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Bill McGarry
Personal information
Full name William Harry McGarry
Date of birth 10 June 1927(1927-06-10)
Place of birth    Stoke-on-Trent, England
Date of death    15 March 2005 (aged 77)
Place of death    South Africa
Height 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
Playing position Right-half
Youth career
000000 Northwood Mission
Senior career1
Years Club App (Gls)*
Port Vale
Huddersfield Town
146 00(5)
363 0(25)
078 00(2)   
National team
England "B"
001 00(0)
004 00(0)
Teams managed
Bournemouth (player-manager)
Ipswich Town
Wolverhampton Wanderers
Saudi Arabia
Newcastle United
Power Dynamos FC
Wolverhampton Wanderers

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

William Harry (Bill) McGarry (10 June 1927 – 15 March 2005) was an English international football player and manager.


Playing style

Former teammate Roy Sproson said that: "he was everything that a manager could want in a player. Magnificently fit, Bill was aggressive, busy, good in the air and a player of tremendous enthusiasm for the game. He gave 100 per cent effort for all of 90 minutes" and that he also used to "underrate himself".[1]

Club career

McGarry began his career at local non-league club Northwood Mission, based in Hanley, before joining Port Vale as an amateur in April 1945, signing professional forms in June of that year. He made his debut on a 1945 Boxing day 1-0 home defeat to Walsall and by November 1947 he was playing regular first team football. He was an ever-present throughout the 1949-50 season, but was sold to First Division Huddersfield Town for £12,000 in March 1951.[2]

At Huddersfield he built a reputation as a tough-tackling, sturdy wing-half.[3]

After a decade of service at Huddersfield Town, he headed south to become Bournemouth's first player-manager.[4] He spent two years at Dean Court before hanging up his boots and devoting himself to management.

International career

McGarry's performances at Huddersfield won him first an England "B" appearance place[5] and then a place in the England squad for the 1954 World Cup. Despite having never featured for the national team before, he played two of England's three games in the tournament (against hosts Switzerland and Uruguay[6]). He won his final cap the following year in a Home International defeat to Wales.[6] He also played for the Football League and went on the FA's 1956 South African tour.

Management career

His post as player-manager at Bournemouth (then Bournemouth & Boscombe Athletic) in 1961 was the start of a long career in management for McGarry. In July 1963, he took the reins at Watford, taking them to the verge of promotion to the Second Division in his only full season, before moving to Ipswich Town in September 1964. He had built up a reputation as a tough, no nonsense manager.[5] He also instigated rules on players diet, long before the trend became standard practice within the footballing world.[7]

He took Ipswich back into the top flight, winning the Second Division title in 1967–68. Just months into the new campaign though, he walked out to take charge at fellow First Division club Wolverhampton Wanderers in November 1968.

After a stumbling 1960s, the club were revived under McGarry as he took the team all the way to the UEFA Cup Final in 1972 and success in the 1974 League Cup final, as well as two top-five league finishes.[3] The club suffered relegation though in 1976 and he was promptly fired.[8]

He headed abroad to coach the Saudi Arabian national team but soon returned to England to manage Newcastle United in November 1977. He could not stop the Magpies suffering relegation that season,[9] and he could only take the team to two mid-table finishes in the Second Division before being fired just weeks into the 1980–81 season after his team were knocked out of the League Cup by Third Division Bury.

McGarry then served in a variety of posts, with spells as a scout at Brighton, Zambian Power Dynamos FC as a coach, the Zambian national team as manager and a period as coach in South Africa. He returned to former club Wolves in September 1985, but walked out after just 61 days after a fall-out with the Bhatti Brothers.[10] After a spell outside the game, he moved back to South Africa as coach in Bophuthatswana.[4]

After a long battle against illness, he died on 15 March 2005, aged 77.[11] He had one son and one daughter.[3]



As a Manager

Ipswich Town
Wolverhampton Wanderers


  1. ^ Harper, Chris (10 February 1975). "Sproson's Eleven". The Sentinel. Retrieved 23 June 2009.  
  2. ^ Kent, Jeff (1996). Port Vale Personalities. Witan Books. p. 192. ISBN 0952915200.  
  3. ^ a b c "Bill McGarry". The Times. London. 23 March 2005. Retrieved 26 May 2009.  
  4. ^ a b "1968/1976 Bill McGarry". The Wolves Site. Retrieved 26 May 2009.  
  5. ^ a b "Bill McGarry". The Independent. 19 March 2005. Retrieved 26 May 2009.  
  6. ^ a b "Bill McGarry". Retrieved 26 May 2009.  
  7. ^ Glanville, Brian (22 March 2005). "Bill McGarry". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 May 2009.  
  8. ^ May, John (26 January 2006). "FA Cup flashback". BBC Sport. Retrieved 26 May 2009.  
  9. ^ "Bill McGarry (1977-80)". Newcastle United official site. 3 Aug 2002.,,10278~1241763,00.html. Retrieved 26 May 2009.  
  10. ^ Cooper, Steve (17 March 2005). "Bill McGarry Dies". Retrieved 26 May 2009.  
  11. ^ "McGarry dies after long illness". BBC Sport. 17 March 2005. Retrieved 26 May 2009.  

External links


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