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Alan Little
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Personal information
Full name Alan Little
Date of birth February 5, 1955 (1955-02-05) (age 54)
Place of birth    Horden, Peterlee, County Durham, England
Playing position Midfielder
Youth career
1971-1973 Aston Villa
Senior career1
Years Club App (Gls)*
Aston Villa
Southend United
Doncaster Rovers
Torquay United
Halifax Town
Hartlepool United
003 0(0)
103 (12)
091 (14)
085 (11)
051 0(4)
068 0(6)
012 0(1)   
Teams managed
York City
Southend United
Halifax Town

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

Alan Little (born 5 February 1955 in Horden, near Peterlee, County Durham, England) is an English former footballer and manager.


Playing career

Little served his apprenticeship at Aston Villa and, alongside his brother, Brian, was in the youth side which beat Liverpool to win the FA Youth Cup in 1972. He turned professional in January 1973 and on October 5, 1974, made his full league debut, a 2-1 win away to Oldham Athletic. This was the first of just three league appearances for Villa.

In December 1974 he was sold to Southend United for £10,000. The following season he was a regular in the side that reached the fifth round of the FA Cup. He made 102 full appearances (+ 1 as a substitute) and scored 12 goals for ‘the Shrimpers’. In August 1977, Barnsley paid £6,000 to take him to Oakwell, where he played 91 times, scoring 14 goals. December 1979 saw Little on the move again, this time to Doncaster Rovers who paid a club record £25,000 for his services.

He provided the experience that Billy Bremner's young side needed, and became a great favourite with the Doncaster fans, winning the supporters' Player of the Year award, before moving to Torquay United in October 1982 in a deal that saw Clive Wigginton move in the opposite direction. He scored four times in 51 games for Torquay, leaving to join Halifax Town in November 1983, playing 68 times (and scoring 6 goals) for 'the Shaymen' before joining Hartlepool United as player-coach in July 1985.

Throughout his playing career Little earned a reputation as a fiercely competitive, tough tackling midfielder, which made him highly respected by supporters and fellow players alike.

Coaching and managerial career

Little was forced to retire due to injury in May 1986 and stayed at Hartlepool, where he was given the opportunity of coaching the juniors. He was later appointed assistant to manager John Bird, and when Bird became the manager at York City in September 1988, Little went with him as assistant manager. In October 1991, after an unsuccessful three years, Bird was sacked. However, the new boss, John Ward, kept Little on as his assistant. Under Ward, City became a stronger side and in the 1992-93 season made a push for promotion. However, in March 1993, Ward left to manage Bristol Rovers, leaving Little in charge.

His first game as York City manager was an emphatic 5-1 win at promotion rivals Barnet. City eventually finished fourth in Division Three (now League Two) and had to settle for a play-off place. After a 1-0 aggregate win over Bury in the semi-finals, York gained a place in Division Two (now League One) by beating Crewe Alexandra on penalties at Wembley.

The following season, York almost repeated the feat, but were beaten in the Division Two play-off semi-finals by Stockport County.

There were other highlights during Little’s time at York, most notably the League Cup wins over Manchester United in 1995, and Everton in 1996. However, City’s overall form under Little deteriorated badly and he was eventually sacked on March 15, 1999. City were relegated that season having only dropped into the relegation zone on the last day of the season.

In April 1999, Little returned to his old club, Southend United, after the resignation of Alvin Martin, helping them to avoid the drop into the Conference at the end of the season. He also helped them survive a serious financial crisis by slashing the wage bill and rebuilding a much cheaper side. His dismissal on the 28th of September 2000, came as a surprise as, despite a poor start to the season, it came after a five game unbeaten run that saw 'the Shrimpers' rise to 10th in Division Three. He was replaced by David Webb on the 2nd of October 2000.

In June 2001, he was appointed Chief Scout at Hull City, managed by his older brother Brian, the former Aston Villa and England player. He was linked with a number of managerial posts, but on the 13th of October 2001 was appointed as manager of Halifax Town with the difficult task of keeping them in the football league. With only three league wins before falling ill with appendicitis in March, Little was once again sacked. Halifax were relegated to the Conference at the end of the season.

Managerial stats

Team Nat From To Record
G W L D Win %
York City England March 1, 1993 March 16, 1999 318 108 122 88 33.96
Southend United England April 2, 1999 September 28, 2000 69 21 30 18 30.43
Halifax Town England October 13, 2001 March 1, 2002 26 3 14 9 11.53

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