  2. ^ a b Dunk, Peter, ed. (1987). Rothmans Football Yearbook 1987–88. London: Queen Anne Press. p. 408. ISBN 978-0-356-14354-5.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Jarred, Martin; Windross, Dave (1997). "Football League Players". Citizens and Minstermen, A Who's Who of York City FC 1922–1997. Citizen Publications. p. 89. ISBN 0-9531005-0-2.
  4. ^ "Sunderland warming to humble Scot Sbragia". The Scotsman. 22 December 2008. Retrieved 17 February 2018.
  5. ^ a b "Ricky Sbragia would be a great choice as the new Motherwell boss, says pal Jimmy Calderwood". Daily Record. 26 December 2010. Retrieved 17 February 2018.
  6. ^ "Greenock Morton : 1946/47 – 2007/08". Post War English & Scottish Football League A–Z Player's Database. Retrieved 27 December 2008.
  7. ^ a b Batters, Dave (2008). "Season Statistics". York City The Complete Record. The Breedon Books Publishing Company Limited. pp. 358–359. ISBN 978-1-85983-633-0.
  8. ^ Batters. York City The Complete Record. p. 362.
  9. ^ "Sbragia rejoins Sunderland". Sunderland A.F.C. Retrieved 27 December 2008.
  10. ^ "Ferguson in coaching shake-up". BBC Sport. 20 November 2002. Retrieved 27 December 2008.
  11. ^ "Sbragia leaves Man Utd for Bolton". BBC Sport. 11 October 2005. Retrieved 21 December 2008.
  12. ^ "Lee's New Management Structure Revealed". Bolton Wanderers F.C. 3 May 2007. Archived from the original on 12 December 2008. Retrieved 13 March 2008.
  13. ^ "Ricky Joins The Black Cats". Bolton Wanderers F.C. 23 November 2007. Archived from the original on 13 December 2007. Retrieved 24 November 2007.
  14. ^ "Keane and Sunderland part company". BBC Sport. 4 December 2008. Retrieved 4 December 2008.
  15. ^ McKenzie, Andrew (6 December 2008). "Man Utd 1–0 Sunderland". BBC Sport. Retrieved 6 December 2008.
  16. ^ "Sbragia coy over permanent role". BBC Sport. 20 December 2008. Retrieved 21 December 2008.
  17. ^ "Sbragia appointed Sunderland boss". BBC Sport. 27 December 2008. Retrieved 27 December 2008.
  18. ^ "Sbragia resigns from Sunderland". BBC Sport. 25 May 2009. Retrieved 25 May 2009.
  19. ^ "Sbragia departs Black Cats". Sky Sports. 21 April 2011. Retrieved 25 April 2011.
  20. ^ "Exclusive Stewart Regan interview". Scottish Football Association. 26 August 2011. Retrieved 26 August 2011.
  21. ^ "Scotland: Billy Stark 'steps down' as under-21 coach". BBC Sport. 4 November 2014. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
  22. ^ "Ricky Sbragia is new Scotland Under-21 head coach". BBC Sport. Retrieved 12 August 2015.
  23. ^ "Scotland U21: Coach Ricky Sbragia makes way for Scot Gemmill". BBC Sport. 7 September 2016. Retrieved 7 September 2016.
  24. ^ "United appoint Ricky Sbragia". ManUtd.com. Manchester United. 7 July 2017. Retrieved 7 July 2017.
  25. ^ Ducker, James (22 May 2019). "Manchester United under-23 coach Ricky Sbragia leaves club as summer shake-up begins". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 6 November 2019.
  26. ^ "Ricky Sbragia's managerial career". Soccerbase. Racing Post. Retrieved 24 May 2009.

External linksEdit