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Dave Bassett
Personal information
Full name David Bassett
Date of birth 4 September 1944 (1944-09-04) (age 65)
Place of birth    Stanmore, England
Senior career1
Years Club App (Gls)*
Wycombe Wanderers
St Albans City
013 (2)
011 (0)
035 (0)   
Teams managed
Sheffield United
Crystal Palace
Nottingham Forest
Leicester City
Leicester City (caretaker)
Southampton (caretaker)
Leeds United (Assistant Manager)

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

David "Dave" Bassett (born 4 September 1944 in Stanmore) is an English football manager, whose most recent job was assistant manager at Leeds United.

In his career he has managed Wimbledon, Watford, Sheffield United, Crystal Palace, Nottingham Forest, Barnsley, Leicester City and Southampton.


Playing career

As a player Bassett was a defensive midfielder at semi-professional level, playing for St Albans City where he made eleven appearances in the 1967/68 season, Hayes, Wycombe Wanderers, Walton & Hersham and later Wimbledon.

He was a member of the Wimbledon team who forced a famous draw in the 4th round of the FA Cup against reigning League Champions Leeds United in 1975. He retired from playing soon after Wimbledon entered the Football League in 1977 (after just 35 Football League appearances), and became a coach with the club.

Management career



Bassett was promoted to first team manager following the departure of Dario Gradi in 1981, and guided their rise up through the Football League during the 1980s. The team won promotion from the Fourth Division in 1982/83. In June 1984, Bassett had agreed to take charge of Crystal Palace but never signed the contract. Within 72 hours after accepting Palace's offer, he changed his mind and returned to Wimbledon.

In 1985/86, they finished third in the Second Division and were promoted to the First Division after a mere nine seasons of league football. They briefly topped the league in September 1986, and although their stay at the top of the division was short-lived they still managed to finish in an impressive sixth place.

The team's style of muscular, direct "long ball" play, termed by Bassett as "route one football" (as in the most direct route to goal) was disliked by the footballing press and pundits but brought great success and was difficult to play against. Whilst hugely popular with both the club's fans and his players, Bassett nevertheless felt that he had taken the club as far as he could and resigned as manager in 1987 to take up an offer from Watford, handing over the reins to Bobby Gould.


Bassett's reign as Watford manager was short-lived. The team had just finished ninth in 1986/87 under the management of Graham Taylor, who had left to take charge of relegated Aston Villa. Before Bassett's arrival, Watford also sold John Barnes to Liverpool but, instead of retaining the nucleus of the successful side of the mid-80s, he sold several other first-team regulars including Kevin Richardson, David Bardsley, Lee Sinnott and Mike Woodward. Their replacements did not do as well, and Watford started the 1987/88 season terribly and the blame was placed squarely on Bassett, who was sacked in January 1988 when relegation to the Second Division looked certain.

Sheffield United

In 1987/88, Bassett became one of the few managers to have the dubious honour of being involved with two relegated clubs in the same season. On 21 January 1988, just days after leaving Watford, he took over at Sheffield United. Despite bringing many new players, he was unable to prevent a weak team from sliding into the Third Division after losing the double-legged play-off with Bristol City 2–1.

However, with the Bassett bringing his own backroom staff during the close season and more new players brought in, he took them back up at the first attempt in 1988/89. A second successive promotion following in 1989/90, and First Division football returned to Bramall Lane in the 1990/91 season for the first time since the 1970s. The most influential player in this team was striker Brian Deane, who was capped three times by England.

Sheffield United failed to win any of their first 16 league games in 1990-91, and went into the new year at the bottom of the First Division. But a rousing resurgence in the second half of the season saw the Blades climb up to a secure 13th place in the final table. They did even better in 1991/92, finishing ninth in the First Division and securing a place in the new Premier League.

Sheffield United's Premier League debut was reasonable. They finished 14th in the final table, reached the semi finals of the FA Cup, and condemned Nottingham Forest to relegation by winning the penultimate game of the season. However, when Brian Deane was sold to Leeds United during the 1993 close season, without him the Blades struggled. Bassett's luck finally ran out on the last day of the 1993/94 season. Needing a single point to avoid relegation, they lost 3–2 at Chelsea, having led 2–1 with 5 minutes remaining. An eighth place finish in the 1994/95 Division One campaign was not enough for a play-off place, and Bassett resigned the following December with relegation looking more likely than promotion and protests against the board mounting.

Crystal Palace

Bassett took over at Crystal Palace in early February 1996, taking charge of a club which was standing in 16th place in Division One and had lost most of its players the previous summer. Dave Bassett set about rejuvenating the side, and a storming run meant that automatic promotion was still a possibility until the penultimate game of the season. In the end, they finished third in the table and reached the playoff final where they lost 2–1 in extra time to Leicester City.

Nottingham Forest

In March 1997, Bassett left Crystal Palace to take joint charge of Premier League strugglers Nottingham Forest with former Forest and England player Stuart Pearce. He was unable to prevent them from being relegated, but they were promoted back to the Premier League at the first attempt under his sole charge after winning the 1997/98 Division One championship with some ease. But Forest had a terrible start to the 1998/99 Premier League, and Bassett was sacked in January 1999. Forest were unable to avoid the drop under Bassett's successor Ron Atkinson.


Bassett succeeded John Hendrie as Barnsley manager in May 1999. In his first season at the helm Barnsley reached the Division One play-off final but missed out of promotion to the Premier League after losing to Ipswich Town. Bassett left in December 2000 after failing to mount another promotion challenge.

Leicester City

Bassett became Leicester City manager in October 2001. For a while it looked as though Bassett could save Leicester's Premier League status, but a four-month winless run from December condemned the team to relegation from the Premier League after a six-year tenancy. After a 1–0 defeat to Manchester United which confirmed Leicester's relegation, Bassett became Director of Football, handing over his managerial duties to assistant Micky Adams. He took over as manager again on 11 October 2004 after Adams' resignation, but left his Director of Football role after Craig Levein was appointed as Adams' replacement.


Bassett was appointed as assistant manager to Harry Redknapp at Southampton in the summer of 2005, after the departure of Jim Smith. When Redknapp left in December 2005, Bassett became the caretaker manager, in a shared role with Dennis Wise. He left the club with some acrimony after George Burley was eventually appointed full-time manager of the Saints. Bassett stated that he had been led to believe by the chairman that he was the players' choice as next manager. During his brief sojourn in charge at St Mary's, Saints played three matches, with one victory, one draw and one defeat.

Leeds United

On 31 October 2007 Bassett was appointed as assistant manager to Dennis Wise at Leeds United for the remainder of the 2007/08 season.[1]. On 29 January 2008, it was reported by the Yorkshire Evening Post that Bassett had left the club, following Dennis Wise's resignation as manager.

Team Nat From To Record
G W L D Win %
Wimbledon England 1 January 1981 17 June 1987 303 144 85 74 47.52
Watford England 18 June 1987 11 January 1988 28 7 13 8 25
Sheffield United England 21 January 1988 12 December 1995 393 150 142 101 38.17
Crystal Palace England 8 February 1996 27 February 1997 60 29 16 15 48.33
Nottingham Forest England 8 May 1997 5 January 1999 77 33 24 20 42.86
Barnsley England 27 May 1999 19 December 2000 84 38 28 18 45.24
Leicester City England 10 October 2001 6 April 2002 27 4 15 8 14.81
Leicester City (caretaker) England 11 October 2004 31 October 2004 4 0 0 4 0
Southampton (caretaker) England 2 December 2005 23 December 2005 3 1 1 1 33.33


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