Brian Horton: Wikis


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Brian Horton
Personal information
Full name Brian Horton
Date of birth 4 February 1949 (1949-02-04) (age 61)
Place of birth Hednesford, England
Playing position Midfielder
Youth career
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
Hednesford Town
1970–1976 Port Vale 236 (33)
1976–1981 Brighton & Hove Albion 218 (33)
1981–1984 Luton Town 118 (8)
1984–1986 Hull City 38 (0)
Total 610+ (74+)
Teams managed
1984–1988 Hull City
1988–1993 Oxford United
1993–1995 Manchester City
1995–1997 Huddersfield Town
1998–1999 Brighton & Hove Albion
1999–2004 Port Vale
2004–2006 Macclesfield Town
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only. † Appearances (Goals).

Brian Horton (born 4 February 1949 in Hednesford, Staffordshire) is an English former footballer, now a football managerr, currently working as the assistant manager at Hull City. Horton is one of the few managers in English football to have taken charge of teams in more than a thousand games.

Horton played for Hednesford Town, Port Vale, Brighton & Hove Albion, Luton Town and Hull City as a midfielder. His most significant spells were with Port Vale and Brighton from 1970 to 1981, making over 200 appearances over the course of around five seasons with each club. He also made over 100 appearances for Luton between 1981 and 1984.

He was even more prolific as a manager, taking the reigns at Hull City, Oxford United, Manchester City, Huddersfield Town, Brighton & Hove Albion, Port Vale and Macclesfield Town. His longest spells were at Hull and Vale, where he had previously found success as a player. At all seven clubs he boasted a win ratio of more than 30%.


Playing career

Horton was a tough defensive midfield player[1] who started his career as a member of Walsall's youth team. He never played for the Saddlers' first-team and dropped down to his non-league home town club Hednesford Town before signing for Port Vale in July 1970.[2] Legend has it that his transfer fee was a pint of shandy, as the cash-strapped potteries club haggled with the Hednesford Town chairman by plying him with alcohol, therefore his transfer fee was 'a pint of shandy'.[2] A first team regular from the start, he spent nearly six years with the club, playing over 250 games in the process until he was sold (much to the disappointment of their fans) to Brighton & Hove Albion in March 1976 for a fee of £30,000.[2]

Horton later moved to Luton Town and his most famous moment as a player was Luton's last-day relegation escape at Manchester City in 1983, in which manager David Pleat danced across the pitch in infamous jubilation.[1] Horton became player-manager of Hull City a year later, winning promotion to the Second Division in 1985.

Managerial career

Hull City

At Hull, Horton's reputation as a strong-minded, tactically-aware manager quickly built and the club won promotion to the Second Division in 1985. The following season they came very close to earning promotion to the First Division and finished a credible 6th place in 1986, and Horton quit playing shortly afterwards to concentrate on full-time management. The following season proved a disappointment as Hull struggled in the lower reaches of the Second Division, but 1987-88 began promisingly and the club was in the top 6 at the start of 1988 and only a point short of automatic promotion. However, a dreadful run of results followed with just one more win in 17 games (although there was never any danger of relegation). Star playmaker Garry Parker was sold to Nottingham Forest and Hull began to suffer on the pitch. After a 4-1 home defeat to Swindon Town chairman Don Robinson was furious and immediately fired Horton. The players took responsibility for the defeat and urged the chairman to re-consider, Robinson obliged but Horton refused the offer of reinstatement.[1]

Oxford United

Horton then became assistant manager to Mark Lawrenson at Oxford United and took over the main job after Lawrenson was dismissed following the sale of star player Dean Saunders.

Horton's own tenure at the Manor Ground lasted five years and although Oxford stayed clear of the drop from the Second Division, they never looked like gaining promotion and Horton's tenure at the club was uneventful (with the exception of the 1991-92 season in which a bankrupt Oxford, in the wake of former chairman Robert Maxwell's death and subsequent financial crisis, escaped relegation with a last-day win at Tranmere).

Manchester City

In August 1993, four games after the start of the 1993–94 FA Premier League campaign, Horton resigned as Oxford manager to replace Peter Reid as manager of Manchester City, to the surprise of many supporters and commentators, who were expecting the appointment of someone more high profile. City's previous three seasons in the top flight had yielded top-ten finishes but Horton struggled with injuries - key striker Niall Quinn was missing through a cruciate ligament injury - and City were 20th and bottom in mid-February. But then Horton transformed his attack by signing Uwe Rösler, Paul Walsh and Peter Beagrie, and City escaped relegation after losing only 2 of the last 14 games of the season.

Horton played with two out and out wingers in 1994–95, Peter Beagrie and Nicky Summerbee. This led to Rösler, Walsh and Quinn scoring 47 goals between them, but also to some heavy defeats, such as the 5-0 loss to rivals Manchester United City were sixth on 3 December and there was talk of a much-awaited return to European football, but they won only four of their remaining 25 league games, finishing just four points clear of relegation, and Horton was sacked.

Despite this, Horton was not regarded as "all that bad" by many City fans, and his successor Alan Ball was more heavily criticised as City were finally relegated in his first and only season as manager.

Huddersfield Town

He made a swift return to management with Huddersfield Town, who had just won promotion to Division One via the Division Two playoffs under Neil Warnock. Horton had accepted the offer to take over at the West Yorkshire club following Warnock's surprise resignation. 1995-96 was a promising season for the Terriers. Horton seemed to have breathed new life into the club and they reached the fifth round of the FA Cup, narrowly suffering a replay defeat away to Wimbledon. But the season ended in disappointment when Huddersfield's league form slumped and they finished eighth, just missing out on a playoff place. Despite the club record £1.2million signing of Bristol Rovers striker Marcus Stewart, Huddersfield were unable to make a mark on Division One in 1996-97 and they finished 20th - just two places ahead of the relegation zone. Horton was sacked in September 1997 after a poor start to the season.

