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Alan Curbishley
Personal information
Full name Llewellyn Charles Curbishley
Date of birth 8 November 1957 (1957-11-08) (age 52)
Place of birth    Forest Gate, East London, England, UK
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Playing position Midfielder
Senior career1
Years Club App (Gls)*
West Ham United
Birmingham City
Aston Villa
Charlton Athletic
Brighton & Hove Albion
Charlton Athletic
085 0(5)
130 (11)
036 0(1)
063 0(6)
116 (13)
028 0(0)
458 (36)   
National team
1978 England U21 001 0(0)
Teams managed
Charlton Athletic
West Ham United

1 Senior club appearances and goals
counted for the domestic league only.
* Appearances (Goals)

Llewellyn Charles "Alan" Curbishley (born 8 November 1957, Forest Gate, East London, England, UK) is a football manager and former professional player.

He has worked in the English Premier League in management roles at Charlton Athletic and, more recently, West Ham United, the post from which he resigned on 3 September 2008.[1]



Curbishley was one of a total of five children born to a London docker and his wife. He grew up a mile from West Ham Station.[2][3]

He was educated at South West Ham Technical School.[2] Curbishley is married[2] and lives in Abridge, Essex.[4] He is the younger brother of the rock promoter Bill Curbishley, whose clients include The Who.[5][6]

Playing career


Club career

He began his football playing career with West Ham United, joining them as an apprentice on leaving school in the summer of 1974.[7] After impressing in West Ham's South East Counties League side and owing to an injury crisis following pre-season training, he was named as substitute against Everton in August 1974 at the age of 16 and became the youngest ever West Ham player to be named on the teamsheet, although he did not play.[7] He made his first team debut in a 1-0 home defeat against Chelsea in March 1975, coming into the team for Billy Bonds who was out with an injury,[7] and in the summer, he was a member of the West Ham youth team, alongside Alvin Martin, Geoff Pike, and Paul Brush, that was beaten by Ipswich Town 5-1 on aggregate in the final of the FA Youth Cup.[7] His first win with the club and first goal came in a 2-1 home win over Newcastle in October 1975, in which he had replaced an injured Trevor Brooking in the starting line.[7] His arrival in the first team was so impressive that he was given the nickname "Whizz" by team-mate Pat Holland.[7] He appeared in both legs of the West Ham's European Cup Winners' Cup 3rd round tie against Den Haag in March 1976, aged 18, although he did not play in the semi-final games against Eintracht Frankfurt nor in the final against Anderlecht.[8] He made two league and cup appearances in 1974-75, 18 appearances in 1975-76, 12 appearances in 1976-77 and 36 appearances in 1977-78,[8] while competing for a midfield position with Trevor Brooking, Alan Devonshire, Pat Holland, Geoff Pike and Billy Bonds.[7]

After West Ham were relegated at the end of the 1977-78 season, he fell out with manager, John Lyall, and although he made a further 28 appearances for West Ham in 1978-79,[8] he subsequently transferred to Birmingham City[2] in April 1979 for a fee of £225,000.[7] He joined local rivals Aston Villa in 1983 but a change of managers saw him transferred again to Charlton Athletic in the following year.[2] He began his first period at Charlton Athletic in 1984, moving to Brighton & Hove Albion in 1987. He helped them win promotion to the Second Division as Third Division runners-up in his first season.

He returned to Charlton as player/coach under the management of Lennie Lawrence in 1990 and would stay there for 16 years.

International career

Curbishley was capped at schoolboy level for England and was a regular in the England youth team.[2] While at Birmingham City, he won his only England U-21 cap against Switzerland in 1980.[2] He was selected for the England B squad in 1981 but a fractured kneecap ended his involvement with England.[2]

Management career

Charlton Athletic

When Lennie Lawrence left in July 1991, Curbishley became joint manager of the club with Steve Gritt. He took sole command from June 1995 and masterminded the revival of the club's fortunes with two promotions and consolidation into the Premier League.[9]

He gained a reputation for signing good players for low prices, such as Clive Mendonca, John Robinson, Dean Kiely, Mark Kinsella, Chris Powell, Danny Mills, Andy Hunt and Darren Bent and also proved adept at bringing young players through the ranks, such as Lee Bowyer, Richard Rufus, Scott Parker and Paul Konchesky. He celebrated his 600th game in charge of the team with a 1-0 victory at one of his old clubs, Birmingham, in September 2005.[10] Darren Bent scored the goal.

