Alan Irvine (footballer, born 1958)

Alan Irvine
Irvine as Preston North End manager in 2008
Personal information
Full name James Alan Irvine[1]
Date of birth (1958-07-12) 12 July 1958[1]
Place of birth Glasgow, Scotland
Playing position Winger
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1977–1981 Queen's Park 88 (9)
1981–1984 Everton 60 (4)
1984–1987 Crystal Palace 109 (12)
1987–1989 Dundee United 24 (3)
1989–1992 Blackburn Rovers 58 (3)
Total 339 (31)
Teams managed
1993–1998 Blackburn Rovers (youth)
2001–2005 Newcastle United (youth)
2005–2007 Everton (assistant)
2007–2009 Preston North End
2010–2011 Sheffield Wednesday
2011–2014 Everton (youth)
2014 West Bromwich Albion
2015–2016 Blackburn Rovers (assistant)
2017 Norwich City (caretaker)
2017–2018 West Ham United (assistant)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

James Alan Irvine (born 12 July 1958) is a Scottish former professional footballer and coach.

Irvine played as a Winger for Queen's Park, Everton, Crystal Palace, Dundee United and Blackburn Rovers.

As a coach, Irvine worked in various roles at Blackburn Rovers, Preston North End, Newcastle United and Everton before becoming a manager, firstly with Preston and then Sheffield Wednesday. After three years in charge of the Everton Academy, he became head coach of West Bromwich Albion. He rejoined Blackburn as assistant manager in November 2015. In March 2017, he became caretaker manager of Norwich City before leaving in November 2017 to join West Ham United under new manager, David Moyes.[2] He left the east London club at the end of the 2017–18 season, after Moyes' contract was not renewed.[3]

Early life

Born in Glasgow, Scotland, Irvine studied for qualification as an insurance broker whilst playing for Queen's Park. Irvine is a boyhood Leeds United fan, citing fellow Scot Eddie Gray as his favourite player.[4]

Club career

After Queen's Park, Irvine went on to play for Everton, Crystal Palace, Dundee United and Blackburn Rovers.[1]

He helped Everton win the 1983–84 FA Cup: despite being left out of the final match day squad, he had started all 7 previous FA cup matches up to and including the semi-final, scoring goals in the 3rd round and 5th round ties.[5][6] Irvine also started the 1984 League Cup Final and League Cup Final Replay with Everton ultimately losing 1–0 to Liverpool.

In 1992, he was part of the Blackburn team that won promotion to the new FA Premier League. He announced his retirement from playing just before the 1992–93 season began.

Coaching career

Irvine returned to Goodison Park to join the coaching staff 20 years after leaving as a player. He was academy director at Blackburn Rovers and Newcastle United, where he was credited with bringing through players such as Steven Taylor and Peter Ramage.

Preston North End

Irvine took over as manager of Preston North End on 20 November 2007 with Preston in a relegation battle.[7] He guided Preston to a respectable 15th place in the 2007–08 season. In his first full season in charge, Irvine led Preston to the play-offs when on a dramatic final day of the season, after Preston clinched the final play-off spot thanks to goals from Jon Parkin and Sean St. Ledger. After that he was named the Championship Manager of the Month for April.[8] Preston lost their play-off semi-final to Sheffield United 2–1 on aggregate.[9] He was dismissed on 29 December 2009 after Preston suffered a poor run of results where the team only won once in 10 games.[10] His departure from Preston reportedly caused "outrage" from fans.[11]

Sheffield Wednesday

Irvine was appointed manager of Sheffield Wednesday on 8 January 2010.[12] Wednesday got off to a good start under Irvine, winning games against Barnsley, Blackpool and Peterborough United. Irvine was named Championship Manager of the month for January 2010. This form was not sustained, however, as on the last day of the season Wednesday faced a Hillsborough relegation showdown against Crystal Palace who had suffered a 10-point deduction, needing a home win to avoid relegation. The match ended in a 2–2 draw, relegating Wednesday to League One.[13]

Wednesday then had severe financial issues, with the club appearing in court twice over winding up orders. Following the successful takeover by Milan Mandarić at the end of 2010, Irvine was allowed transfer funds to revamp his squad. Despite making several new signings, the team continued to have consistently poor results. On 3 February 2011, Wednesday dismissed Irvine with the side lying 12th in League One.[14]

It was announced on 12 July 2011 that Irvine had returned to Everton to replace Ray Hall as the manager of the club's academy.[15]

West Bromwich Albion

On 14 June 2014 West Bromwich Albion announced that Irvine would fill their vacant head coach role on a 12-month rolling contract,[16] his first management work in the Premier League.

