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Brian Tinnion
Brian Tinnion.JPG
Personal information
Full name Brian Tinnion
Date of birth 23 February 1968 (1968-02-23) (age 42)
Place of birth    Stanley, England
Playing position Midfielder
Senior career1
Years Club App (Gls)*
Newcastle United
Bradford City
Bristol City
Aldershot Town
Team Bath
032 0(2)
145 (22)
458 (36)
007 0(1)
00? 0(?)
00? 0(?)   
Teams managed
2004–2005 Bristol City

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

Brian Tinnion (born 23 February 1968) (nickname: "Tinman") is a British former footballer and ex-manager. He was player-manager (later retiring from playing) of Bristol City F.C. from 5 June 2004 until 11 September 2005. He started as a left-back but later became a goal-scoring left-sided midfielder.


He was born in Stanley, County Durham in 1968 and was recruited by Newcastle United as an apprentice after scouts had spotted his useful left foot, he went on to be a member of the Newcastle United FA Youth Cup winning side of 1985 that included the likes of Paul Gascoigne. Tinnion signed as a professional before a first-team home game on the pitch of St James' Park a few days after his eighteenth birthday in 1986. In the 1987–88 season, he started 30 league games for the Magpies in the left-back slot. He earned a call-up to the England Under-21 squad in May 1988 for a tour of Toulon but unfortunately had to pull out injured. He was sold to Bradford City for £150,000 in 1989. He scored the last-gasp penalty that pinched a point at Elland Road on Grand National Day 1990 in a heated local derby against Leeds United.

It was while at Bradford that Tinnion expressed himself when pushed forward onto the left side of a three-man midfield in the early 1990s, the Bantam soon had the reputation of having the most creative left foot of the lower leagues. Tinnion found himself top-goalscorer in all competitions across all four divisions by Christmas 1991 with 13 goals, but he picked up a career-threatening injury at Hartlepool on Boxing Day 1991 in front of a host of top-flight scouts. His injury was surprisingly overcome in time to start the 1992–93 season in the Bantams starting line-up, but before the season was out, in March 1993, he failed to agree a new contract and moved on to Bristol City for a controverisal tribunal-set fee of around £180,000. His first goal for his new club came against bitter rivals Bristol Rovers with a last-gasp penalty. Then in January 1994 he scored the winning goal in City's giant-killing FA Cup win over Liverpool at Anfield.

He went on to become one of City's dominant players of the 1990s. He switched from wide on the left flank into the centre of a three-man midfield under new manager Danny Wilson in 2000 and the role often gave him time and space to execute through balls, such was his form in that role that he was voted as the best player in his division. He became player-coach in 2000 (and had helped coach the club's youth teams since the mid-90s) and succeeded Danny Wilson as manager in 2004.

Tinnion's first season in charge saw Bristol City fail to make the play-offs and the 2005–06 season started inconsistently, leaving the City fans unconvinced about his ability to make his move into management successful. It was reported that a popular post-match phrase of chairman Steve Lansdown after some of City's more disappointing performances became "Tinnion!", often berating and humiliating him in front of his playing staff.[1] Tinnion's given rationale for signing goalkeeper Adriano Basso ("because he is Brazilian") caused further unease amongst Bristol City supporters. A 7–1 thrashing by Swansea City on September 10, 2005 was the final straw; facing a wave of discontent among the supporters, Tinnion stepped down as manager the following day.

After his departure from Bristol City, Tinnion trained with Cheltenham Town, turning out for them in a reserve match, and then joined Conference side Aldershot on a non-contract basis.

He subsequently played for Conference South side Weston-super-Mare and in January 2007 joined Team Bath.[2]

Tinnion has since retired from playing in the summer of 2007[3] and now coaches youth football, running soccer schools both in Southern Spain and at The Imperial Ground in Bristol.


  1. ^ Bristol Evening Post, November 2005
  2. ^ Tinnion Coup For Team Bath From, Posted 8 January 2007.
  3. ^ Tinnion Calls It A Day From, Posted 29 June 2007.

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