Neil Adams (footballer)

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Neil Adams
Personal information
Full name Neil James Adams[1]
Date of birth (1965-11-23) 23 November 1965[1]
Place of birth Stoke-on-Trent, England[1]
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Norwich City (loans manager)
Youth career
1983–1985 Stoke City
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1985–1986 Stoke City 32 (4)
1986–1989 Everton 20 (0)
1989Oldham Athletic (loan) 9 (0)
1989–1994 Oldham Athletic 129 (23)
1994–1999 Norwich City 182 (25)
1999–2001 Oldham Athletic 47 (4)
Total 419 (56)
National team
1986 England U21 1 (0)
Teams managed
2014–2015 Norwich City
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Neil James Adams (born 23 November 1965) is an English former professional footballer and former manager of Norwich City. He played as a midfielder for Stoke City, Everton, Oldham Athletic and Norwich City.[1]

Adams began his career playing for his local club Stoke City, where he quickly earned a reputation of being a tricky and productive winger. This prompted Everton to pay a fee of £150,000 for his signature in June 1986. He was part of the Everton's Championship-winning squad in 1987, but injuries prevented him from reaching his potential at Goodison Park and after three years he moved on to Oldham Athletic. At Oldham, Adams played a major role in helping the club gain promotion to the newly formed Premier League in 1992 and also helped the Latics to reach the 1990 League Cup Final. He signed for Norwich City in February 1994 for a fee of £250,000. He became a regular in the Norwich for the next six seasons before ending his playing career with another two years at Oldham. After retiring from playing, Adams became a pundit for BBC Radio Norfolk, before taking up a coaching role at the Norwich City Academy – guiding the U-18 team to victory in the 2012–13 FA Youth Cup. In April 2014 Adams was appointed first-team manager following the departure of Chris Hughton.

Playing career

Adams was born in Stoke-on-Trent and began his career with local side Stoke City making his professional debut against Coventry City in the Full Members Cup in 1985–86.[1] He made a huge impression with his performances for Stoke in his debut season, with his attacking creativity and deadly accurate crossing ability earning him a call up to the England U21 side for their European Championship semi-final tie in Italy.[1] With Stoke's finances poor and many top-flight sides showing an interest in signing him, he was sold to Everton in June 1986 for a fee of £150,000 after the Toffees beat off competition from Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur, much to the annoyance to the Stoke supporters who feared that their club was becoming a 'selling club'.[1]

In his first season at Everton he helped the side win the First Division title in 1986–87. During his three years on Merseyside he also won two Charity Shield medals and earned his first England U-21 cap in an away game against Sweden. In June 1989 he rejected the offer of a new contract at Goodison Park and joined Oldham Athletic in a £100,000 deal. The five seasons that Adams spent at Boundary Park was to coincide with the club's golden period. In 1990, he played for the Latics in the League Cup Final against Nottingham Forest, and the following season he helped the team win the Second Division title as Oldham won promotion to the newly formed Premier League.

Adams' contribution from the right flank helped Oldham establish themselves against the best sides in the country, and he was influential in helping the Latics maintain their top-flight status during their 1992–93 campaign by scoring 9 goals – including crucial strikes against Liverpool, Everton, Chelsea and most memorably the only goal in a 1–0 defeat of soon-to-be-crowned double winners, Manchester United.

Whilst at Oldham he also picked up a Carling No. 1 Award – selected by a Premiership committee before the start of the 1993–94 season. In early 1994 Norwich City made inquiries about acquiring his services, and after protracted negotiations between the two clubs he eventually signed for the Canaries for a fee of £250,000 in mid-February. Adams was to become a regular in the Norwich side during his time at Carrow Road. He assumed the role of penalty taker and dead ball specialist for the Canaries, and in his career he only missed from the spot once, in a league cup game against Swansea.

He started in all but one of Norwich's games during the 1996–97 campaign, and completed that season as the Canaries' second top-scorer with a total of 16 goals. In 2002, Norwich fans voted Adams into the Norwich City F.C. Hall of Fame. After leaving Norfolk in the summer of 1999, Adams returned to former club Oldham for two seasons before a cruciate knee injury forced him to retire.

Managerial career

A holder of the UEFA Pro-Licence, he returned to Norwich where was appointed as manager of the club's U-18s. Adams guided the side to victory over Chelsea in the 2012–13 FA Youth Cup.[2] On 6 April 2014 he was appointed Norwich City first-team caretaker manager following the departure of Chris Hughton.[3] On 22 May 2014 he was appointed permanent manager of Norwich City, signing a three-year contract.[4] Adams resigned from his position on 5 January 2015.[5] On 31 July 2015, Adams returned to Norwich City as Loan Player Manager. [6]

Career statistics


Club Season League FA Cup League Cup Other[A] Total
Stoke City 1985–86 Second Division 324103030394
Total 324103030394
Everton 1986–87 First Division 120003050200
1987–88 First Division 80001110101
1988–89 First Division 0000100010
Total 200005160311
Oldham Athletic 1988–89 Second Division 9000000090
1989–90 Second Division 274606010404
1990–91 Second Division 316211000347
1991–92 First Division 264211000295
1992–93 Premier League 329104000375
1993–94 Premier League 130103000170
Total 138231221501016625
Norwich City 1993–94 Premier League 140000000140
1994–95 Premier League 333306100423
1995–96 First Division 423105000483
1996–97 First Division 45132122004916
1997–98 First Division 304002100325
1998–99 First Division 183102000213
Total 18225711740020630
Oldham Athletic 1999–2000 Second Division 292212010344
2000–01 Second Division 182002000202
Total 474214010546
Career Total 4195622444511049665

A. ^ The "Other" column constitutes appearances and goals in the FA Charity Shield, Full Members Cup, Football League Trophy and Screen Sport Super Cup.

Managerial statistics

As of 5 January 2015
Managerial record by team and tenure
Team From To Record Ref
Norwich City 6 April 2014 5 January 2015 32 11 8 13 034.4 [8]
Total 32 11 8 13 034.4



  • Davage, Mike; John Eastwood; Kevan Platt (2001). Canary Citizens: The Official History of Norwich City F.C. Jarrold. ISBN 0-7117-2020-7. 


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Matthews, Tony (1994). The Encyclopaedia of Stoke City. Lion Press. ISBN 0-9524151-0-0.
  2. "FA Youth Cup final: Norwich beat Chelsea 4–2 on aggregate". BBC Sport. Retrieved 18 May 2013.
  3. "ADAMS REPLACES HUGHTON AS BOSS". Norwich City F.C. Retrieved 6 April 2014.
  4. "Neil Adams: Norwich City hand caretaker boss permanent job". BBC Sport. Retrieved 22 May 2014.
  5. "Neil Adams resigns as Norwich City manager". BBC Sport. Retrieved 5 January 2015.
  7. Neil Adams profile at the English National Football Archive (subscription required)
  8. "Managers: Neil Adams". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 26 March 2017.
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