Brian Laws: Wikis


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Brian Laws
Personal information
Full name Brian Simon Laws
Date of birth 14 October 1961 (1961-10-14) (age 48)
Place of birth Wallsend, England
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Playing position Defender
Club information
Current club Burnley (manager)
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1979–1983 Burnley 125 (12)
1983–1985 Huddersfield Town 56 (1)
1985–1988 Middlesbrough 108 (12)
1988–1994 Nottingham Forest 147 (4)
1994–1996 Grimsby Town 46 (2)
1996–1997 Darlington 10 (0)
1997–1998 Scunthorpe United 18 (0)
National team
1991 England B 1 (0)
Teams managed
1994–1996 Grimsby Town
1997–2004 Scunthorpe United
2004–2006 Scunthorpe United
2006–2009 Sheffield Wednesday
2010– Burnley
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Brian Simon Laws (born 14 October 1961) is a retired English footballer and current manager of Burnley.

Playing as a defender, Laws made over 100 appearances for Burnley, Middlesbrough, and Nottingham Forest. In 1994, Laws became player-manager of Grimsby Town before taking a similar position with Scunthorpe United in 1997. For the next nine years, Laws served as manager of Scunthorpe, guiding them to promotion twice. In 2006, Laws accepted the managerial role at Sheffield Wednesday, lasting three years in the job until he was sacked. However, after only a brief spell out of the game, Burnley appointed Laws as their manager, giving Laws his first chance to manage in the Premier League.


Playing career

Born in Wallsend, Tyne and Wear, Laws began playing football at the famous Wallsend Boys Club.[1] Aged 17 he signed his first professional contract with Burnley, joining the club as an apprentice. Over the following four seasons he made 181 appearances for the club and, despite his defensive role, scored fifteen goals. However, during this period the club's fortunes were in decline and, following relegation back to the old Third Division, Burnley sold Laws across the Pennines to Huddersfield Town for only £10,000 in 1983.[2] Two years later Laws was sold again, moving to Middlesbrough for £30,000. After a short period Laws became first choice in Middlesbrough's starting eleven, in his three seasons at the club he twice helped the team to promotion, firstly to the Second Division and then, just a year later, up to the old First Division. However, the club's finances were not strong, and when Nottingham Forest offered £120,000 for his contract in 1988 Middlesbrough sold him to the Trentside club.[3]

Laws was part of Brian Clough's successful Nottingham Forest team for six seasons, playing mainly as right full-back. He is sometimes credited as Forest's second-best right-back of all time[4] behind regular England international Viv Anderson. During this time he won the League Cup twice and was runner up in the League Cup and FA Cup. Clough's first words to his new signing were "I've never seen you play, son, I'm going on the recommendation of Ronnie Fenton. So if you're crap, Ronnie signed you. If you're good, I signed you."[5]

Laws was at Forest at the time of Hillsborough disaster in the 1989 F.A. Cup semi final. The orginally scheduled fixture had to be abandoned early in the game due to fans being fatally crushed in the Leppings Lane terracing. In the rescheduled fixture, Laws scored an own goal. Already distraught, Laws controversially and insensitively had his hair ruffled anatagonistically by Liverpool striker John Aldridge celebrating the goal.

Forest were relegated from the First Division at the end of the 1992–93 season and Clough retired, a year and a half later and with reduced first team opportunities, Laws left on a free transfer to become player-manager at Grimsby Town.

Managerial career

Laws started his management career at Grimsby Town in 1994, replacing Alan Buckley who had moved to West Bromwich Albion. Laws' management of Town was initially successful, but deteriorated after he clashed with Grimsby player Ivano Bonetti. Laws reportedly threw a plate of chicken wings at the Italian following a 3–2 defeat at Luton Town in February 1996.[6] Laws was sacked by Grimsby after a poor start to the 96–97 season. He then had a short spell as a player with Darlington before taking charge of Scunthorpe United. At Scunthorpe Laws achieved promotion twice, in 1999 and 2005 respectively. He was sacked by the club in March 2004 but was reinstated three weeks later, leading them to promotion the following season.