In his first league match in charge on 16 August, West Bromwich Albion drew 2–2 at home against Sunderland.[17] It was not until his fifth league match, on 21 September, that they won a league match, James Morrison heading the only goal to defeat Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane.[18] A week later, he got his first home league victory, 4–0 against Burnley at The Hawthorns. It was the team's biggest league win since 2012 and moved them up seven places in the league to 10th.[19] Irvine's time in charge also saw West Bromwich Albion forward Saido Berahino called into the senior England team after scoring seven goals in ten league matches.[20]

After only seven months in the role, on 29 December 2014, Irvine was dismissed by West Bromwich Albion, with the team lying in 16th position in the Premier League having won only four of 19 league games under his managership, and just one point above the relegation zone.[21]

Norwich City

On 2 July 2016, Irvine joined Norwich City as assistant manager.[22] He took over as caretaker manager on 10 March 2017 after Alex Neil was dismissed.[23] On the 25th of May 2017 Alan was replaced by Daniel Farke.[24] Alan decided to leave Norwich City after his replacement.[25]

Managerial statistics

As of match played 7 May 2017
Managerial record by team and tenure
Team From To Record Ref
Preston North End 20 November 2007 29 December 2009 110 45 25 40 040.9 [26]
Sheffield Wednesday 8 January 2010 3 February 2011 59 24 13 22 040.7 [26]
West Bromwich Albion 14 June 2014 29 December 2014 22 5 6 11 022.7 [26]
Norwich City (caretaker) 10 March 2017 25 May 2017 10 5 2 3 050.0 [23][26]
Total 201 79 46 76 039.3


  1. 1 2 3 Hugman, Barry J, ed. (2005). The PFA Premier & Football League Players' Records 1946–2005. Queen Anne Press. p. 316. ISBN 1-85291-665-6.
  3. "David Moyes: West Ham manager departs after just six months in charge". BBC Sport. 16 May 2018. Retrieved 16 May 2018.
  6. "1983-1984 Summary". Retrieved 9 January 2016.
  7. "Preston unveil Irvine as new boss". BBC Sport. 20 November 2007. Retrieved 11 January 2009.
  8. "Preston boss scoops monthly award". BBC Sport. 7 May 2009. Archived from the original on 10 May 2009. Retrieved 12 May 2009.
  9. "Sheff Utd v Preston – 11th May 2009". Sky Sports. 11 May 2009. Archived from the original on 14 May 2009. Retrieved 14 October 2009.
  10. "Preston sack boss Alan Irvine after run of poor results". BBC Sport. 29 December 2009. Archived from the original on 30 December 2009. Retrieved 29 December 2009.
  11. "Preston 7 Colchester 0: Jon Parkin scores a hat-trick as managerless Preston run riot". Daily Mail. 3 January 2010. Retrieved 11 June 2012.
  12. Sinnott, John (8 January 2010). "Irvine appointed Wednesday boss". BBC Sport. Archived from the original on 14 January 2010. Retrieved 8 January 2010.
  13. "Preston unveil Irvine as new boss". The Telegraph. 2 May 2010. Retrieved 11 June 2012.
  14. PA (3 February 2011). "Sheffield Wednesday sack manager Alan Irvine". The Independent. Retrieved 3 February 2011.
  15. Andy Hunter (12 July 2011). "Alan Irvine returns to Everton as manager of youth academy". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 June 2012.
  16. "Alan Irvine appointed West Bromwich Albion manager". BBC Sport. 14 June 2014. Retrieved 14 June 2014.
  17. Strickland, Jamie (16 August 2014). "West Brom 2-2 Sunderland". BBC Sport. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  18. Chowdhury, Saj (21 September 2014). "Tottenham 0-1 West Brom". BBC Sport. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  19. Johnston, Neil (28 September 2014). "West Brom 4-0 Burnley". BBC Sport. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  20. "Saido Berahino: West Brom striker named in England squad". BBC Sport. 6 November 2014. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  21. "Alan Irvine: West Brom sack manager after Stoke defeat". BBC Sport. 30 December 2014. Retrieved 22 March 2017.
  23. 1 2 "Alan Irvine: West Brom sack manager after Stoke defeat". BBC Sport. 10 March 2017. Retrieved 22 March 2017.
  24. "Daniel Farke: Norwich City appoint Borussia Dortmund II boss as head coach". BBC Sport. 2017-05-25. Retrieved 2017-06-11.
  25. "Alan Irvine: Norwich City's former caretaker manager leaves Championship club". BBC Sport. 2017-06-09. Retrieved 2017-06-11.
  26. 1 2 3 4 "Managers: Alan Irvine". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 22 March 2017.
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