Steven Wigley (born 15 October 1961) is an English football coach and former player for Nottingham Forest, Sheffield United, Birmingham City, Portsmouth and Exeter City. He made 340 appearances in the Football League. He is the former manager of Southampton and the former assistant manager of Bristol City. He is the current manager of Fulham U23s.

Steve Wigley
Personal information
Full name Steven Wigley[1]
Date of birth (1961-10-15) 15 October 1961 (age 62)[1]
Place of birth Ashton-under-Lyne,[1] England
Height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)[2]
Position(s) Winger
Team information
Current team
Fulham U23 (manager)
Youth career
Curzon Ashton
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1981–1985 Nottingham Forest 82 (2)
1985–1987 Sheffield United 28 (1)
1987–1989 Birmingham City 87 (4)
1989–1993 Portsmouth 120 (12)
1993–1994 Exeter City 23 (1)
1994–1995 Bognor Regis Town
Managerial career
1995–1997 Aldershot Town
2004 Southampton (caretaker)
2004 Southampton
2005–2007 Manchester City Reservers
2009–2010 Bolton Wanderers (caretaker)
2012–2014 Fulham U18
2015–2021 Fulham U18
2021– Fulham U23
*Club domestic league appearances and goals

Playing career edit

Born in Ashton-under-Lyne, Wigley earned a reputation as a tricky winger for home-town club Curzon Ashton, jinking his way through defences and dazzling crowds with his skilful ball displays. It was this that attracted Brian Clough who promptly signed him for Nottingham Forest. After making his debut as a 21-year-old, Wigley played 82 times for Forest before moving to Sheffield United in 1985. Unfortunately, he never found success in Sheffield and moved to Birmingham City soon after, when a spectacular display against Portsmouth persuaded that club's manager, Alan Ball, to sign him. After spending four years of mixed fortunes on the South Coast, helping Portsmouth to the 1992 FA Cup semi final where they lost on a penalty shootout to Liverpool, Wigley moved to Exeter to finish his Football League playing career and then having a brief spell with non-league Bognor Regis Town before taking on his first managerial job at Aldershot Town.

Coaching and managerial career edit

Aldershot Town edit

Wigley was appointed as manager of Aldershot Town after the departure of Steve Wignall. The Shots were by this time in the Isthmian League first division but failed to achieve promotion under Wigley's leadership, finishing 4th, 5th and finally 7th in his three-year period with the club. Wigley is one of only two Aldershot Town managers not to have achieved promotion during his spell in charge of the Club.

Nottingham Forest edit

After three years at Aldershot, Academy Director Paul Hart persuaded him to return to Nottingham Forest as assistant academy director. In his time at Forest, Wigley moved up the ranks to become first team coach before short-lived Saints boss Stuart Gray lured him to Southampton as academy director in the summer of 2001. At the same time, David Platt, England Under 21 manager, asked Wigley to help out with coaching the young internationals.

Southampton edit

During Gordon Strachan's reign at Southampton, Wigley moved to focus more on the first team than the academy players. When Strachan left the club in 2004, Wigley was asked to step in as caretaker. Wigley clearly felt ill at ease in charge of the Saints so after two games in charge, Paul Sturrock was brought in from Plymouth Argyle. During the rumoured player disputes with Sturrock, Wigley stepped in as an intermediary and helped solve differences at the club.

When Sturrock left the club in August 2004 only two games into the new season, chairman Rupert Lowe confirmed that Wigley had been appointed full-time manager and not just caretaker. Opponents of Wigley claimed that, with only three years in charge of Aldershot, a non-league club, he was not yet ready for Premier League management. However, some fans were happy with the appointment as it meant that Glenn Hoddle, widely reviled by many Saints fans could not return.

Wigley's first tenure in the Premiership ended prematurely: he was dismissed by Southampton on 8 December after just 14 matches, the only win coming in the local derby against arch-rivals and former club Portsmouth. Wigley resumed duties with the club's young players but finally left the club later in the season.

Manchester City edit

After leaving Southampton, Wigley joined up with former Nottingham Forest teammate Stuart Pearce at Manchester City as assistant manager/first team coach. During his first season at City, he guided City's reserve team to third place in the Premiership North Reserve League. Wigley left City after Pearce was sacked in May 2007.