Brighton & Hove Albion

In February 1998, Horton returned to one of his old clubs as a player when he became manager of Brighton & Hove Albion who were enduring the blackest spell in their history. The previous season they had come minutes away from suffering relegation to the Conference, and things were little better this time round. They were second from bottom in Division Three but a large gap separated them from bottom club Doncaster Rovers. Horton kept the Seagulls flying clear of relegation and their league form was better in 1998-99, but in January 1999 Horton left to take charge of another of his old clubs, Port Vale after the sacking of long-serving manager John Rudge.[3]

Port Vale

Although Vale survived relegation in 1999, it only postponed the inevitable as in the following season Vale finished second from bottom in Division One and were relegated in his first full season as manager. Horton came under pressure from the board,[4] but despite a poor start to the following season, Horton was named Division Two Manager of the Month for March 2001, after a good run of results ended fears of a second successive relegation.[5] He also won his first trophy as a manager during the season as Vale won the LDV Vans Trophy, coming from behind to beat Brentford at the Millennium Stadium.[6] He remained in charge at Port Vale until February 2004, when he somewhat surprisingly left the club by mutual consent with the club in 7th position and challenging for a playoffs spot. It materialised later that the board were going to cut costs for the following campaign and Horton would not have been offered a new contract on the same terms and also would have had his playing budget slashed.[7]

Macclesfield Town

Horton was appointed as manager of Division Three strugglers Macclesfield Town at the start of April 2004, replacing John Askey. This was initially until the end of the season, but in May he was given the job on a permanent basis.[8] He rejuvenated a demoralised side and kept them in the Football League. Horton celebrated his 1000th game as a manager on 3 November 2004, as Macclesfield beat Mansfield 4–0 in the LDV Vans Trophy.[9] Many pundits were tipping the Silkmen to slip out of the newly-named Coca-Cola League Two at the end of the 2004-05 season, but Horton proved the observers wrong as his side were in the top-seven of the division virtually all season long. Horton also won the League Two Manager of the Month award for February.[10] Macclesfield qualified for the playoffs in sixth place, but their promotion challenge was finally ended by Lincoln City in the semi-finals. They were not to challenge again in 2005-06, finishing 17th.

Horton was relieved of his duties at Macclesfield Town in late September 2006 after his team failed to win any of their opening twelve League games, leaving them bottom of the Football League.

Return to Hull

On 23 May 2007, Horton returned to Hull City as assistant manager to Phil Brown, helping the club win promotion to the Premier League via the play-offs on 24 May 2008, the first time Hull City were in the top-flight in 104 years. This appointment came 19 years after he resigned as Hull manager.[11] In October 2008 Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson praised Horton for his part in Hull's superb start to the 2008-09 Premier League season, though their early challenge among the top six clubs did not last and they ended the season just one place above the relegation zone.

In March 2009, Horton was featured heavily in the press regarding a 'spat' with Arsenal club captain Cesc Fàbregas following the controversial FA Cup 5th round match between Arsenal and Hull.[12]

On 15 March 2010 he took over as joint caretaker manager with Steve Parkin after Phil Brown was put on gardening leave.[13]

Personal life

Horton lives in Cheadle Hulme, near Stockport, with his family. Horton has two children, twins Matt and Lucy, from a previous marriage.


as a Manager

with Hull City
with Port Vale

Managerial stats

Team Nat From To Record
G W L D Win %
Hull City England 1 June 1984 13 April 1988 195 77 60 58 39.48
Oxford United England 25 October 1988 27 August 1993 243 77 101 65 31.68
Manchester City England 28 August 1993 16 May 1995 96 29 34 33 30.20
Huddersfield Town England 21 June 1995 6 October 1997 120 39 46 35 32.50
Brighton & Hove Albion England 26 February 1998 22 January 1999 43 14 19 10 32.55
Port Vale England 22 January 1999 12 February 2004 262 84 111 67 32.06
Macclesfield Town England 1 April 2004 1 October 2006 131 47 49 35 35.87


  1. ^ a b c Scott, Mike. "Brian Horton". Retrieved 2009-06-02. 
  2. ^ a b c Kent, Jeff (1996). Port Vale Personalities. Witan Books. p. 142. ISBN 0952915200. 
  3. ^ "Profile on Brian Horton". BBC Sport. 18 April, 2001. Retrieved 2009-06-02. 
  4. ^ "The strife of Brian". BBC Sport. 23 November, 2000. Retrieved 2009-06-02. 
  5. ^ "Horton named manager of month". BBC Sport. 3 April, 2001. Retrieved 2009-06-02. 
  6. ^ "Horton named manager of month". BBC Sport. 2001-04-03. Retrieved 2007-11-10. 
  7. ^ "Horton leaves Port Vale". BBC Sport. 2004-02-12. Retrieved 2007-11-10. 
  8. ^ "Silkmen appoint Horton". BBC Sport. 2004-05-11. Retrieved 2007-11-10. 
  9. ^ "Horton celebrates milestone win". BBC Sport. 2004-11-03. Retrieved 2007-11-10. 
  10. ^ "Horton wins manager of the month". BBC Sport. 2005-03-03. Retrieved 2007-11-10. 
  11. ^ "Horton will assist Brown at Hull". BBC Sport. 2007-05-23. Retrieved 2007-05-23. 
  12. ^ "Fabregas in clear over 'spit' row". BBC Sport. BBC. 22 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-02. 
  13. ^ "Hull City relieve manager Phil Brown of his duties". BBC Sport (BBC). 15 March 2010. Retrieved 2010-03-15. 

External links

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