After nearly 10 years at Scunthorpe Laws left the club in November 2006 to take over the manager's job at Sheffield Wednesday. Ex-Wednesday chairman Dave Allen, in an interview made before hiring Laws, admitted that he liked him because of his Brian Clough management style. He said "I like him, he comes from the Clough camp, I’m a great admirer of the Clough camp".[7]

On 7 February 2009, Laws became the first Sheffield Wednesday Manager for 95 years to do the league double over their neighbours Sheffield United, therefore making sure his name goes down in Wednesday history. Laws however came under increasing pressure from Wednesday fans to depart at the start of December, after a poor run of results which saw the Owls drop to 20th along with four straight home defeats.[8] Laws left Sheffield Wednesday on 13 December 2009 by mutual consent after a run of bad results.[9]

In January 2010, Laws was linked with a return to his first club Burnley as manager, this following the departure of Owen Coyle to Bolton Wanderers.[10] On 13 January, Laws was appointed as the new manager of Burnley.[11]



Nottingham Forest (player)


Runner Up

  • League Cup: 1992
  • FA Cup: 1991

Scunthorpe United (manager)






As of 13 March 2010.[12]
Team Nat From To Record
G W D L Win %
Grimsby Town  England 29 November 1994 1 November 1996 &0000000000000099.00000099 &0000000000000030.00000030 &0000000000000028.00000028 &0000000000000041.00000041 &0000000000000030.30000030.30
Scunthorpe United  England 24 February 1997 25 March 2004 &0000000000000389.000000389 &0000000000000147.000000147 &0000000000000101.000000101 &0000000000000141.000000141 &0000000000000037.79000037.79
Scunthorpe United  England 15 April 2004 6 November 2006 &0000000000000131.000000131 &0000000000000055.00000055 &0000000000000037.00000037 &0000000000000039.00000039 &0000000000000041.98000041.98
Sheffield Wednesday  England 6 November 2006 13 December 2009 &0000000000000154.000000154 &0000000000000052.00000052 &0000000000000042.00000042 &0000000000000060.00000060 &0000000000000033.77000033.77
Burnley  England 13 January 2010 Present &0000000000000011.00000011 &0000000000000001.0000001 &0000000000000001.0000001 &0000000000000009.0000009 &0&0000000000000009.0900009.09
Total &0000000000000783.000000783 &0000000000000285.000000285 &0000000000000209.000000209 &0000000000000290.000000290 &0000000000000036.40000036.40


  1. ^ "Brian Laws: In profile". BBC South Yorkshire. 21 May 2008. Retrieved 11 February 2009. 
  2. ^ Brian Laws career stats at Soccerbase
  3. ^ "Brian Laws profile: page 2". BBC South Yorkshire. 28 March 2008. Retrieved 11 February 2009. 
  4. ^ "Brian Laws summary". Retrieved 11 February 2009. 
  5. ^ "Football: Folk lore man Laws picks up pieces and repays faith". The Independent. 28 January 2001. Retrieved 11 February 2009. 
  6. ^ "Celina Hinchcliffe on Brian Laws". BBC Sport. 8 November 2006. Retrieved 4 December 2008. 
  7. ^ "Wednesday confirm Laws interest". BBC Sport. 26 October 2006. Retrieved 4 December 2008. 
  8. ^ "Championship - Wednesday complete United double". EuroSport - Yahoo!. 8 February 2009. Retrieved 8 February 2009. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Brian Laws the surprise choice to replace Owen Coyle at Burnley". Daily Mail. 11 January 2010. Retrieved 12 January 2010. 
  11. ^ "Burnley appoint Brian Laws as new manager". BBC Sport. 13 January 2010. Retrieved 13 January 2010. 
  12. ^ "Brian Laws's managerial career". Soccerbase. Retrieved 20 January 2010. 

External links


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