England Under-21 edit

Wigley teamed up with Pearce again, this time as England Under-21 coach, after Pearce was appointed to this role in 2007. In August 2007 the Football Association appointed Wigley as a national coach, assuming responsibility for the 17–21 age groups to help develop young players.[3] When Pearce was made caretaker manager of the full England team in February 2012, Wigley accompanied him as his assistant.

Bolton Wanderers edit

On 8 July 2008, Wigley joined the Bolton Wanderers backroom staff as head coach following a decision by Gary Megson to restructure the club's coaching staff.[4] On 30 December 2009, he and Chris Evans were appointed joint caretaker managers of Bolton following Megson's sacking,[5] but he left the club a few days later after Owen Coyle's appointment.[6]

Hull City edit

On 17 March 2010, he was appointed as coach at Premier League club, Hull City, under new manager, Iain Dowie.[7]

Bristol City edit

On 18 August 2010, Wigley became assistant manager to Keith Millen at Bristol City on a one-year rolling contract. Millen stated: "Steve was the man I wanted. He was always the name at the front of the list."[8] Millen left the club in October 2011, and Wigley left a few weeks later by mutual consent.[9]

Hull City edit

On 18 November, Wigley rejoined Hull City as first-team coach.[10] After Steve Bruce was appointed team manager on 8 June 2012, Wigley and fellow first team coach Stuart Watkiss left the club.[11]

Fulham edit

Shortly afterwards, Wigley was appointed head of coaching and under-18 manager at the Fulham Academy.[12][13]

Nottingham Forest edit

Wigley left Fulham in May 2014 to again team up with Stuart Pearce as his assistant manager at Nottingham Forest.[14] After Dougie Freedman replaced Pearce as manager on 1 February 2015, Wigley and the remainder of the backroom staff left the following day.[15]

Return to Fulham edit

On 30 June 2015, Wigley rejoined Fulham as U18s manager.[16] In 2021, he was promoted to manager of the U23s.[17]

References edit

  1. ^ a b c "Steve Wigley". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 2 June 2018.
  2. ^ Dunk, Peter, ed. (1987). Rothmans Football Yearbook 1987–88. London: Queen Anne Press. p. 58. ISBN 978-0-356-14354-5.
  3. ^ "Wigley appointed". The Football Association. 31 August 2007. Archived from the original on 20 February 2008.
  4. ^ "Wanderers appoint Wigley". Bolton Wanderers F.C. 8 July 2008. Retrieved 2 June 2018.
  5. ^ "Bolton Wanderers sack manager Gary Megson". BBC Sport. 30 December 2009. Retrieved 30 December 2009.
  6. ^ "Coyle ready to spring". Manchester Evening News. 11 January 2010. Retrieved 12 January 2010.
  7. ^ "Iain Dowie confirmed as new Hull City manager". BBC Sport. 17 March 2010. Retrieved 18 March 2010.
  8. ^ "Steve Wigley appointed assistant". Bristol City F.C. Archived from the original on 21 August 2010. Retrieved 2 June 2018.
  9. ^ "Coach Steve Wigley leaves Bristol City". BBC Sport. 2 November 2011. Retrieved 2 June 2018.
  10. ^ "Steve Wigley rejoins Hull City backroom staff". BBC Sport. 18 November 2011. Retrieved 18 November 2011.
  11. ^ "Former first-team coach Steve Wigley leaves Hull City". BBC Sport. 13 June 2012. Retrieved 13 June 2012.
  12. ^ "Steve Wigley: Head of Academy Coaching". Fulham F.C. Retrieved 2 June 2018.
  13. ^ "Steve Wigley: Head of Coaching & Under-18 Manager". Fulham F.C. Archived from the original on 10 November 2012. Retrieved 16 November 2013.
  14. ^ "Steve Wigley set for Nottingham Forest move from Fulham". BBC Sport. 13 May 2014. Retrieved 2 June 2018.
  15. ^ "Tim Flowers, Steve Wigley & Brian Eastick depart Nottingham Forest". BBC Sport. 2 February 2015. Retrieved 2 June 2018.
  16. ^ "Wigley returns". Fulham F.C. 30 June 2015. Retrieved 30 June 2015.
  17. ^ Why Steve Wigley’s promotion is a serious step forward

External links edit