Curbishley was named by the media as amongst the favourites to succeed Sven-Göran Eriksson when it was announced in January 2006 that Eriksson would step down as England manager after the 2006 FIFA World Cup.[11] Several British Sunday newspapers reported in March 2006 that Curbishley had been interviewed for the job of England manager by the Football Association. The post however eventually went to Steve McClaren.[12]

Richard Murray, chairman of Charlton Athletic, announced in April 2006 that Curbishley would leave the club at the end of the 2005/06 season.[9] Curbishley denied that this had anything to do with being interviewed for the England manager post[9] and speculation that this was so later proven false when Steve McClaren was announced as England's head coach. Curbishley managed his final game as manager of Charlton away to Manchester United on 7 May 2006, which Charlton lost 4-0. Overall, he managed 729 games for the Addicks, just one fewer than the record held by Jimmy Seed.

West Ham United

After a short spell away from the game, which was augmented by work as a television pundit, Curbishley returned to management in December 2006 when he was appointed as manager of West Ham United.[13] After looking certain for relegation, Curbishley led West Ham to seven wins out of their last nine games, beating Blackburn, Everton, Bolton, Wigan, Arsenal, Middlesbrough and a last-day 1–0 win at Manchester United, to keep West Ham in the Premier League.[14] Before the start of the 2008–09 Premier League season, there was ever increasing speculation about his future at the club.[citation needed]

Despite the club taking 6 points out of their first 3 games, he was unhappy with the club's transfer policy after key players Anton Ferdinand and George McCartney were sold without his permission,[15] a claim denied by the West Ham United board of directors,[citation needed] and he resigned his post on 2 September 2008.[15] Since leaving West Ham he has resurrected his TV career despite being linked with many high profile managerial positions.[citation needed]

On 3 November 2009, Curbishley won his case for constructive dismissal against West Ham United. After the ruling, he said: "I am obviously delighted with this result. I very much enjoyed my time at West Ham and never wanted to leave, but on joining the club I insisted that my contract contained a clause confirming that I would have final say on the selection of players to be transferred to and from the club."[16] West Ham paid him £2.2million in compensation.[17]

Managerial stats

As of 3 September 2008.
Team Nat From To Record
G W L D Win %
Charlton Athletic England 24 July 1991 8 May 2006 &0000000000000720.000000720 &0000000000000274.000000274 &0000000000000259.000000259 &0000000000000187.000000187 &0000000000000038.06000038.06
West Ham United England 13 December 2006 3 September 2008 &0000000000000071.00000071 &0000000000000029.00000029 &0000000000000028.00000028 &0000000000000014.00000014 &0000000000000040.85000040.85


As player

with West Ham United

with Birmingham City

with Brighton & Hove Albion

As manager

with Charlton Athletic


  1. ^ "West Ham United Club Announcement". 2008-09-03.,,12562~1383779,00.html. Retrieved 2008-09-03. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "England calling?". London: Times Online. 2006-04-02. Retrieved 2007-06-12. 
  3. ^ "Happy taking his eye off the ball". 2006-08-19. Retrieved 2007-06-12. 
  4. ^ "Curbs to muck in". The Sun. 2007-04-13.,,2002390000-2007170134,00.html. Retrieved 2007-06-12. 
  5. ^ Alan Curbishley. Valley of Dreams, page 12. HarperCollins. (2006) ISBN 0007140452.
  6. ^ "Happy taking his eye off the ball", Telegraph, 19 August 2006. Retrieved 29 June 2007.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h Blows, Kirk; Ben Sharratt (2002). Claret and Blue Blood. Pumping Life Into West Ham United. Mainstream Publishing (Edinburgh) Ltd. pp. 132–136. ISBN 1-84018-489-2. 
  8. ^ a b c Northcutt, John (2003). The Definitive West Ham United F.C.. Tony Brown, Nottingham. p. 91. ISBN 1-899468-19-6. 
  9. ^ a b c "Curbishley to leave Charlton job". BBC Sport. 2006-04-29. Retrieved 2006-06-12. 
  10. ^ "Birmingham 0-1 Charlton". BBC Sport. 2006-02-17. Retrieved 2007-06-12. 
  11. ^ "O'Neill tops England manager poll". BBC Sport. 2005-02-13. Retrieved 2006-12-13. 
  12. ^ "McClaren named as England manager". BBC Sport. 2006-05-04. Retrieved 2006-08-18. 
  13. ^ "Curbishley named West Ham manager". BBC Sport. 2006-12-13. Retrieved 2007-08-18. 
  14. ^ "Magnusson hails West Ham survival". BBC Sport. 2007-05-14. Retrieved 2007-08-18. 
  15. ^ a b Doyle, Paul (2009-09-03). "Alan Curbishley resigns as West Ham". The Guardian. Retrieved 2010-03-12. 
  16. ^ Szczepanik, Nick (2009-11-04). "Alan Curbishley verdict leaves West Ham facing increased financial pressure". The Times (London). Retrieved 2010-03-12. 
  17. ^ Jacob, Gary (2010-02-18). "West Ham United settle £2.2m compensation claim with Alan Curbishley". The Times (London). Retrieved 2010-03-12. 

External links


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